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  1. 30 Jun '14 13:44 / 3 edits
    Hey,

    does anyone understand rook endgames a little?

    I know I have to keep the rooks active (by using them on open files and ranks), use them to support pawns to promotion and get the king into action. But in practice, my rooks often end up in the wrong (ie passive) places, with a king that is often shielded from infiltrating enemy pawn chains.

    Please have a look at the game below (Game 10574985), especially from move 25 onwards (I'm black). I have two extra pawns at that stage, but seem to be having too much trouble to convert it into the win. I succeeded after all, but it felt close at some point.

    Do you have any feedback, advice, other methods?

  2. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    30 Jun '14 16:42 / 1 edit
    On move 35 you could have tried 35. ... Ra2, hitting his f-pawn. It's not ideal as either you lose the b-pawn or you end up with your rook in front of, rather than behind your passed pawn. Rook and pawn endings can be difficult to win, but there are two things you can do with your rook. One is support passed pawns, to do that they should be behind the pawn (your opponent had his rook in the right place). Another, which your opponent also did, is to cut off the king. Wikipedia has good advice on this see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_endgame#Rook_and_pawn_endings
  3. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    30 Jun '14 21:51 / 1 edit
    I like 27...Rc2 and if 28.Ra1 I'm willing to swap the a-pawn for the b3 pawn.

    Pigs on the 7th! White's K has a hard time getting over to help because the K-side pawns are always in danger.

    Also, it's better to avoid committal moves like ...f5 if possible. Ideally, the bK would be in the center guarding the e4 pawn.
  4. 01 Jul '14 08:05
    BigDogg,

    I played f5 to defend e4, restrict white's kingside pawns, and at the same time create a shorter path for my king to the center of the board. Is it a bad move?

    I sure like the Rc2-idea. It would have kept my rook much more active.

    Thx
  5. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    01 Jul '14 15:34
    Originally posted by tvochess
    BigDogg,

    I played f5 to defend e4, restrict white's kingside pawns, and at the same time create a shorter path for my king to the center of the board. Is it a bad move?

    I sure like the Rc2-idea. It would have kept my rook much more active.

    Thx
    I'm not sure I'd call it 'bad'. But you're protecting e4 and weakening e6, so you've merely exchanged weaknesses, and why? White wasn't yet on the attack. ...f5 can be played later if need be.

    But the most important thing is to make sure you keep your activity. Your K did not actually get to the center. Your R was not posted as aggressively as it should have been.

    Sure, the K takes longer to get to the center via f8, e7, etc. but it will eventually get there, especially if black's R is tying down white's pieces to defense.

    The last thing I'll note is that by bringing your K in on the K-side, it couldn't get in very far because white's pawns restricted it. On the Q-side, there wouldn't be this problem.
  6. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    01 Jul '14 16:07 / 1 edit
    I don’t think you want to get the position that you had at move 35.

    Your rook and pawn on the queenside are stuck. You can’t move either without losing a pawn (maybe you can get one back on the kingside, but you’ll still have lost your passed pawn).

    I imagine you’re still winning, but it seems to be harder than it need be.


    I don’t particularly like the plan of ... f7, ... Kf7, ... g5 either. It’s going to take a long time to get a passed pawn on the kingside.

    How about this instead:-

    on move 27 you play ... a5. Then you put your rook back on a8 and push the pawn as far as you can. That keeps your rook active and - just as important - completely ties his down.

    If his king comes over he can win your pawn eventually - but you use the six moves or so it’ll take him to create a winning king and pawn ending on the kingside. If his king doesn’t come over, yours does. And you win that way.

    Against this there doesn’t seem to be anything active that he can do. I don’t see any problems for you at all. Certainly nothing like the stickiness that you ended up with when his rook is ideally placed (on b8, behind the pawn and ready to harass your king with checks) and yours is tied up.