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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Down The Hill On the Open File.

Pin It The dog has a natural attraction to the Bone so the Rooks have to the seventh rank. Once on the seventh rank, a Rook usually attacks many pawn and often traps the enemy King on the back rank.

The above diagram shows what may look like an equal position to the untrained eye. However, White actually has a won game because his can dominate the seventh rank.

1 Rd7 Rc8 2 Kc3 Kf8 3 Kc4

simply intending Kb5 followed by Kc6.

3 ---a6

to prevent Kb5. 3 ---c6 hangs the a7 pawn. Ideas like 3---g5 4 Kb5 Ke8 lose to either 5 Kc6 or 5 Rh7.

4 Kd5 c5 5 Rd6 Rb8 6 Kc6 and Black must lose material. Loss of the game will follow.

Some books claim that control of the seventh rank is worth as much as a pawn. In the absense of more important considertions, this makes perfect sense; the seventh rank makes your Rook better, and therefore more valuable, than the opponent's piece.

White is a solid pawn ahead and has the move but the strong placement of the enemy Rook on the seventh makes a win impossible.

1 Nc3 Bf3 2 Bc2 Nd6

Its important that Black make use of all his pieces.

3 b3

This keeps the Black Knight out of c4 and makes the b-pawn immune from the Black Rook.

3---Kf8 4 a4

Getting the last queensie pawn off his second rank and preparing to open a file for his own Rook.

4---Ne4 5 Bxe4

Blacks piece get a little too active after 5 axb5 Nxf2 6 Bf5 g4 7 bxa6 Nh3+

5---Bxe4 6 axb5 axb5 7 b4

Making the White b-pawn imune from attack and fixing its oposite number on b5. It looks like White has made progress but the poor position of the White King gives Bllack enough counterplay to hold the game.


If White's Rook passively stays on the first rank then he wilno be able to achieve anything. If it journeys down the a-file for and adventure then Black will get a check on the back rank.

8 g4 Kg7 9 Kf1 Kf6 10 Ra5

White decieds to allow an immediate draw.

10---Rb1+ 11Ke2 Rb2+ 12 Kf1 1/2 - 1/2

Though the seventh rank is the ultimate goal of every Rook due to it's ability to attack pawns and the downthe enemy King, the sixth rank also has its virtues.

1) It attacks any enemy pawn on that rank;

2) Like a Rook on the seventh, it allows for domination of a file by bringing a Rook and/or Queen up behind it;

3) It is always ready to Jump to the seventh.

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