Kopaev Rook Endgame Studies

Kopaev Rook Endgame Studies

Dec 26, 2015, 2:07 AM |

Nikolay Kopaev has left the chess world with instructive Rook endgame positions. I am working through Encyclopaedia of Chess Endings Volume II (Rooks) and setting up the positions to play against Shredder. I don't move on until I can either win (or draw where relevant). 


The following position taught me many lessons of the resources at the defending side's disposal, and the method for the winning side.


I show examples of my games against Shredder from the starting position.

Diagram 92: N. Kopaev 1952 Black to Move (White wins)


The Scheme

  • White aims to cut the Black King off by placing his Rook on the e-file. After this he can "build a bridge".
  • Black may aim for horizontal checks from the a-file. White is to use his Rook as a shield from the c-file.
  • White must be careful not let the Black King get to the 8th rank.
  • If the Black King drifts from the 8th rank, one can gain time by switching the White Rook back to cut off the e-file.

Example 1 vs Shredder

Seize the e-file immediately if you can and cut off the enemy King.

Example 2 vs Shredder

Driving back the enemy King to the 4th rank.

Example 3 vs Shredder

An instructive lesson on the optimal place for the Rook. A draw resulted because my Rook could not give a check from behind.
To improve on this, I can see that after ... Kf5 Black doesn't threaten to go to the 8th rank so I can take the time to retreat the Rook and cut off the e-file.

Example 4 vs Shredder (Improving on Example 3)