Rook and Other Endgames

Rook and Other Endgames

Get ready for some endgame training!

Would you like to improve your endgame play? Then this is the course for you! "Rook and Other Endgames" covers rook endings with some minor piece and queen endings included. Improve your endgame knowledge with IM Silman today!

Here is what you will learn:

  • Learn key rook endgame strategies!
  • Practice rook endgame tactics!
  • Learn how rooks interact with other pieces in the ending!

"Congrats Chess.com for this amazing product." - Chess.com member pawnsacrifice101

"I like this course. Good examples, clear explanations." - Chess.com member PetrBacak82

Rook versus pawn

Rook versus pawn

This type of endgame usually occurs when one side has to surrender his Rook for a dangerous enemy pawn.
4 Challenges
King and Rook versus pawn

King and Rook versus pawn

In Rook versus one pawn situations, the side with the Rook will always win if his King can get in front of the pawn.
5 Challenges
King and Rook vs. King and pawn

King and Rook vs. King and pawn

Black can draw by making use of an important rule in King and Rook versus King and pawn endgames: The White King should always advance on the opposite side of the Black King.
5 Challenges
King and Rook vs. King and two connected pawns

King and Rook vs. King and two connected pawns

If the Kings are too far away to play a role, a lone Rook can typically stop two connected passed pawns unless they both reach the sixth rank.
4 Challenges
Rook and two pawns vs. Rook and pawn

Rook and two pawns vs. Rook and pawn

You will have to notice that blocking ideas and promotions with check can materialize if you are not careful.
8 Challenges
King and Rook vs. King and two disconnected pawns

King and Rook vs. King and two disconnected pawns

A Rook can stop two disconnected pawns even if they both reach the seventh rank. Then the result depends on which King is closer to the action.
7 Challenges
Rook and pawn on the fifth vs. Rook

Rook and pawn on the fifth vs. Rook

In general, a pawn (as long as it's not a Rook-pawn) on the fifth wins if the enemy King is cut off from the action by one file.
8 Challenges
Lucena Position

Lucena Position

This is the single most important position in Rook endgames. The stronger side should always be striving to achieve this position and the defender must avoid it at all costs.
7 Challenges
King and pawn versus King

King and pawn versus King

King and pawn versus a lone King is an extremely common endgame which must be understood completely.
9 Challenges
Rook and Knight-pawn on the sixth vs. passive Rook

Rook and Knight-pawn on the sixth vs. passive Rook

In general, a pawn on the sixth combined with a passive Black Rook would be enough for White to win.
3 Challenges
Rook and Bishop-pawn on fifth vs. Rook

Rook and Bishop-pawn on fifth vs. Rook

Unfortunately (from White's perspective), in the present problem the Black King is on the short side and that fact allows the Black Rook to get sufficient checking distance to draw.
4 Challenges
Philidor Position gone bad

Philidor Position gone bad

In a normal Philidor Position, the Black Rook would go to g6 and stop the White King from ever-advancing. However, in this position, the location of White's Rook makes this plan impossible.
12 Challenges
Philidor Position

Philidor Position

This type of situation (with the defending King in front of the enemy pawn) is known as a Philidor Position and is the second most important position in Rook endgames.
5 Challenges
Rook and pawn on the fourth vs. Rook

Rook and pawn on the fourth vs. Rook

This will be the only problem that deals with pawns below the fifth rank simply because the theory is too complicated for our present purposes.
8 Challenges
Rook and Bishop-pawn on the sixth vs. passive Rook

Rook and Bishop-pawn on the sixth vs. passive Rook

If the enemy King is in front of the pawn (in a Rook and pawn versus Rook endgame) the game will be drawn unless the defending Rook is passively placed.
3 Challenges
Rook and center pawn on sixth vs. passive Rook

Rook and center pawn on sixth vs. passive Rook

If the enemy King is in front of the pawn (in a Rook and pawn versus Rook endgame) the game will be drawn unless the defending Rook is passively placed. In the present problem, the difference between Rooks is clear. Black's Rook is stuck on the first rank while White's is a threatening monster of death. In general, NEVER allow your Rook to get this passive! However, if White is left with a Rook-pawn or a Knight-pawn then the game will be drawn (if the defending King gets in front of the pawn) no matter how passively placed the Rook may be. For an example of this, see the Variation.
4 Challenges
Rook and center pawn vs. passive Rook

Rook and center pawn vs. passive Rook

In the present problem, the difference between Rooks is clear. Black's Rook is stuck on the first rank while White's is a threatening monster of death.
5 Challenges
Place Rooks Behind Passed Pawns!

Place Rooks Behind Passed Pawns!

