Friday, December 27, 2013

The twelve rook and pawns of Christmas

White to play


Anonymous said...

I know what you're going to say. Rxf7 only draws. it's more important to bring the king across.

Anonymous said...

Rook against three can be a real horror as three connected pawns supported by a King can be winning. It wouldn't be rare either as it can be a logical consequence of sacrificing pawns for a promotion.

Table-bases are in agreement with comment 1 that Rxf7 only draws, but it would be easy to stumble into a loss playing an inferior move in the R v 3.

If it were a match or tournament where not losing was important, Rxf7 would be the pragmatic choice.

An actual game reaching this position was Gurevich v Glek from 2002 which was played by Gurevich accurately according to the tablebases.


Jonathan B said...

Rxf7 does draw.

Any offers as to how/why moving the king does better?

Anonymous said...

Ok my account goes

1. Kc3 f5
2. Kd3 f4
3. Ke2 g5 (... Kg3; 4. Rg7) (... Kg4; 4. Kf2)
4. Kf3 ...


Anonymous said...

This one used to be considered important because it arises in some analysis by Steckner of a tricky R+4 v R+3 endgame. (See However the analysis was later superseded so the defender is not forced to go for this 3 pawns v rook position any more.

Jonathan B said...

Good spot.

Yes, I got this from the bit of Hawkins' book where he looks at the Steckner position.

More in the solutions post which is due on the 6th January.