Hua vs West July 2010

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I want to post this game segment because it represents an interesting case in Rook and Pawn endgames that is worth reviewing.   For the full game you can go to Jim West's blog here:

The following must be true for the strong side to have winning chances with a lone Rook Pawn in a Rook and Pawn ending.

1. The enemy King is far enough away

2. The Pawn is to the 4th rank or further

3. The friendly King is not cut off from the Pawn

The position of the endgame that ensues following move 54 meets these conditions.  Tablebase assures me that White can win this, though in practical play the game can easily slip into a draw at many points along the way.  Let's see what happened in this game, and I will point out a few things in the comments and in the variations.

In a couple instances where White can win, I give best play until the win is clear. If you play over these variations, you will get an idea of the winning method in this particularly difficult case.