Rook Endings drive the best blind

Rook Endings drive the best blind

Dec 29, 2015, 5:57 AM |

Rook Endings are extremely difficult, even for the best of the best.

This position has consumed by chess day, taken from Kamsky-Kramnik, Nice (Blindfold 2009). 

I attempted to play this position against Shredder six times, recording 4 wins and 2 draws. 

From this exercise, I gained an ideas and methods in Rook Endings through seeking improvements on the where I went wrong.

Firstly, I'll show the game continuation and why it is a draw. I'll then display my six games with annotations and finally highlight key positions/pitfalls one must be aware of.

White to play and win


The Game continuation

My Games (and Lessons) practising this position against Shredder

Why doesn't 1. Rb7 also win?

Critical Position and Idea: Which way should the White King go?

Critical Position and Idea: Drive the Black King back a file, but leave your King the f6 square to "pivot" around
The f6 square really acts as a "pivot" for the White King to move around. The pawn may block checks along the 6th rank or the e-file. 
Consequently Black's Rook must waste a move to get round the other side after it gives a check, allowing White's Rook to make a progressive move.

Critical Position and Idea: Take the a-file to prevent horizontal checks

Critical Position: Clear way for pawn, else don't give Black time for horizontal checks