Kling, Horwitz 1851 Rook Endgame (White to Move)

Kling, Horwitz 1851 Rook Endgame (White to Move)

Dec 26, 2015, 3:50 AM |

Following on from Position 93 (ECE Rook II) which was initially Black to Move and Draw, now follows White to move and Win.



Kling, Horwitz 1851 White to Move and Win

Position 93 from Encyclopaedia of Chess Endings Rooks Volume II (Chess Informant)


Winning Method

  • Above all, reduce the effectiveness of Black's horizontal a-file checks by getting the King to c7 and Rook to b8 to shield
  • If Black then checks from behind, the King nicely advances to d7
  • DO NOT fall into the trap of using the White Rook to control the a-file. This is exactly what Black wants as he waits with his Rook on the d-file and it is White who is in Zugzwang because
  1. If White King moves the Black King gets to e7 to guard the d6 advance with Rook capture with a check
  2. White Rook returns to d8 then Black seizes the a-file with known draw
  3. White Rook leaves the 8th Rank then Black King gets on there with known draw
  4. White Rook shuffles along 8th rank (but not to d8) then Black Rook waits on d-file)

Attempt 1 vs Shredder

Preventing the impact of sides checks from the Black Rook

Attempt 2 vs Shredder

Here Black attempts to check from the side, so White blocks with the Rook. After the Black Rook runs out of horizontal checks, White has time to advance the pawn.

Attempt 3 vs Shredder
Instructive mistake of playing 1. Ra8
Amazingly by playing 1. Ra8 in the attempt to prevent Black from playing 1. ... Ra1, White puts himself in Zugzwang!
Black simply waits with his Rook along the d-file because
  • if White's Rook moves off the 8th Rank then Black's King gets there
  • if White's Rook stays on the 8th Rank (except for d8) then Black's Rook waits on the d-file
  • if White's Rook returns to d8, Black's Rook gets to the a-file and we get the draw from Black to Move
  • if White's King moves, Black's King get to e7 to cover the d6 advance twice (capturing with check)