Rook and Pawn endgames strike back

I've done more than one session on this topic in the past, so the
examples are all already on the website, but some pointers for newcomers
might be helpful:

A. Many Rook and Pawns endgames can be judged as win or drawn at a
glance, some are more critical. Some basic cases with one side a pawn
up have been worked out and must be learned:

1. Philidor's position shows how to draw when your King has control of
the Queening square.

2. Lucena's positions shows how to win when the defending King does not
have control of the Queening square.

3. With the defending King distant, you can draw against an advanced a-pawn.

4. If you know the basic positions, you can use them to guide your play,
combined with a bit of general endgame science:

a. Regis-Walker shows White a pawn down but drawing without trouble when
focussed on swapping pawns and reducing to Philidor's position.

b. Smyslov-Botvinnik is tough, but we know from (3) that an a-pawn may
not be enough, and indeed an extra a- and g-pawn may not be enough.
What you need to go with an a-pawn is an f-pawn. Euwe's analysis shows
that Black can wangle a position with locked f-pawns, win the f-pawn,
and call House.

B. There are some recurring tactics in Rook endgames:

1. Skewering the defending Rook (examples: (a) Lasker's study, and (b)
the case with a- and f-pawns)

2. Stalemate (Bernstein-Smyslov)

C. General endgame principles can be seen in classic endgames by
Capablanca and Tartakower:

1. Attacking weaknesses
2. Rook on the seventh
3. Probing and stretching defences across the whole board
4. Limiting counterplay

See, in particular, Capa's games against Kreymbourg, Janowski and Kupchik

Could you take on one of those endgames against another member of the
club, or against your computer, and get the right result?

Chess Quotes

The name of the theme used for this Drupal site is Scaccarium, designed by one BWPanda, to whom are due many thanks.  The word scaccarium comes from medieval Latin scaccarium 'chessboard', from scaccus, itself a derivation of the Persian shah ('king'). By another route, scaccarium led to the Old French word eschiquier, and from there to the