Monday, June 25, 2012

All rook endings are drawn...

...except for the ones that aren't. The comments to Jim Duffy's game made me take another look:

Fabijonas-Duffy, CICL Individual Championship
After 33...Ke6
White to play and draw
(more than one solution, but there's a simple route)

After 46.g4
Find Black's best move

After 48...Rxa1
Find White's best move


Frederick Rhine said...

34.a4! equalizes, intending 35.axb5 axb5 36.Ra7 (or 36.Ra5 in some lines) with counterplay.

46...Rh4!, holding up White's pawns, looks winning for Black.

After 49.g5!, White's pawns are very fast and Black is fighting to draw. Note that 49...Rh1? 50.g6! Rxh5 51.g7 is game over - White queens with check. A better try is 49...Kc3 (avoiding the c4 square, which would allow White to queen with check) 50.g6 b4 51.g7 Rg1 52.h6 b3 53.h7 b2.

Bill Brock said...

In the first position, 34.b4! is indeed a very instructive draw. It doesn't matter that White loses the b-pawn, does it?

In the second position, I must confess that the extremely cute 46...Rh4?! did not occur to me. (Houdini ranks it as second-best, essentially tied with the game move 46...a2?! at depth 19.) White has only one reply after 46...Rh4?!, 47.g5!, which appears to save the game. (The Black rook has lost checking distance.)

In the third position, 49.g5! is indeed critical. Black has a good practical response, the flexible 49...b4!? What then?