A Practical Guide to Rook Endgames by Nikolay Minev, Yasser Seirawan

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By Nikolay Minev, Yasser Seirawan

Rook endgames signify nearly half all endings reached in grasp video games, so, it is important that chess gamers completely familiarize themselves with this severe a part of endgame research. increase figuring out and play of those most vital endings, with those transparent, accomplished motives.

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F5-f4 to get the pawn s rolling, but it requires some help from White ! 38 So after 2 ... liJf6 Black has a reduced capacity to m ake effective pawn breaks. f4, the little pawn move 3 a61 . •. In contrast to White's 2 liJc3, Bl ack avoids blocking in his c-pawn with ... liJc6. He intends to build up with ... liJf6, ... e7-e6, ... c7-c5 and only then ... liJc6. If he succeeds he h as a big g er centre than White. Such a strategy, with its multiple pawn moves, l ooks risky. However, Black is trustin g in the solidity of the Stonewall centre and the fact that White cannot easily arrange a pawn break.

Ixe2+ 32 lIxe2 :xe2 0-1 White loses a TOok after 3 3 "iVxe2 ':h 1+. if4 The thing most noteworthy here is 3 ... ttJf6 4 e4 - a gambit line in the style of the Staunton . Mahjoob, Tehe­ ran 2002. However, if White plays a solid move, say 4 e3, we are left wondering why the bishop went to f4 rather th an h4. ltf4 ttJf6 4 e3 d6 S h4 g61 Preparing the fianchetto and al so preventing an encroachment with 6 h 5 . lth4. White hasn't any counterplay along the h-file, as Black wasn't re­ quired to play ...

Fxe4. 8 0-0-0 cxd S 9 ttJxd s After 9 i.. xf6 gxf6 10 ttJxdS Black can tran spose with 10 ... e6. I can sympathize if you find this po­ sition rather scary for Black, but let's not forget that White no longer h as a battering ram in the shape of a centre pawn . Unless Bl ack blunders, there's no good reason why White shoul d be able to break through his defen sive line. e6! Here's a way for Black to blunder and lose: 9 ... b6?? 10 i.. xf6 gxf6 (or 10 ... e7 - 11 ... h 6+ (if 11 ... b 7 it's m ate in one) 12 'it'b1 and Black h as no defence to the double threats of 1 3 ttJxf6+ and 13 ttJxe7, uncovering an attack on a8.

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