Rook Endings – Now Aren’t They Tricky?

I played in a quad yesterday, scoring 2/3 and tied for first place. While I feel like I should have done better, I left the tournament with this little gem.

Stevens – Steincamp (Meadowdale Quads, 2014)

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 8.32.02

My opponent had been fairly passive in the endgame, and now after 37… Re3, I can threaten 38…h5-h4, because after 39.g4 Rxh3 40. g5 Rg3 and I am up a pawn. And if White should trade 41. Rxg3 hxg3 42. g6 g2 41. g7 g1=Q -+. My opponent, not finding anything to do, played 38. g4?!. h3-h4 would have been a much better alternative. 38… Rxh3 39. g5 Rh5+ This check is critical for this line to work. 40. Kb5 Rg4 Now should White trade rooks, my king is in the pawn square, so I will win easily. 41. Rd7+ Kc7 42. Rd5?? Instantly loses the game. I found 42… a6+ 43. Kxa6 Kc6! and my opponent resigned.

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 8.32.17

This move not only threatens the rook, but checkmate with Ra4+. White cannot stop the checkmate with 44.Ra5 obviously, so the rook is lost.

Feel like I missed something? Feel free to comment below!

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