rook endgames are not easy!

Nov 5, 2009, 3:39 AM |

"It is an error to think, that rook endgames are easy to play!"

Victor Kortschnoi


1. A basic rook endgame

The following diagram is is a basic rook endgame, everyone should know. 



So we see: When the black king keeps moving between g7 and h7 , every thing is o.k!


2. Another drawish position




So do you think, white can win this position?

To decide this question we should allow white to reach his ideal position. The best position he can reach, when black makes nothing





Now keep these both more or less basic rook endgames and look at following position



It is a position from an OTB-game I played 2 weeks ago against a Dutch FM.

In time trouble I had made an error, but instead of resigning I had played on and at the end I reached that position.

Here I thought it would be enough now and I resigned. And my opponent thanked, obviously  convinced of a deserving the victory.

At that moment another player walked by and said:" This is a draw!"


Naturally he was right! Make a synthesis of the first both examples and you have it!



What was the FM`error?

He could have reached following position :



This would presumely a winning position. Why? Because the white king can hide at b7


And the moral of this story:

"Study rook endgames! They are not so easy, as they may look at first sight!"