Video Series on Rook Endings

  • IM DanielRensch
  • | Dec 18, 2010

This comprehensive series instructs on perhaps the most practical and commonly reached type of endgames (Rook Endings). It is designed to take a chess player with the most limited knowledge of basic rook ending ideas -- to a master level understanding of the most important patterns, techniques, winning methods, and dynamic tricks.

We begin our journey (Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4) with some practical advice on the necessity of understanding these particular endings, the way one should approach studying/mastering these positions on their own, and the most basic and fundamentally critical positions.

Not what you were looking for? Back to video guide.

Part 1 -- The first video presents concepts as well as the two most important positions in the theory of rook endgames: the Lucena Position and the Philidor Defense. (Beginner and Intermediate)

Part 2 -- The second video reviews and extends the basic ideas learned in Part 1 -- Then we move onto a vital discussion of the "short-side" and "long-side" defensive methods. (Beginner and Intermediate)

Part 3 -- The third video dives deeper into the "short-side/long-side" discussion, as well as provides a more general outlook on how to approach rook endings as they become more complex. (Intermediate)

Part 4 -- The fourth video explains the only winning method for a corner-pawn (a or h files) as well as provides examples of when a win is not possible with the corner pawn. (Intermediate)

As we move into the latter parts of the video series we should have by now established an understanding of the most critical and basic winning methods and defensive techniques. We now begin our study of the more complicated drawing methods, as well as the winning techniques for when the defender's (side playing without the pawn) King is cut off by one or more files.

Part 5 -- The fifth video introduces the "Frontal Attack" drawing method.(Intermediate)

Part 6 -- The sixth video continues with "Frontal Attack" studies as well as practical examples of these particular winning and drawing techniques. (Intermediate and Advanced)

After a strong "technical understanding" has now been established, we move onto our final five videos, which have all been reserved for practical studies and techniques.

Part 7 -- The seventh video introduces us to new studies of "practical patterns and tricks". In particular, the "Umbrella Method" is explained as an important winning idea. (Intermediate and Advanced)

Part 8 -- The eighth video continues with a number of different practical positions: The "back-door" trick; rook placement when playing with or against an enemy passed pawn; playing with multiple pawns. (Intermediate and Advanced)

Part 9 -- The ninth video displays further practical, although now increasingly complex, rook endings -- including examples from my personal pgn database. (Advanced)

Part 10 -- The tenth video provides examples from tournament play, and suggests a "try to solve them for yourself" type of study format. The tenth video also provides a review of the majority of the concepts and techniques learned in the entire video series. (Advanced)

Part 11 -- The "bonus" video provides a very advanced, highly instructive, and particulary beautiful rook endgame played at the highest levels of American chess -- taken straight from the library of one of my personal mentors, GM Alex Yermolinsky. (Advanced)

GM Melik Khachiyan

In addition, has recently (Fall 2010 - Spring 2011) produced five videos by Grandmaster Melik Khachiyan that complement IM Daniel Rensch's "Rook Endgames: Beginner to Master" series very well. For Advanced Players.

Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes 1 -- Which covers in more detail the "King on Short" and "Rook on Long" side winning/drawing methods. (Advanced)

Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes 2 -- Which covers the "Lasker Defense" drawing method. (Advanced)

Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes 3 -- Which covers more complex and practical examples of the "Frontal Attack" winning and drawing positions. (Advanced)

Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes 4 -- Which covers a complicated game between Gligoric and Fischer from the 1959 Interzonal tournament. (Advanced)

Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes 5 -- Which covers the drawing method required to know in order to draw against an opponent's bishop and rook pawns (f and h files). (Advanced)

GM Alex Yermolinsky

Super GM Rook Endings: Carlsen's Masterpiece -- Using Carlsen vs Vachier-Lagrave from the London Chess Classic as a guide, Yermo demonstrates Super GM's deep understanding of complex Rook and Pawn play! (Advanced)

Super GM Rook Endings: Giri's Blunder -- Yermo continues his series on advanced rook endings with a game between Giri and Caruana from the 2016 Wijk ann Zee. (Advanced)

Super GM Rook Endings: Aronian's Technique --  This video features Giri vs Aronian from the 2016 Zurich Chess Challenge 2016, Giri finds a Rook manueover so strong that Yermo decides to name it! (Advanced)

This listing will be edited when any further modules are added! Also, please leave feedback about the series here, particularly if you have questions, as we do not check the comments sections of old videos very often.


  • 8 months ago


    For the 'Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes' series, 5 more videoes were posted:  Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes 6: Lasker Abandoned!  Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes 7: Rook vs Pawns  Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes 8: Outside Passer!  Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes 9: Rook and Pawn  Typical Rook Endgame Mistakes 10: Bishop Fortress

  • 16 months ago


    :( can't see any of these

  • 2 years ago


    thanks for these videos, they are challenging to learn!

  • 5 years ago


    awesome sauce! muchas gracias

  • 5 years ago


    Brilliant Thanks

  • 6 years ago


    thx a lot for these great videos, it really shows that you obviously thaught these endgames to patzers like us many times already; a lot of my "stupid" questions that are taken for granted when reading a book have been answered, thx again

  • 6 years ago


    Great Article!

  • 6 years ago


    i like Danny's videos

  • 6 years ago


    I could only follow the first three videos, then it got too advanced. Plus, I've never faced any of those situations in a game yet. How about a very basic video where a king, a rook, a knight, and five pawns face off against the same and show what each side should try to do and try to prevent?  Something like Spassky- Torre 1982. 

  • 6 years ago


    Truely, if I could absorb 10% of all the fantastic material on, I'd easily be some kind of master. Superb stuff! Smile

  • 6 years ago

    Black__Knight is awesome!

  • 6 years ago


      All I can say is Awesome!  I've been studying more Rook endgames since the seminar, and once my knowledge of this wonderful game grows, I should be able to understand more of this series.

       And the seminar by GM Magesh was wonderful too!  Great job Danny!! Sweet stuff!!!  Cool


  • 6 years ago


    Excellent idea to follow up Danny's series, which is an outstanding series already, on it's own. I have watched the series several times and find the knowledge gained highly useful in other areas of the game. This is great news to learn that Melikset is extending the series!

    Now if only Danny would get back to that pawn structure series...


    Actually, I've enjoyed the "zwischen-vid" King and Pawn series too, this place is nothing but awesomeness for the chess junkie, and there are so many very good video authors. Keep up the good work!

  • 6 years ago


    All I can say is "you are one BUSY guy," Danny :) I really enjoyed the first three videos I watched, and although my chess comprehension is VERY limited/stunted, I was able to glean the gists of what you were saying, then went on to be impressed by GM Magesh, too!

  • 6 years ago


    Great, great videos! And the Live lecture by GM Magesh on Rook Pawn endgames was phenomenal. Good content, guys!
  • 6 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    Oooh, I didn't know about this series beyond the first few videos.  Rook and pawn endings, these are elegant to study!

  • 6 years ago


    awesome! thanks

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