Endgame: rook versus pawn

Winning an endgame with a rook against a lone pawn should be straightforward. But sometimes things are not so easy. These endgames can get a lot more complicated when the pawn is close to promotion.

Even more problems might arise when the pieces of the stronger side are in the wrong places.

When both problems occur in the same position, the ‘stronger’ side might be dead lost. See the first diagram. This position was posted by international chess master Johan Salomon from Norway on his twitter account. It is white to play and win. Solution…Read More »

King first

In the middle game the king is usually a weak piece that we try to hide in a save place. But when most of the pieces came of the board, suddenly the monarch springs to life.

The king can be a very dangerous attacker. The golden endgame rule is ‘king first’.

See the first diagram (I). This is of course a very simple endgame, we should all know how to win.

A terrible mistake would be to move the pawn first. In that case the black king simply stands in front of the pawn and white can’t make any progress. The correct way of course is to first move the king up the board and to get hold of the important squares in front of the pawn. 

Of course this is a very simple situation. The chances that we get this endgame on the board are very slim. But these simple examples are the building blocks for more complicated situations.Read More »