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Rook Vs Pawn(s) - Counting method

Rook Vs Pawn(s) - Counting method

Every week an endgame theme will be presented.

The rook endings are the most common ending in practice. Some of the rook endings end up in a Rook vs. Pawn(s) ending when one of the players is forced to give up the rook for an advanced passed pawn.

Rook Vs Pawn

In order to solve the diagram position, the first method we have to analyse is counting tempi for the attacker and for the defender.

The attacker (white) needs 5 tempi to control the promotion square with both rook and king .

On the other hand, the defender (black) needs 5 tempi to promote the pawn.

It's easy to understand that if White is to move, wins; if Black is to move, draws.

1. Kg5! First thing to do is to bring the King. if White changes the move order and starts with 1. Rc8?  then Black can bring his King to the other side and draw thanks to a brilliant move 1... Kc3!!
1... c3 2. Kf4 c2 3. Rc8 Kb3 4. Ke3 Kb2 5. Kd2 and White King has arrived in time.

Remember:  This method works when there are no special circumstances. For example; the kings are not going not meet because they stand at different sides of the pawn; the rook checks do not win any tempi.

Sources:  Jesús de la Villa - 100 Endgames You Must Know   



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