Monday, November 22, 2010

Dr. Nunn's guide for the perplexed

From chapter 8 of Nunn's Chess Endings, Volume 2 (I haven't gotten around to buying Volume 1):

8.2 Rook vs Pawns

There are a surprising number of subtleties in endings in which a lone rook faces enemy pawns, and here we shall focus on those which are of greatest importance in over-the-board play.

8.2.1 Hesitation checks

By hesitation check I mean that a piece traveling from square A to square B gives an intermediary check on square C before moving to B.  The point is that if the enemy king is already on its best square, the hesitation check forces the king to an inferior square.  It might seem unnecessary to give a special name to such an elementary concept, but it often helps to have a label to refer to a particular theme.  Hesitation checks play an important role in rook endings and are often overlooked in practice.
 Have another go at it!

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