Rook Endgames 101 - Philidor Position

Rook Endgames 101 - Philidor Position

CM rocklands
Sep 28, 2015, 2:12 AM |

Hello Chess Friends,

Welcome to the next installment of the continuing series of "Rook Endgames 101". Today we will be discussing the Philidor position.

The Philidor position is a very important endgame everyone must know.

Take a look at this position:

White has a passed pawn and the only way for black to survive is to continually check white's king.
1...Rh6! Black stops white from bringing his king to the 6th rank which would create serious back rank mate threats 2.Rg7 (2.d6 Rh1! and black has achieved his goal of continually checking his opponent's king from behind) 2...Rf6 Black will just move his rook back and forth from h6 to f6 until white finally decides to try to play d6 which will allow black to continually check white's king 3.d6 (White can also try 3.Rg8+ but black will just play 3...Kd7 and white cannot make progress) 3...Rf1!
4.Kc6 Rc1+ 5.Kb5 Rd1 and white cannot make progress
1/2 - 1/2
As you can see, the Philidor Position is a very important endgame to study. I suggest you go over the above example until you completely understand it.
Lets summarize:
1) Place your rook on the 6th rank to stop your opponent's king from entering and creating serious back rank mate threats
2) Move your rook back and forth until your opponent finally decides to push his pawn forward
3) Once our opponent pushes his pawn forward, play your rook to the last rank and check him from behind
Good Luck and keep on practicing!