Thursday, 21 March 2013

Rook Endgame : Philidor Position



We have been studied following positions under king and pawn endings so far

We will still go deeper with King and pawns ending before that I would like show some game studies of Rook ending which often occur in our game and most of the endgame reach to philidor position (Drawish) or Lucena position (Winning).

Starting with philidor's position, Most of us know Philidor's position is 'Rook and pawn vs. Rook' but actually philidor has studied many endgame positions out of which there are three positions which are called philidor's position.

1. Rook and Pawn vs. Rook
2. Queen vs. Rook
3. Rook and Bishop vs. Rook, Today we will discuss the first one.

Philidor position

It is basically a drawing technique where defender is pawn down in a rook ending. This is also called third rank defence.

Conditions for the position :
  • Defending king controls queening square
  • Pawn has not crossed its 5th rank
  • Stronger side king is beyond the defender's third rank
  • Defending rook on his third rank.



Now you can see in this position, Black Rook is cutting down white king from entering into 3rd rank (Defender's). In order to progress, white must has to move his pawn to 1.d6 there is no other way. Where black can play Rook to last rank (Defender's) 1...Ra1 and checking strong side's king from last rank where he cannot hide himself in shelter so that now white is not able to make any progress. If White try to exchange rook from c6 or f6 (2 possible ways), you can simply capture it then will be able to get the opposition.

Why defenders hold the position?
Mainly two reason.
  • King Control or occupies queening square
  • Active rook so don’t immobilise your rook.


This is the most simple yet most effective method of saving half point in rook endings.




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