Rook Endings 1: Rook versus Pawn

Jun 13, 2014, 8:18 PM |

Rook endings are among the most common endings and playing them well is one of the most important and subtle endgame skills. To improve my chess (and hopefully yours as well) I am beginning a series of blog postings on rook endings. We are going to begin with the most basic rook ending: rook versus a lone pawn. These seemingly simple endings can actually be quite tricky--especially if you don't remember a few key ideas. These ideas are the following:

Attacking ideas:

1. Cutting the enemy king off at his fourth rank.
2. Gaining a tempo with a rook check.
3. Avoiding stalemate.
4. Moving the king to the side of the pawn opposite the enemy king.

Defending ideas:

1. Shouldering away the enemy king.
2. Promoting to a knight.

For the rest of the discussion go to: