We have discussed at length about basic chess endings with Rook and Pawn as also some special techniques for handling a few typical situations. We also said that with Rooks present, a majority of one or two pawns often do not yield much benefit and such chess endgames are more likely to result in a draw, especially if the pawns are on the same side with their Kings close at hand.
But that is only a general observation. In this article we go through the lengthy process of playing through such a situation where White thought that exact play could give him a win with his single pawn majority if he could get a passed and protected KP.
At first sight, there does not seem to be much prospect of a win for White, so let us see what exactly was in his mind! We can of course see that White King cannot advance now without losing the BP.
|1.||Rb6||Ra2||White’s move blocked Black King’s support to his KBP.
|2.||Rd6||Rb2||Black is shuttling his Rook on rank 2 as ‘wait and watch’ policy while preventing White King from moving forward
|3.||Kg2||Ra2||3. Kg3 f4+ 4. Kxf4 Rxf2+ loses a pawn for White or 3. Kg3 f4+ 4. exf4 doubles the pawns effectively giving White BP and RP against Black’s RP which is a technical draw|
|5.||Rd4||Ra6||Other options are worse for Black e.g.,
5. … Ra2 6. Kg3 Kf6 7. Rb4 Ke5 8. Rb7 f4+ 9. Kf3
5. … Ra2 6. Kg3 Re2 7. Rb4 Kf6 8. Rb6+ Kf7 9. h5 Kg7 10. Rb7+ Kh6 11. Rf7 Kg5 12. f4+ Kh6 13. Kf3 wins as Black K is out of position and both Black R and BP are en prise
|9.||f3||Ra6||Black R cannot leave rank 6 for fear of check by White R|
|11.||Rb7||Rc4+||White was threatening 12. Rh7 followed by 13. Rxh6|
|13.||fxe4||Rc5||Whie has got his passed KP. Black could possibly try Rc1 here instead of waiting till move 16|
|15.||Rg6+||Kh7||Black’s only move to save his RP. If White had a passed KBP rather than KP, Black could have saved the game.|
|18.||Rg3||Rh4+||18. … Rxh5 19. e7 wins for White
18. … Re1 19. Re3 Rf1+ 20. Ke5 Rf8 21. e7 Re8 22. Ke6 Kg1 23. Kd7 Kf7 24. Rf3+ followed by 25. Kxe8
|22.||e7||Re1||22. … Rf1+ 23. Ke5 Re1+ 24. Re4|
|25.||Kg6||Black is helpless.
25. … Rg1+ 26. Kh5 Rg8 27. Rf8 Kg7 28. Rxg8+ Kxg8 29. e8=Q+
Alternatively, Black R can continue giving check while the White K keep moving in zig-zag fashion between g-file and h-file till it reaches rank 2 (g6-h5-g4-h3-g2) after which Black runs out of check and White KP gets promoted.