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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rook Versus Split Pawn

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It's White to play here, and as a defensive aid I think that we can pretty
much write off the white king. What is therefore abundantly clear is that if
White has to give his rook up for one of Black's pawns, then the other one
will promote. In view of that, obviously 1 Rg1? would be futile, as after 1...c2 the black a-pawn would soon join its compatriot in touching down. White
must keep his rook as active as possible. 1. Rb7+ $1 Ka2 2. Rc7 {The key is
for White's rook to check the king in front of one of the pawns and then
attack the other.} Kb3 3. Rb7+ Kc4 4. Rc7+ Kb4 5. Rb7+ Kc5 6. Rc7+ Kb4 7. Rb7+Ka3 8. Rc7 Kb2 9. Rb7+ Kc2 10. Ra7 Kb3 11. Rb7+ {The rook is rightly
relentless. Thanks to its constant buzzing about, White obtains a draw.

Moral of the Story

The rook should be kept flexible and active at all times.