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Every Russian Schoolboy Knows - Rook Endings with an outside passer - Part 3

Opening: E16: Queen's Indian (1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Bb7 5 Bg2 Bb4+)

Player(s): Urkedal, Onischuk

Arguably, rook endgames with 3 on 3 on the Kingside and an outside passed pawn on the a- or b-files, are one of the most frequent endings in tournament practice. Virtually every chess player can recall those. The reason for that is that minor pieces often get traded in the tactical skirmishes of the middlegame, while rooks are normally the last to enter the stage. Oftentimes, both players silently agree on a line leading to such endings, they both hope to reach their goals, the strong side to win and the weak side to draw. Therefore, we have a borderline situation. The ability to outline one's opponent in such endgames goes along way toward overall tournament success. Experienced players understand the importance of the relative positioning of the rooks. Your rook always belongs behind the passed pawn, be it yours or the opponent's! For the attacker, the problem is that he rarely gets that. You may be sitting on a nice advantage in the middlegame, but then your experienced adversary suddenly pitches a pawn, pieces get traded, and his rook arrives in the second rank. What then? The nature of rooks is such that a perfectly placed defender's rook does multiple jobs. It stops your pawn from promoting, cuts off your king, and keeps an eye on your pawns on the Kingside. What to do then? This series of videos will attempt to offer some suggestions

Video #3 illustrates the dangers of allowing the attacker to place his pawn to g5. Even a seasoned player, such as GM Onischuk in the game given, would find himself in a hopeless situation, had the attacker found the right moves. The rocky path to victory isn't easy to navigate, though.

Teacher's library (718) E16 Urkedal Onischuk endgame

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