Pawnless Endings Part 3:  KRR vs KR

Pawnless Endings Part 3: KRR vs KR

Dec 19, 2016, 3:21 AM |

This ending pops up from time to time.  You might see it or a variant of it with pawns as the result of a double Rook late middle game.   While not difficult, there are times when the opponent can prolong the game quite a bit. 


I will assume that you already know how force mate with KR vs K.  The strategy here is aimed at forcing the opponent to trade off his last Rook.  This is done with mate threats and other forms of coercion.   Along the way you might have to use the Rooks to shield your King from annoying checks.


Here is example of me playing vs Tablebase.  Thus, the defending side plays perfectly while I play according to my method.   At the start, the position was mate in 22, when the exchange of Rooks was forced, it was mate in 10.


The key idea in the above example is leaving a "gap" between the Rooks for the white King to step through and find shelter from the defending Rook.
Let's look at one more example, where this time the defending king is confined by cutting off files.  When it gets time to make the "gap", it's done in a way where there are two holes for the white King to step through.
That's about all I have to say about this ending.  Next time you are playing g/30 and it trades down to this ending with 3 minutes on your clock, just think of "the gap".  It just might save you half a point!