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  Basic Ending, # 2 
   (King-and-Rook vs. a lone King)   

This is BOTH a text-score page and there is a js-replay board for you to play through the 
 main line of the solution. BUT! ... you still should probably have a chess board to be able to   
 follow this game in a relatively reasonable manner.   

 Click  HERE  to go to a page where I explain most-or-all of the symbols that I normally use  
  in annotating a chess game. 

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Any player, # 1 (1100) - A.O. player, # 2 (1100)
Practice Ending #2;  Pensacola, FL,  (USA)  20.07.2003

[A.J. Goldsby I]



Another basic ending.

If you have not gone over the first ending in this series, please do so now. 
Many of the ideas of that example apply here as well. 

(Position Check: White King on h1, White Rook on a1. 
 Black King on the d5-square. White to move in this position.) 

The main difference between this ending and the ending of  "K+Q vs. lone King,"  is that the player with 
 the King and Rook is required to make a much better use of his King than in the first example. 


1.Ra4!, {Diagram?}  
This is probably the best move, but it is certainly not the only move. 

Note how the Black King has been denied the use of nearly half the chess board. 

     [  The continuation of:  1.Ra5+!? Kd62.Ra6+? Kd5;  
         3.Ra5+??, {Diagram?}  accomplishes nothing. 


        A good move is:  1.Kg2{Diagram?}  planning on bringing the White King 
        into the game. (This will become necessary sooner or later.)  


        The move:  1.Re1, ('!')  {Diagram?}  
        accomplishes the same thing as our main line - to wit, cutting the board in half
         for the Black King.  ]   


1...Ke5;  {Diagram?}  
The defender in these endings ...  as a matter of principle ...  should always keep his King 
as near to the center as possible.  

Of course Black could play any move possible here. And ...Kc5 was also acceptable as well.

     [ The one thing Black should NOT do is run for the edge of the board. 
        I.e.,  1...Kd6?2.Ra5 Ke7?3.Ra6 Kf8??4.Ra7,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?} 
        and Black has made the first player's job a whole lot easier!! ]  


2.Kg2!,  {Diagram?}  
The simplest, and most likely, this is also the best. 

This ending varies greatly from the previous example ... there White could easily trap the 
opposing King in the corner, with no help at all from his own King. 

Here White must ACTIVELY use BOTH his King AND his Rook  ...  together.  Without the 
very close and active interaction between his forces, White will not be able to triumph. 

     [ White loses time with a line like:  2.Rc4, ('?')  2...Kd5{Diagram?}  
        and the Rook must flee, to avoid being captured. ]  


2...Kd5; {Diagram?}  
Following the principle of keeping his King as near the center as possible. 

Black should not fall back, but simply move back and forth and see if White knows his stuff. 
If this does not sound like 'fun' to you, I have a BIG news-flash for you: defense almost always 
requires patience, tenacity, and a near-imperturbable calm. 

In short, it is a lot like hard work! 

     [ 2...Kf5!? ]  


3.Kf3,  {Diagram?}  
This is probably best ... I don't see that a Rook move accomplishes much in this position.  

Remember what I said about the last example ... compared to that ending, this ending is much 
more difficult! It requires a much greater degree of active cooperation between White's King 
and the Rook.

     [ Maybe  3.Rh4!?,  


       The continuation of: 3.Ra1? Ke5; {Diagram?} 
       accomplishes nothing and simply wastes precious time. ]  


3...Ke5;  {Diagram?} 
Once more Black tries to keep his King as near the center for as long as he possibly can!  

And remember to stay away from the edges of the board when you have to play the defense 
in these endings.


4.Ke3; {Diagram?}  
Again this is probably best. 

  Note that White has:  "taken the opposition."    
  (This is said  anytime  two Kings  face off,  and the enemy King is basically 
    forced to move ... sideways or even backwards.)     

     [ 4.Rf4!? ]  


4...Kd5; {Diagram?}  
This is the correct way for Black to play the defense in this position. 

Remember, if you are not going to simply resign, then you are obligated to put up as 
much resistance as you possibly can! 

     [ </=  4...Kf5?!5.Re4 Kg56.Kf2! Kf57.Kf3 Kf6;  
        8.Kf4 Kg69.Re5{Diagram?} etc.  ]  


The next couple of moves are best/forced. 
(Note how White's next Rook move takes away nearly half of the remaining squares   
 away from Black's King.)  
5.Re4 Kc5;  6.Rd4 Kb5;  {Diagram?}  
You should now see that Black is slowly being driven away from the center. 

