Intriguing Rook Pawn Ending
The problem with looking back at games 20 years after the fact is that it's hard to remember what you were thinking. I look back on the following game and am now amazed at the ending. Well, I'll let you take a look at the game before I say any more:
Let's look at some key positions in the game:
Here's the position after 43. Ra3. If you were black, what would you do? You're a pawn up, but how do you convert that into a win? Do you play Kg5 and later push the f-pawn? Do you play Rd3 and hope your opponent makes a mistake and trades rooks? Or do you do like I did and play Ke5, completely abandoning the f5 pawn on the next move? Did I really work out the entire 13 move sequence starting at move 43? I wish I knew.
Here's the position after 45. Rxf5. Black to play and win (at this point, I don't think white can do anything to stop black from winning).
Here's the position afer 48. Kxf2. From here, I do give myself credit for knowing how to finish from here. One false step on move 48 and white salvages the draw.
When I went over this game a couple days ago, I reached a point in the game where I thought it was a draw for sure. The fact that I pulled it out impressed me. It also worries me - if I have to be able to play that well to get back to where I was, maybe I should just quit now.