Famous Rook Endgame

Rook endings are tough, and you never know when gimmicks can save you a result.

White to move – Is there a draw?

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 12.39.55

This famous position is from Bernstein–Smyslov, Gronigen 1946. If you found 1. Rxb2!! you have found the only way to reach equality. 1… Rh2+ runs into 2. Kf3!! as capturing the rook will result in stalemate. Furthermore, if Black tries 1… Kg4 2. Kf1 draws because 2… Rh1+ 3. Kg2 will not allow Black to skewer White’s pieces. 1/2–1/2

Know this position! This is a key defensive mechanism when the opponent’s pawns are separated by several files.


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