The Tedious World of Rook Endings

4 Pawns vs 3 Pawns with All the Pawns on the Same Side

Most players know this is a theoretical draw.  Let’s have a closer look at the examples in Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual.


Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual

Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual



Korchnoi-Antoshin USSR ch 1954(Diagram)

If Black were on the move, the standard drawing plan is ..h5 followed by ..g6 and then trade off pawns whenever possible for the draw.

White to play

so anticipating the coming ..h5, White played 1.h5

White to Play

White to Play

After 1.h5(diagram)

Black to play

So is this a draw? or can White squeeze out a win?

Black to Play

Black to Play

In order to grasp what is going on, knowledge of three other positions in needed

Position 1

Petrosian-Keres USSR ch 1951

Black to Play(Diagram)

This is a well-known standard draw type of position.

Black to Play

Black to Play

1..h5! is the key move and rear attacks by the black rook is the key defensive method.

Position 2

Botvinnik-Najdorf Moscow ol 1956

White to Play(Diagram)

This is a winning position for White.
The e4-e5 advance cannot be prevented and the weak light squares make it easy for the white king to infiltrate further and attack the backward g-pawn(with Kg6 to start with)

White to Play

White to Play

1.Ra5 starts the winning process

Position 3

Capablanca-Yates Hastings 1930/31

White to Play(Diagram)

The winning plan is
-transfer the rook to the 8th rank

White to Play

White to Play

1.Rd6 is the optimal solution

And now back to the original question

Korchnoi-Antoshin USSR ch 1954

After 1.h5(Diagram)

Black to play and what result?

In the game after mutual errors, White eventually won. The analysis was quite confusing and I had to take quite a long time to get a better understanding.

Black to Play

Black to Play

1..Ra5! draws

The defensive method is
-provoke g3-g4(completely not obvious why)
-prevent e4-e5 with ..f6(key move)
-..Kg8-h7 to prevent Kg6 infiltration(also not obvious)
-side and rear attacks on the pawns.

All examples together

Posted on September 16, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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