Solving Rook Endings - #1

Dec 27, 2016, 1:47 PM |

I am going to solve 4 Rook endings in this post - from the chapter on Rook and Pawn vs Rook in the book - Understanding Rook Endgames.



Position 1: Black to move and draw




Black's idea is to attack the pawn from behind or to give a check. Or be flexible. So, the rook will be on e1, e2, f1 or f2, h1 or a1.

White's idea is to advance King and pawn to reach Lucena position. So, his moves are 1.Kf6, 2.e6, 3.Ke7, 4.move the rook someplace, 5.Kf7, 6.Ke8, 7.e7 => Lucena Position.

Calculation of variations:

A. 1..Re2 2.Kf7 Rf2+ 3.Ke7 Re2 4.e6 Re1 5.Ra1 Re2 6.Ra1 Rd1 +- (Vertical Cut off - Rule of 5)

B. 1..Re2 2.Kf7 Kd7 3.e6+ Kd6 4.Rd8+ Kc7 5.Rd1 +- (Vertical Cut off - Rule of 5)

C. 1..Rh1 2.Kf7 Rh7+ 3.Kg6 Rh1 4.e6 Kd6 5.Kf6 Rf1+ =(Perpetual checks from Behind - the Philidor idea)

D. 1..Rh1 2.Ra8 Rh6+ 3.Kf7 Rh7+ 4.Kg6 Re7?? 5.Kf6 Rh7 6.Ra7+ Kd8 7.Rxh7 +- (The standard skewer tactic)

E. 1..Rh1 2.Ra8 Rh6+ 3.Kf7 Rh7+ 4.Kg6 Rh1 5.Ra2 Kd8 = (King has reached the square in front of Pawn and Lucena is prevented).


Book Solution:

1..Rh1 2.Kf7 Rh7+ 3.Kg6 Kd7 4.Kxh7 Kxe8 = (Drawn King and pawn endgame)


Difficulty level: Hard (due to lots of calculation - I calculated 5 lines, 49 plies). 


Position 2: Black to play and win




This is a tactic position: Two main moves for Black are: 1..Rxf4+ and 1..Kg5 with the idea of 2..Rxf4

I will calculate other variations and strategic idea after evaluating the tactic.


Calculation of variations:

A. 1..Rxf4+ 2.Kxf4 = (King and pawn endgame is drawn)

B. 1..Kg5 2.Rxf5+ Kxf5 -+ (King and pawn endgame is won for Black because of opposition, King in front of pawn). Solved! (This is also Book Solution)


Difficulty level: Easy (I calculated 5 lines, 5 plies). 



Position 3: White to play and draw




White's idea: Passive defense does not work against Bishop pawn. Rook really belongs on g8. The only chance is to sacrifice Rook on g2. If now, White could play Rg2+ fxg2 then it would be stalemate. Black could reply Kf4, when White could play Rg8 - the dream position for Rook.


Calculation of variations:

A. 1.Ra2 Re6 2.Rg2+ Kf4 3.Rg8 = (Draws due to endless Philidor Checks)

B. 1.Ra2 Kf4 2. Ra4+ (Draws due to endless horizontal checks)


Book solution: 1.Ra2 Rb6 2.Rg2+ fxg2= Stalemate

Difficulty level: Easy (I calculated 2 lines, 8 plies). 




Position 4: White to play and draw


White's idea: This is similar to the standard vertical cut off position. White should give fontal checks with King on the key square - f3

Black's idea: Advance king and pawn to achieve Lucena position.


Calculation of variations:

A. 1.Rd1 Re4+ 2.Kf3 Kc4 3.Rc1+ Kb3 4.Rd1Re5 Kf5 = (This is the standard draw)


Book Solution: 1.Rd1 Kc4 2.Rc1+ Kb3 3.Rd1=

Difficulty level: Easy (I calculated 1 line, 9 plies).