Rook and Pawn Ending--Keep Rook Active
Last Tuesday, I finally got to play an OTB game with much higher-rated opponent. I still don't really know any openings--I can get through a few moves of a Ruy Lopez as White and a few moves of a French Defense as Black. I've still been spending most of my time on tactics. So I was just playing according to basic principles (fight for the center, get pieces developed, play with all of your pieces all of the time, etc.), basic tactics, and trying not to give my pieces away. I was happy with most of the game, until the R and Pawn ending when my "vision" got jumbled and, worse, I made my R more passive (!). I'll pick it up at the most important learning point.
Most important lessons:
- This game is some evidence that you can play competitive chess up to about the 1500-level by playing with basic principles, basic tactics, and not giving your pieces away.
- But to do so, you can't take a move off. You've got to play the best move in the most reasonable amount of time--each and every move--or an otherwise good game is likely lost.
- Most important, in a R and P ending, keep your Rook active even if it costs a pawn.