Endgame King and Rook versus King

In this endgame you have king and rook and the opponent has a king only. You are a rook up and must be able to win. This is one of those basic chess positions every real chess player knows.

The Procedure

  • Chase the enemy king to the corner
  • Bring your king in opposition. This is not something that you do yourself, but you force the opponent’s king to go into opposition himself. Because if your king goes into opposition then the opponent’s king goes out of opposition and you can NEVER give a checkmate!
  • You finally give checkmate with your rook on the edge row or edge file. See last image
  • How to do it?

  • Cut off the King with your rook
  • Give check ONLY if the kings are in opposition! In this case the check will drive the king one row backwards.
  • Never go into opposition with your king yourself. If necessary make a WAITING MOVE with your rook! (See third diagram)
  • The Opposition The Cut-Off
    chess endgame king and rook versus king endgame king and rook
    The Waiting Move with Rook The Checkmate
    chess endgame king and rook versus king endgame king and rook
    If you would give check now playing Ra8+ the king would move out of the cut-off zone going to g7. If you go into opposition with your king playing Kf6 then black king goes direction center playing Ke8.
    All this is useless and achieves nothing. For that reason you make a WAITING MOVE with the rook! (Example: 1.Rc7)
    After this the black king must go to g8 or he will get checkmated, so after 1.Rc7 Ke8? follows 2.Rc8++ mate. After 1…Kg8 you follow up with your king playing 2.Kf6 driving the king into the corner from which he has to bounce back and get checkmated afterwards.

    You are White – Play and Win

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