All Rook Endgames are Drawn (bugger!)

All Rook Endgames are Drawn (bugger!)

Sep 20, 2016, 2:43 AM |

It's almost a loophole in the game of Chess that you're up a pawn in a Rook endgame, but can't convert. In being a pawn ahead on the Black side of an IQP Caro Kann, I learnt many lessons from this game about piece activity in Rook endings (that my opponent showed me).


It's so important for the defending Rook and King to be active, and even better if you can condemn the opponent's King (or Rook) to passivity.


Liquidation of pawns on one side of the board goes a long way to equality.


Can this Ending be won?

White theoretically has always played 17. Bxb6 here, but instead played 17. ab allowing 17. ... Qxd5 and Black is up a pawn.
However, in going into a Rook ending, things are never easy.

Key Moments of Rook Endings
A critical moment in this ending where Black would really love to exchange Rooks with an immediate 22. ... Red8 but that would drop the a-pawn.
However, by Black playing 22. ... a6 first, he condemns his Rooks to passivity both without control of the 7th rank and the d-file.
On the other hand, the best move I believe was 22. ... Ke7 controlling the entry points to the d-file

My Game Annotations and Analysis