Rook vs Two Connected Pawns
(Part Two)

This is the second part on rook vs two connected pawns.

If you missed the first part, you can find it under rook vs two connected pawns.

In the first part, you've seen that two connected pawns on the third rank are very strong. Especially if the rook's king is out of play.

In the following position the rook's king is very active.

rook vs two connected pawns 5

The pawns have already reached the third rank and the king is supporting them. The position looks very dangerous for White. Who is winning here?

Although it looks very dangerous, looks can be deceiving.

White wins with the maneuver 1.Ra8!, (followed by Rf8).

With the white king in front of the pawns, white is able to parry all threats.

When Black advances a pawn, White's king will go to the second rank (1...e2, 2.Kf2; or 1...f2, 2.Ke2). This will leave the white king in a dominant position and that's an easy win for White.

So Black tries something with his king.

1...Ke4; 2.Rf8,

rook vs two connected pawns 5 b

Checking the king leads nowhere. It's a far better idea to attack a pawn. This causes Black to run out of options.

2....Kd3;

rook vs two connected pawns 5 c

Black sets his last trap. If White takes the f3 pawn now, it will end in a draw. After 3.Rxf3, Kd2; the e-pawn will have a clear way to the queening square, so the rook has to take the pawn to prevent White from losing.

White has a far better alternative, and once you've seen it, I hope you'll never forget it.

3 .Ke1!,

rook vs two connected pawns 5 d

This move may look frightening, but it is very good. It prevents black from advancing the pawns, because after 3...f2, 4.Kf1, e2; 5. Kxf2, The black king doesn't cover the queening square. Black needs to play 5...Kd2 to help the pawn promote, but White will then be able (just in time) to chase the king away with 6. Rd8!

3....Ke4; 4.Rf7,

rook vs two connected pawns 5 e

White plays a waiting move with the rook. This way the Black king can't move, as that would give up the f-pawn. So Black has to move a pawn.

4....f2+; 5.Ke2,

rook vs two connected pawns 5 f

The white king now has a very good position. The rook has to perform the finishing touch.

5....Kd4; 6. Rf3, 

rook vs two connected pawns 5 g

Now Black's pawns will both fall (6...Black king anywhere; 7. Rxe3,).

This ends the second part of the rook vs two connected pawns.

You may now go to part three of the rook vs two connected pawns.


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