Rook endgame strategy ?

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Rook endgame strategy ?

Post by HangingKing on March 19th 2010, 3:39 pm

Hello, today the subject is about endgame strategy.
Here is the position reached after move 42.



In this game i have clearly material advantage with 2 pawns up, and everything is safe.
I played it straightforward, and simplified onto kingside to reach this position later.



But at this point i realized it seems to be drawish, despite the material advantage.
The best option i found from here was this :



And my opponent made the fatal mistake, playing Rb2, allowing me to go in Rf2 and fork the rook and king, while my own king is near enough to come in b2.



My question is : what would be your strategy in the starting position ?
Do i have to give up my a2 pawn and concentrate on promoting on kingside ? I do not see an easy plan to do it anyway.
2 pawns up, should be easy, but i do not clearly see how to do it.
Insights are welcome.

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Re: Rook endgame strategy ?

Post by hoopy on March 19th 2010, 9:19 pm

I have not studied it in detail & there is a good chapter on these types of engames in ICS my first reactions are:Definite win for black. Two Strategies for winning.


1)) Need to threaten mate to distract the rooks from the a pawn.
In doing this either rooks will exchange or will win another K side pawn.
It looks as if you marched the pawns in front of the king rather than the other way around. This would limit opportunities to threaten mate.

2) The alternative approach is to use rooks to prevent whites king from advancing and move king to support the a pawn thus freeing a rook to attack the K side pawns.

3) i DON'T KNOW HOW BUT THE WAY YOU DID IT!!
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Re: Rook endgame strategy ?

Post by Tweety on March 20th 2010, 5:49 am

My plan would be to advance h4, gaining space in the kingside, then exchange my a pawn with the white g pawn, leaving the white h pawn very weak and probably white would not defence it due to the white king is on the rooks way, reaching an ending with three pawns up. If white moves first, he can not avoid black to play h4, for instance, if white play 1. h4 - R5a4 2. g3 - Rg4 getting the ending we want. If 1. Rb4 - R5a4 white can not exchange a rook allowing black to play h4, white can not exchange rooks because black will move his king to f4, later to g3 then exchange h and g pawns, the drawish pawns, and black win due to his f pawn. To achieve this plan we need only to save all the obstacles white will throw at us to try to avoid it and make it as difficult as possible. I made up this plan very quickly without a board and probably I would have overlooked something I will analyse later with the board.
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Re: Rook endgame strategy ?

Post by HangingKing on March 22nd 2010, 10:55 am

To Hoopy :

Here is how it went :
43. Ke2 Kh6 44. Kf2 f6 45. Ke2 g5 46. Kf2 h4 47. Ke2 Kh5 48. Kf2 f5 49. Ke2 g4 50. hxg4+ fxg4 51. Kf2 h3 52. gxh3 Rxh3 53. Kg2 Rha3 54. Kf2 Kh4 55. Kg2 R5a4 56. Kh2 g3+ 57. Kg2 Rf4 58.Rc2 Kg4 59. Rb2 Rfa4 60. Rc2 Kf4 61. Rb2 Ke4 62. Rc2 Kd3 63. Rb2 Kc3 64. Re2 Kb4 65. Rb2+ Ka5 66. Re2 Rf4 67. Rb2 Rf2+ 68. Rxf2 gxf2 69. Kxf2 Kb4 70. Ke2 Kb3 71. Kd2 Kb2 {White resigns} 0-1

In fact i realized after the simplification that the game is a draw, because i'm forced to defend a2 pawn.
My idea at the beginning was to put a rook on h2, so if a2 is taken, i take back, he take back, and then i fork K+R with a rook in h2.
But this works only if white moves his king away from g file, which he didn't do, so with this plan, i gives also my g pawn.

This plan worked for only one reason, white blunders when he played Rb2. If he plays Rxa2, it is a draw as i explained above.

To Tweety :

I think your idea is better than mine, i transformed a good 3 pawns chain into 2 isolated pawns, thus weakening my position more than necessary.

I like the h4 advance idea, yet this is something i really have difficulties to see while playing.
Also the concept of giving the a2 pawn for a tempo on kingside is valuable, i just didn't find enough courage to do it in this game, and felt compulsed to defend a2.

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Re: Rook endgame strategy ?

Post by Tweety on March 22nd 2010, 6:48 pm

You played ok until the 50th move where you should have taken with the king instead of pawn, then advance the h pawn and exchange it with the white g pawn, then you have pawns on a2 and f5, the one on a2 doesn't allow the white rooks to move freely, so advancing the f pawn creates the final threat. There is a book from Dvoretsky where he explains a similar ending, two rooks instead of four. Firstly with the a pawn only and once we know how to defend it and get a draw, add a pawn on the h file, then on g file which are drawn positions because the defending king stay on h7 or g7. Finally he does the same with a f pawn and here the stronger side wins.
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