An Endgame From The World Blitz
thank you jonathanmdana ( for the photo of the rook

An Endgame From The World Blitz


If you want to learn how to play a "drawn" endgame that has been lost by the likes of Nakamura, Euwe and even Kasparov then this blog is for you!

The endgame that I discuss is one of my favourites: the notorious "4vs3" Rook endgame where both sides have all the pawns on the same side, for example:

This might seem like quite a surprising choice for a favourite endgame but actually it's a very rich position. It's like a microcosm of chess, without all those horrible attacking and tactics things
White is better but whoever is the better endgame player is likely to get the successful result (win for white, draw for black) - lots of fun!

The fundamentals of this endgame have been covered really well in chess literature (for example in  Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual ) and also e.g. here and here on (If you know of any other good material on this theme please share in the comments).

If you want to make the most of this blog then I suggest you check out those articles first as I don't want to cover stuff that has already been done much better than I could do by @dbojkov

I have done a fair amount of annotations but the meat of this blog is the puzzles. This is because I believe chess is like music - you have to actively practice it! Also as mentioned the theory is covered well already.

The game is between two 2600 GMs. Georg Meier had the white pieces and Maxim Turov the black, and it was played at the World Blitz just finished a few days ago.
Firstly, what should white have played in this position?
The game proceeded in a different direction:
What should white do here? 
Find the (most elegant) coup de grâce:
Meier missed this opportunity (remember it was a blitz game!) 
Meier played Rxh5 instead  which is the most natural move (to me at least) but allowed black a chance to save the game:
Black missed this defence and the game continued:
What should black play here?
No rest for the wicked - what should black play here?
Instead black blundered and now it is white to play and win:
Phew! That was a lot of excitement and I'm sure the players were exhausted by the end of all that!
I certainly learned a tonne studying this endgame and I hope you did too.
In particular it was instructive for me how precisely black needs to play this ...h6 + ...f6 + ...gxh5 drawing schema - including all those moves and if white has made a lot of gains (g4 + h5 + active king) then also in the right order!

I might do another post on this topic - I certainly enjoyed writing it even if no-one enjoys reading about a drawish rook endgame that was drawn!

[EDIT: Next post is here ]