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% of Master Games Where P=Q?

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  • % of Master Games Where P=Q?

    I was wondering if any of you have some thoughts about the percentage of Master games that feature a pawn promotion to Queen? It doesn't seem to happen very often, from what I've seen.

    Just curious if anyone might make a guess regarding how often it does happen.
    "They work at the pace of amnesia."--M. Bloch

  • #2
    The problem with this answer is that except in rare instances, a pawn promotion wins the game, and most masters are capable of seeing a pawn promotion a long ways off.

    To take a really simple example, let's take the following position:

    It would be extremely rare (and, in fact, somewhat petulant) for a game between masters to be played out from this position. I would argue that fewer than .1% of the time, when two titled players reach this position, is it played out to promotion.

    Because this is a trivial win for white, as every player rated at least 1600 should know. It's a trivial win for white because black can not stop the promotion of the pawn.

    But 99.9% of the time, the game reaches this position, or something equivalent (or, heck, even a position that will lead to this position in 10-20 moves, and, yes, strong players can easily see when that's the case going into an endgame) they're resign rather than play it out.

    So, I suspect, the reason why the % seems low is because few games between masters where the game is decided by promotion are actually played out until the promotion occurs.


    • #3
      I always appreciate your answers and posts Ronaldinho, thanks!

      I understand the reasons such promotions rarely occur during actual play between Masters. I'm curious mainly of how often P=Q might actually be found to occur, though. I'm thinking you're suggestion of .1% is probably fairly accurate.
      Last edited by Celadonite; 04-07-2011, 02:03 AM.
      "They work at the pace of amnesia."--M. Bloch


      • #4
        Well, the percentage of mutual pawn promotions could be a bit higher I think.


        • #5
          Yeah, sorry, my .1% was about cases where - as happens usually - a pawn promotion is decisive.

          But sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it's a sacrifice. Sometimes there's mutual promotion. That being said - those are really rare occurences compared to simple endings which are won by virtue of promotion.