Monday, 25 March 2013

Winning with Lucena Position

Earlier we have been gone through 'Philidor Position' where we learned that how to draw when you are a pawn down in rook endgames. In Rook endgames 'Lucena' position has its own importance as it gives guarantee to win. Any rook endgame with either side with extra pawn reaches to either Philidor position or Lucena position.

Please see the below diagram, it is winning for stronger side with pawn on any file except rook file.

Note: Whatever preconditions I am going to discuss Lucena position are not applicable to Rook Pawn. We will discuss those positions separately.


  • Stronger side King is on queening square (In Diagram Kd8).
  • Stronger side Rook cuts off opposite side king with minimum of one file (In diagram Re2 cuts off Black king from e file)
  • Stronger side pawn is on 7th rank (Diagram Pawn on d7).
  • Defending side Rook is not allowing opponent's king to come over other side in order to promote pawn.(Black's Rook on c1 not allowing white king to come over c file).
  • Weaker side king is opposite the stronger side King or at Knight Distance in our diagram Kf8 or Kf7

Winning Process:

This process called building bridge, where stronger side rook will provide shield to king and therefore stronger side will be able to promote your pawn to queen.

Example from Grandmaster's Game (Gashimov V (2746) vs Aronian, Levon (2808))

Lucena Position is the key position in Rook & pawn vs. Rook endgame. Every rook endgames are not draw.

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