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I finished a pawn up in a King-Rook endgame. It took me ages till I managed to checkmate. What is the correct way to go about it?
This endgame is a dead draw. Both players seemed to play rather random moves. Learn endgames!
I'm not really good at endgames, but a rook and pawn vs rook is a draw 9 games out of ten. your position is absolutely drawish since black king is in front of your pawn.
no it is not drawish black will surely promote
After move 71. ... Rf5, white has a draw in hand. All white has to do is move his king back and forth along the 5th rank, black can do nothing but move the rook behind the pawn. If black moves his rook from the f file, white captures the pawn. If black moves his king from g5, white captures the pawn. There is absolutely no way for black to make progress at this point for black.
Look up the Lucena Position. The next time you won't misplay this endgame.
There is no "correct" way to checkmate. All checkmates are equal. It makes no difference how you checkmate, because you win anyway.
Having said that, I'm not sure there is a way to force checkmate in the position above.
When I put it to my DroidFish it couldn't find a forced mate. This is how it played the endgame from the last time I was in a very strong position (computer-computer).
In the original game, 74...Ra5! would have won, because of the extremely poor position of the White rook.
But the position on move 63 is a draw with best play.
And look up the Philidor Position too. It's good to know the defending theory as well.
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