Rook Endgame

I like to show you a position that arose during our club games.

At the end of our club evening, there was still one game in progress.

All the other chess players had already finished their games, and gathered around this one board.

The players had very little time left to finish their game and  the tension could be felt by everyone.

After some interesting exchanges, the following position was reached.

Do you have some good ideas in this position? White has the move.

After you've drawn your own conclusions, let's walk through this position together.

Characteristics of the position:

Material is even.

You can see that the black rook has a good defending position. It is placed behind  the enemy pawn, so this pawn can't promote.

The black king has made himself a nice shelter. This way it can't be harassed by the white rook.

The white pawn on g2 prevents the black pawns from promoting.

The white rook can't play without losing the pawn on b7.

The white king has no shelter, but is more active than its counterpart.

Ideas for both sides:

White would like to promote its b7 pawn. 

White must prevent the black pawns from promoting.

If the black rook takes the g2-pawn, the white king must be near g2, to hold a draw.

Black wants to take the pawn on g2 (in the right circumstances), and then promote a pawn.

If the white rook moves away from b8, black must have the opportunity to take the pawn on b7 (or on b8 when it queens).

If black takes the g-2 pawn and then white covers the b2-square, this would mean that the black rook can't return to the b-file.

How it played out?

Black kept his rook on the b-file, so he didn't allow White to promote his pawn.

The white king  moved from e3 to c3 and back again, so he didn't allow Black to capture the g-pawn.

And after some more moves a draw was agreed.

I hope you're not disappointed....

Conclusion

This rook endgame is really drawn.

If you play the best moves, the other side can't win. 

A doubled pawn isn't always a problem.

The defending rook belongs behind the pawn.


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