All rook endings are not drawn


In my latest post, I refuted the saying about the next to last mistake. Now it is time for me to refute yet another one. It is often said that "all rook endings are drawn". This is of course not entirely true, but it is correct for a large majority of the cases. Last week, I played a game where I gave an example of how this is not true. Well, objectively, the game was drawn, but in practice... well, it's a different story.

The game began in familiar fashion with d4, Nf6 and c4. But then came a surprise: 2... e4?!  The Budapest gambit (a.k.a. the Budapest defense). I have never really taken a look at this opening, so I had to analyze as best I could and try to navigate safely.

How does white proceeed from here?

When reviewing the game, I searched online for some information on the opening, and I found a great video in which GM Yasser Seirawan presents his preferred line against the Budapest. I have given some sample lines as variations in my analysis. It seems that with correct play, white refutes this opening. However, I did not know it and made some poor choices along the way. Luckily, my opponent also made some poor choices, and the position on the board was even as we entered the endgame.

Time for the infamous rook ending

Now, as I have demonstrated before, my endgame skills are quite poor. I managed to do some things right, but I activated my king too late, and spent wasted too much time moving pawns. In the end, I had created too many weaknesses in my position and got myself into a hopeless position.

Once again, my conclusion is that I need to work on my endgame skills. This is the third game in a relatively short time, where I have demonstrated utterly poor technique. A slight comfort is that my games did not use to last until the endgame before, so the fact that they go on for so long should be a sign of improvement. But now I have to wake up and pick up my endgame book. Time to get to work and figure out how to draw those objectively drawn positions.