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Old September 5th 03, 10:19 AM
Frank
 
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Default Rook and pawn endgame - analysis requested

On 4 Sep 2003 21:32:18 -0700, (Richard) wrote:

At the Florida State Championship this past weekend, I ended up down a
pawn in a rook and pawn endgame and lost. I'm now analyzing the game
by myself, and I'd appreciate any advice. The position after white's
56th move was:

white: king on g3, rook on a5, pawns on d3, e2, f3, and g4
black: king on g6, rook on h1, pawns on e6, f7, and h6

After 56. ... h5 57. Rxh5 Rxh5 58. gxh5+ Kxh5, white had no problem
forcing the win.


While trading off pawns to reduce White's drawing chances is a good
idea, you must keep the rooks on. Otherwise, you simply fall into a
pawn endgame where White not only has an extra pawn but the superior
king position as well, i.e. 59. Kf4.

My opponent told me that he thought pushing the h pawn and trading
rooks was the game losing mistake. I should have been playing defense
and making him try to prove that he could win, rather than actively
trying to trade down like I did.

I'm not very good at these types of endgames, so I'm wondering how I
should have played. Is this really a drawn position with proper play
by black, or could white have forced the situation and won with best
play?


White has a number of things in his favor besides the extra pawn.
White's active rook cutting off the Black king, White's king can
invade on the dark squares, and Black's rook is not doing anything
particularly useful. I probably would have tried 56... Rd1 (holding
up d- and e-pawn advances) 57. Kf4 f6 with perhaps something like 58.
Ke4 e5 59. e3. Black has some drawing chances here, although I'm not
terribly optimisic myself.

-Frank
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Old September 5th 03, 02:18 PM
Claus-Jürgen Heigl
 
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Default Rook and pawn endgame - analysis requested

Richard wrote:
My opponent told me that he thought pushing the h pawn and trading
rooks was the game losing mistake. I should have been playing defense
and making him try to prove that he could win, rather than actively
trying to trade down like I did.

I'm not very good at these types of endgames, so I'm wondering how I
should have played. Is this really a drawn position with proper play
by black, or could white have forced the situation and won with best
play?


Wether the rook endgame is drawn or not, you had at least some
fighting chances, whereas the pawn endgame is completely won for
White and not that difficult.

You donīt have to trade pawns for yourself, White will do that for
you. To win, White has to create a passed pawn. Therefore White
will push pawns giving you the opportunity to swap them off.

For example:

1...Re1 2. Kf2 (2. e4 Rd1 3. Ra3 e5) 2...Rb1 3. e4 f6 4. d4 Rb2+
5. Kg3 (5. Ke3 Rb3+ 6. Kf4 Rb4 7. d5 exd5 8. Rxd5 Rb6 looks quite
drawish) 5. Kg3 Rd2 6. d5 (6. Ra6 Rxd4 7. Rxe6 Kf7 I donīt see how
White can make progress) 6...exd5 7. exd5

White has managed to create the passed pawn. But the game is still
not won because the black rook is active.

7...f5 8. Kf4 (8. Ra6+ Kf7 9. Rd6 fxg4 10. Kxg4 Ke7 11. Re6+ Kd7
12. Rxh6 Rxd5 draw; 8.gxf5 Kxf5 is a also a draw) 8...fxg4 9. fxg4
Rd4+ 10. Kg3 (10. Ke5 Rxg4 11. Ra7+ Ke8 is drawn) 10...Kg5 11. d6+
Kg6 12. Ra6 Kg5 13. Kf3 Kf6 14. d7+ Kg7 15. Ra7 Kg6 16. Kg3 idea Kh4
16...Rd1. The passed pawn alone wonīt make it, the white king is
blocked out by the black king and h6 canīt be captured. Looks like
a draw.

Claus-Juergen
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Old September 5th 03, 07:08 PM
Ron
 
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Default Rook and pawn endgame - analysis requested

In article ,
(Richard) wrote:

My opponent told me that he thought pushing the h pawn and trading
rooks was the game losing mistake. I should have been playing defense
and making him try to prove that he could win, rather than actively
trying to trade down like I did.


There's a really basic principle that you don't seem to understand:

When you're ahead in material, you want to trade material.

This is an oversimplification: let's say you win a bishop in the early
going. You have two bishops, two knights, two rooks, and a queen.
(3+3+3+3+5+5+9)=31 pts worth of material. Your opponent, minus a bishop,
has 28 points of material. You have about 11% more firepower than he
does.

Now trade off the rooks and queens and knights. You now have six
points--two bishops--and he has three. You now have 100% more firepower
than he does! Your relative advantage has gotten much, much bigger.

Similarly, in your position: he has a measley extra pawn. R+4
pawns=nine points. Your Rook+three pawns=eight points. Again, about an
eleven percent "firepower" advantage. (Yes, I know, this is an
oversimplifcation, but I think it illustrates the priciple). Trade rooks
and a pair of pawns and all of a sudden he has a 3 pts vs 2
advantage--he has 50% more firepower than you do! His relative advantage
is much bigger.

Another way to think about it (because this is an absolutely crucial
fundamental principle): the more pieces there are on the board, the more
complications you can create, which gives you more chances to win some
material back.

The exception to this rule involves pawns. In an endgame, it is often
favorable for the weaker side to trade pawns--that gives his opponent
fewer pawns to queen and win the game win.

I don't know if this position is a forced draw or not. I almost think it
doesn't matter-- because you opponent probably isn't going to play
perfectly. So what you need to do is give yourself chances to win the
game. With rooks on, those chances exist. Without rooks, they're much
harder to come by. Don't think about what the perfect assessment of the
position is, instead, think about how you can fight to save half a point.
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Old September 18th 03, 07:32 AM
Mandy
 
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Default Rook and pawn endgame - analysis requested

I agree with the others. This isn't necessarily a drawn position, but
you MUST keep the rooks on the board in order to have any chance of
getting a draw. Why simplify when you are trying to make the win
difficult for White?
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