Wednesday 22 October 2014

You either know it or you don't

R+BvR is a rare but tricky ending that most players know about, but don't know enough about it. It turns up just often enough that I suspect it should be memorised (especially the defences). An example of this occurred at the ANU Chess Club tonight, when the following position was reached. After much shuffling around (on a 10 second increment mind you), White was unable to find the winning idea and a draw was eventually reached. After the game I thought that the position shown was a winning one, but could not remember the exact technique for converting it. I had a vague recollection that the Black rook needed to be on the third rank, so the bishop could deny it access to a key defensive file.
On checking at home it turned out my memory was right, although I doubt I would have worked it out over the board. For those who are curious the bare bones line to win this position is as follows (note: Alternative variations are left to the reader for further study)
1. Ra7 Rd1 2.Rg7 Rf1 3.Bg3! (The key idea in this ending) 3. ... Rf3 4.Bd6 Re3+ 5.Be5 Rf3 (For now it looks like nothing has changed, but both the c and g files are now denied to the Black rook) 6.Re7+ Kf8 7.Rb7 Kg8 8.Rg7+ Kf8 9.Rg4! Re3 (To prevent Bd6+) 10.Rh4 and the Black rook cannot defend with Rg3.

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