Thursday, September 1, 2011

Simple rook ending

IM Rolando Nolte - IM Jimmy Liew
The position is from the game IM Rolando Nolte - IM Jimmy Liew , Merdeka Team Rapids. Although I reached a theoretical draw, there simply was not enough time on the clock. Matter of fact I lost on time after a couple of moves.

The black king is cut off by two files from the passed pawn. Nevertheless, black can still draw because the white pawn is only on the third rank. This requires that the defending king be cut off by three files. When the pawn is that far back, there is an instructive drawing resource. Black to move draws with


The point of this move is that black can prevent the pawn from advancing by attacking it from the front contrary to normal "behind the pawn" principles.

2. g4 Rh8+ 3. Kg3 Rg8

Black prevents the pawn from advancing further. If the white king comes out from behind the pawn, checks will take care of that.

4. Re4 Kd5!

The white rook cannot simultaneously protect the pawn and cut off the black king.

5. Kf3 Rf8+ 6. Rf4 Rg8! 7. Rf6 Ke5 8. Rh6 Rf8+ 9. Kg3 Rf6! 10.  Rh7 Rg6 11. Rf7 Ke6 12. Rf4 Rf6

Black's king will reach the front of  the pawn with a drawn position.


John Wong said...

The best way to explain this ending is the concept of checking distance. As the pawn is on the 3rd rank, Black moves his rook to the 8th rank achieving the checking distance of 3 or more squares between the black Rook and white King.

The other concept is to ensure that the defending King gets to the queening square of the pawn. When that is done, Black can safely draw.

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