Very difficult endgame

This is an extremely difficult endgame

White to move and draw. It is quite long and it requires a lot of calculation and knowledge.

Comments (9)
No. 1-9
Alena
Alena

I misplaced the black king. I put it on e3 instead of g3 :(

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

In any case, to speed things along here is what I was getting at: 1.Rf4! Kg3 2.Rf8 Re4 3.Rh8 h4 4.Rg8 Rg4 5.Rxg4! Kg4 6.Ke1/e2=. The position of the white king is critical in both the drawing lines for white, and those that lose. In the 1.Rb2+ lines, black gets a tempo to push the white king back to the c-file- this is enough to win the game in that line, and 1.Rf4 prevents black from checking from d5 to push the king back to the c-file.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Alena, 4.Ke1 is an illegal move. Is there a typo or an omitted move in your line?

Alena
Alena

For example

1.Rf4+ Kg3
2.Rf8 Re4
3.Rh8 h4
4.Ke1 Kf3+
5.Kf1 Kg3
6.Rg8+ Kh2
7.Rg2+ Kh3
8.Ra2 Rg4
9.Rb2 Rg3
10.Ra2 Rg5
11.Rb2 Rg7
It's a draw.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Now consider this line where black plays to prevent the check from g8 that force the king onto the h-file in front of the pawn: 1.Rf4! Kg3 2.Rf8 Re4 preparing to play Rg4 if needed. How does white deal with this?

Alena
Alena

The only chance to get a draw for white is to have an opportunity to check or to lock the black king on the h file. If the white rook gives a check on b2 the black king will move onto f1. Rb2+ helps white promote the h-pawn. After that the black have enough time to begin to push the h-pawn.
For example

1.Rb2+ Kf1
2.Rb4 Rd5+
3.Kc2 Kg2
4.Ra4 Kh3
5.Ra3+ Kg4
6.Ra4+ Kg5
7.Ra3 h4
8.Re3 Kf4
9.Rc3 Rh5
10.Rc4 Kf3
11.Rc3+ Kf2
12.Kb2 h3
13.Rc2+ Ke3
14.Rh2 Kf3
15.Kc2 Kg3
16.Rh1 Kg2
17.Re1 h2

White can't prevent the promotion of the h-pawn.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

To put it another way- at the end of your analysis, you show black playing the rook back and forth on the e-file, never making progress. Why can't black try something else to help shield the black king's escape from the h-file and the blockage of the pawn?

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Alena, if you had to offer a brief description of why white can only draw with 1.Rf4, how would you do it? In other words, how is changed if white had played the other available check with the rook at move 1? What does that allow black to do to win the game? This is at the heart of the this problem and understanding of it.

Alena
Alena

1.Rf4+ Kg3
2.Rf8 h4
3.Rg8+ Kh2
4.Kd2 Re6
5.Rg4 h3
6.Rg8 Kh1
7.Rg5 Re8
8.Rg3 Kh2
9.Rg6 Re7
10.Rg8 Re5
11.Rg7 Re4

It's a draw.



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Yancey_Ward
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