The FIRST GOAL for White ...  is to FORCE the enemy King to the edge of the board!  

     [ 6...Kc6!? ]  


White continues as before. Please note that the King and Rook used together is slowly  'herding' 
Black's King ... precisely where he does not want to go!  
7.Kd3 Kc5;  8.Kc3 Kb5;  {Diagram?}  
Black is forced back, no matter which way he chooses to go. 

     [ Possibly  8...Kb6!? 


       Or  8...Kc6;  and now  9.Kc4! ]  


9.Rc4 Kb6;  {Diagram?}  
Black is still being forced back.  

Note that Black avoids the edge of the board for as long as he can!  

     [ Worse is:  9...Ka5?!10.Rb4,  ("+/-") ]  


White now makes good use of the  'opposition.' 
10.Kb4! Kb7;  11.Kb5! Ka7;  12.Rc7+!,  {Diagram?}  
With this move, White's ...  SECOND (main) GOAL has been achieved. 
(Black's King is now forced into the corner.)

  --->  Of course the THIRD GOAL should be fairly obvious ...   
          White wants to administer a checkmate! 

     [ 12.Rc6!? ]  


12...Ka8!;  13.Kb6 Kb8; {Diagram?}  
Black now gains the opposition.


But if White knows a little trick, it is very easy to force mate. 

Basically, White must  'lose' a move, (tempo); but keep the same threats in force.


14.Rc1!,  {Diagram?}  
This is probably best.

White has now placed Black in a position known as ...  "Zugzwang." 
(Black is forced to make a move that he does not want to make, and one 
 that weakens his position!)  

     [ Of course any move along the c-file, - except c8! - would do the trick: 
        14.Rc6 Ka815.Rc8#.  


       Of course  NOT14.Rc8+?? Kxc8{Diagram?}  and it is a draw.  


       A MUCH inferior line is: </=  14.Rh7? Kc815.Kc6 Kd816.Rd7+ Ke8;   
       17.Kd6 Kf818.Re7 Kg819.Ke5 Kf820.Kf6,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}  
       and White still has to run his opponent into a corner  ...  AND  know the  
       "lose-a-move"  trick, to force the check-mate. ]  


14...Ka8; {Diagram?} 
This allows a mate, but is the ONLY legal move Black can make in this position.  

If Black wished to he could have resigned. (But to do so now, would be a little ... 
un-sportsmanlike, in my opinion.) 


15.Rc8#.  {Diagram?} 
And the game is over. 


 1 - 0 


This ending reminds me of a story one of my students once told me. 

He was a student of mine when he lived in Pensacola and we often studied chess together. 
Later - being in the Navy - he moved to another state. 

One of my ideas is it is incorrect to resign until it is obvious your opponent cannot go wrong. 
 (One move before mate?) 

He taught his son chess, and when he was about 8, he took him to a fairly large scholastic tournament. 
His son needed at least a draw in the last round to be eligible to win a trophy. At one point, being down
a lot of material, his son came to him and asked his permission to resign. He said, "no" and instructed his 
son to find some courage and play it out. Eventually he got his opponent down to a King and Rook 
versus a lone King. But he did not give up! He was rewarded, his equally young and inexperienced 
opponent forced him to the edge of the board, but apparently could not administer the mate!
(He told me on the phone: "He chased my son  'round and 'round  the chessboard ...  
 visiting each corner many times!")  In the end, the TD counted 50 moves, and then stepped in and 
declared the game a draw

And my friend's son got the trophy for first in his age class! 


A beginner should know this particular ending!!! 


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I   Copyright (c) A.J.G;  2003.  


   (All games - HTML code initially)  Generated with  ChessBase 8.0  

 Replay the basic moves of this ending just below. 

Any player - A.O. player
Simple Ending #2
Pensacola, FL, 20.07.2003

1.Ra4 Ke5; 2.Kg2 Kd5; 3.Kf3 Ke5; 4.Ke3 Kd5; 5.Re4 Kc5; 6.Rd4 Kb5; 7.Kd3 Kc5; 
8.Kc3 Kb5; 9.Rc4 Kb6; 10.Kb4 Kb7; 11.Kb5 Ka7; 12.Rc7+ Ka8; 13.Kb6 Kb8; 
Ka8; 15.Rc8#.

  1 - 0  

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   Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I    Copyright () A.J.G; 2003, 2004 & 2005.   

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 2005.  All rights reserved.  


  Page first posted in 2003.  Last edit or save on: 01/06/2005 . 

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