Chess Endgame Tactics: Handling Rook and Pawn endings

Filed under Chess Basics, Chess lessons, Chess tactics, Endgame Tactics
Tagged as ,

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.

Rook and Pawn ending with multiple pawns

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
4. h4 Ra4  
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
6. Kg3 Kf6  
7. Kf4 h6  
8. h5 Rb6  
9. f3 Ra6   Black R cannot leave rank 6 for fear of check by White R
10. Rb4 Rc6  
11. Rb7 Rc4+   White was threatening 12. Rh7 followed by 13. Rxh6
12. e4 fxe4  
13. fxe4 Rc5   Whie has got his passed KP. Black could possibly try Rc1 here instead of waiting till move 16
14. Rb6+ Kg7  
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.
16. e5 Rc1  
17. e6 Rh1  
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
19. Rg4 Rh1  
20. Kf5 Rxh5+  
21. Kf6 Rh1  
22. e7 Re1   22. … Rf1+ 23. Ke5 Re1+ 24. Re4
23. Rg7+ Kh8  
24. Rf7 Rf1+  
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.


Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *