All Rook Endgames are Drawn (but it can take a miracle)

All Rook Endgames are Drawn (but it can take a miracle)

NM CoachJKane
Feb 15, 2015, 1:11 PM |

Seigbert Tarrrasch, one of the top players of the 19th century once claimed that all rook endgames are drawn. It was something of an exageration, but there is definitely a grain of truth. By getting active pieces the defending side can frequently hold positions down a pawn or two. I've decided to share one of my defensive efforts from the Washington International a couple of years ago, the strongest tournament I've ever participated in. The endgame is too complicated for me to make a 100% clear evaluation of some lines, so feel free to add any analysis of your own. 


First, a few puzzles.

 1. White to move and draw

2. White to move and draw
3. I'll leave the final puzzle for you to post solutions to in the notes.
Now that we're warmed up, here's my tournament game. I was lost early on and ended up in a pawn dawn rook endgame with no counterplay. However, one slip by my opponent gave me a chance on move 42 to get my king and rook active. I'm not sure if I should have been able to hold, but I was able to cause enough chaos to survive.