One of the monster rules of Rook endgames states that you should always place your Rooks behind passed pawns.
4 Challenges
Rook and pawn vs. active Rook behind passer

Rook and pawn vs. active Rook behind passer

Black has committed a big sin here and allowed a very important trick. This trick must be thoroughly understood since you will eventually be on both sides of it.
4 Challenges
Passive Rook and two pawns vs. Rook

Passive Rook and two pawns vs. Rook

When your Rook is misplaced in front of your pawn, you should never advance your pawn to the seventh rank unless you have an instant win by doing so.
6 Challenges
Passive Rook, pawn on seventh and f-pawn vs. Rook

Passive Rook, pawn on seventh and f-pawn vs. Rook

This position wins for White because the f-pawn will force the Black King to a losing square.
4 Challenges
Passive Rook and pawn on sixth vs. Rook

Passive Rook and pawn on sixth vs. Rook

White wins this position because his King can take over guard duty of a6 and release the entombed White Rook.
8 Challenges
Rook and Rook-pawn on seventh vs. Rook

Rook and Rook-pawn on seventh vs. Rook

In this problem, the White pawn is one square away from Queening but its King is trapped in front of it, preventing the poor pawn from advancing.
11 Challenges
Passive Rook and two pawns vs. Rook and one pawn

Passive Rook and two pawns vs. Rook and one pawn

The zugzwang maneuver that White employs is only possible if the defending King's g7- square and its pawn is one square apart.
10 Challenges
Smyslov-Botvinnik, World Championship 1954

Smyslov-Botvinnik, World Championship 1954

Black must decide when to take on g5 and when to push his a- pawn to a2.
6 Challenges
Passive Rook and two connected pawns vs. Rook

Passive Rook and two connected pawns vs. Rook

The white king has no way to hide from the upcoming series of checks.
2 Challenges
Active Rook and two connected passed pawns versus Rook

Active Rook and two connected passed pawns versus Rook

Two extra connected passed pawns usually win pretty easily in Rook and pawn endgames unless the stronger side's King or Rook are on extremely poor squares.
11 Challenges
Rook and two connected passed pawns vs. Rook and pawn

Rook and two connected passed pawns vs. Rook and pawn

A Rook and two connected passed pawns almost always beats a Rook and pawn.
17 Challenges
Bishops of opposite colors: One pawn vs. none

Bishops of opposite colors: One pawn vs. none

Opposite colored Bishops reside on the same board but are fated never to touch.
1 Challenge
Bishops of opposite colors

Bishops of opposite colors

White is two pawns up but the presence of Bishops of opposite colors (and the blockade that the Black King and Bishop have created) makes the win impossible.
7 Challenges
Bishop and wrong colored Rook-pawn vs. King

Bishop and wrong colored Rook-pawn vs. King

White is a piece and pawn ahead yet he can't win.
2 Challenges
Knight and pawn vs. lone King

Knight and pawn vs. lone King

A piece and a pawn almost always defeat a lone King. The only exceptions occur when Rook-pawns exist.
3 Challenges
Bishops of opposite colors: two pawns vs. none

Bishops of opposite colors: two pawns vs. none

Usually, the side with two pawns versus none (in a Bishop of opposite color endgame) wants his/her pawns to be far apart so no blockade is possible.
9 Challenges
Bishops of opposite colors: three pawns vs. one

Bishops of opposite colors: three pawns vs. one

If those pawns on a5 and a4 didn't exist then winning the Black Bishop by d5-d6+ would leave White with insufficient material to force victory.
8 Challenges
Queen versus e-pawn on seventh

Queen versus e-pawn on seventh

White has an extra Queen but the Black pawn is on the verge of promotion.
12 Challenges
Queen versus f-pawn on seventh

Queen versus f-pawn on seventh

If the White King is far away and the Black pawn is on the seventh rank, the defender can only draw if his pawn is a Rook-pawn or Bishop-pawn.
5 Challenges
Queen versus Rook-pawn on seventh

Queen versus Rook-pawn on seventh

White is up a Queen for a pawn but he can't win the game because his King is too far away.
3 Challenges
Queen versus pawn on sixth

Queen versus pawn on sixth

White always wins a Queen versus pawn on the sixth rank position- it doesn't matter what pawn the defender has or how far away White's King is.
5 Challenges
Passive Rook and pawn on sixth vs. Rook. The Tarrasch Defense

Passive Rook and pawn on sixth vs. Rook. The Tarrasch Defense

Black's Rook can't get behind the passed pawn and his King is far away. Sounds bad, doesn't it?
5 Challenges

Rook and Other Endgames

Endgames
39 Lessons
No Videos
244 Challenges
Released December 7, 2007
51,603 Students