Monday, November 30, 2015

Basic Rook vs Minor Piece Endgames: Part 3

It's about time I release the solutions to our earlier challenge. Trust me, they're really simple:

Position 1: White to move and win

The tricky part here is to trap Black's king in the same coloured square as his bishop -- in this case the corner a8. Once this is done, the rest is manageable so long as you have revised on Part 1. To trap the enemy king, a team effort by king and rook is necessary:

1. Rb6+ Ka7

Otherwise the bishop is left hanging.

2. Kc6 Bd3
3. Kc7 Bh7

Of course Black could move the bishop to any other square, but White still wins so long as he employs the same method: Driving the bishop to the a-file.

4. Rh6 Bg8
5. Rg6 Bh7
6. Rg7 Be4

Now the rest is easy, if you have studied Part 1.

7. Rg4 Bc2
8. Rg2 Bb3
9. Rg3 Ba4
10. Ra3

Winning the bishop and the game.

Position 2: Black to move and win

In Position 2 the knight is on the side of the board but not in the corner. Black's king guards one of the escape squares g4, so Black's rook must find a way to cut off the other 3 escape routes and trap the knight. With this in mind, finding the correct move becomes a piece of cake:

1. Rf8! Kd4
2. Kg5

And Black wins the knight and the game.


Easy, wasn't it? Of course, we are talking about basic rook vs minor piece endgames... games with more pieces and pawns won't be so straightforward! But at least we won't be talking about them over here... or will we? (:

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