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jstevens1 ♡ 25 ( +1 | -1 )
R v 4 pawns Which do you think is more advantageous, a rook or 4 or 5 pawns?

I can show you the latest lost game in my profile where I had a rook against 4 pawns but they were so strong I lost the game! A very interesting position though?

lighttotheright ♡ 76 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, 2 connected passed pawns that have reached the 6th rank are usually stronger than a rook, depending on the King positions--usually minus the Kings. In as much as this is true, four connected passed pawns can usually force such a winning situation for the side with the pawns...much earlier than the 6th rank. But even if that is true, then it still won't be easy to force the win (under best play). You had no way to force a win or a draw given that situation in your game.

If the pawns are not connected, then that is a different story. The side with the rook should win as long as the pawns are not too advanced and again depending upon the King positions.

So the answer is: It depends on the details of the position.

ccmcacollister ♡ 52 ( +1 | -1 )
HI~! There is something of a Rule of Thumb on it when Kings are not involved. As lighttotheright mentions, 2 connected pawns can force in to Queen regardless of the Rooks position (unless the Rook is on move and can immediately take one of them of course). With 3 connected passers, they can be one rank further back and the Rook loses. I have had that position once to win. So it is not so common as to be fresh in mind, as for instance if 4 just win from the 4th rank or did one have to be on the fifth, or such. But at least knowing the situation, that is easy to work out.
ionadowman ♡ 71 ( +1 | -1 )
L.Portisch vs M.Tal ... ... Amsterdam Interzonal, 1964. The Pawns vs Rook wasn't so much a feature of the game, but as one of Tal's most berserker attacks drew towards the endgame, Portisch decided that Tal's pawns were going to be a match for his rook and so agreed a draw.

In the kind of position depicted in the following diagrams, White wins, even if it is Black to move:

I've had a quick look at Joanne's endgame, and it does look like a formidable task to contain the pawns. Something to look at more closely later on! (Today, my Ottoman Turks are taking on Cromwell's Roundheads, so I'll have to go)...
ionadowman ♡ 55 ( +1 | -1 )
The Ottomans were routed... :-( But at least those infidel Roundheads knew they'd been in a fight! }:-[]

As it turns out, the 3 pawns on the 5th vs rook could have appeared in the jstevens vs bleddy71 game, after 50....f4 51.Rxe5. It would have been nice to have an example of this in actual play. However, the move chosen (50...e4) was good enough.
lighttotheright ♡ 12 ( +1 | -1 )
But 3 pawns on the 5th rank vs rook did occur in the game with 53. ... g4.

As it turned out, I believe 50. ... e4 was the best move for black at the time.
More: Chess
lighttotheright ♡ 6 ( +1 | -1 )
...except Black had an extra pawn at h3 at the time. It was insurance.
magna68 ♡ 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Rook vs. pawns Here is a good example of a complicated situation. Got this position in OTB the other day, playing the white side. You think this is won on white, black or a draw? :-)

Black to move
lighttotheright ♡ 102 ( +1 | -1 )
I have not yet figured out everything concerning the position, but...

1. ... Rxf3+ would be a big mistake. That would force the White King into exactly the position he should want. After 2. Kc4, the White King would be able to simply walk the c pawn up to promotion (trade off the rook with the extra pawns for the win) with the support of his King, or support the b pawn to the sixth rank (for the 6 sixth rank winning position)--depending upon what black did.

But 1. ... Rc1 should at least draw the position. If the b pawn goes to the sixth rank, then the rook takes the c pawn. White would instead walk the King up the d file (or e depending upon the circumstances) to support his pawns and perhaps walk the f pawn up too. It seems that black should be able to capture a pawn or two once the his King gets centered and win; but I cannot figure out a forced line. So my best guess is that it is a draw. I would still play the position in any actual game, regardless of which side of the board I was on.
marinvukusic ♡ 5 ( +1 | -1 )
First glance, without setting up a board 1...Rc1; 2.b5, Rc5; 3.Kd4 is a win

1...Rc1; 2.b5, Kg6; 3.Kd4, Kg5; 4.Kd5, Kf4; 5.b6, Kf3; 6.b7, Rb1; 7.c7 is a win

1...Rc1; 2.b5, Kg6; 3.Kd4, Kg5; 4.Kd5, Rb1; 5. Kc5, Rc1; 6.Kb6, Kf4; 7.Kb7, Kf3; 8.c7, f5; 9.c8Q, Rc8; 10.Kc8, f4; 11.b6, Kg2; 12.b7, f3; 13.b8Q, f2 is a draw due to the f pawn and a far away White King
ccmcacollister ♡ 109 ( +1 | -1 )
without analysing ... A bleary latenight look... My "OTB" intuition is WT is probably winning(!?) vs Rc1 ... which seems the straightforward way to go, however.
But a more convoluted attempt in Rb1. 2.Kc4 (2.c7?? Rc1) when the WT pawns are hindered in their advance by their own king, until he can reach the forward pawn, actually Kb6 being a further hindrance of himself.
. Unfortunately it appears he can probably can't use Kd6 rather than Kb6, without giving the b-pawn for free, leaving the Rook to sac for c-pawn. Meantime BL's King has had moves to be busy trying to gobble. Of course same if Kb6 when b5 and c7 are played, BL then shifts Rc1 and will sac on c8 leaving a b-pawn and a pawn race .... that I cannot calculate precisely just looking at the board here. But it looks close to a dead heat if I don't miscount. But the BL K must step out of the way. Perhaps he steps to the six, and brings his pawn to the 7th the move after WT Queens ... then still Draws with c-pawn vs Q& distant king?! Well that is the most DRAMATIC ending anyway! That's what I'll rout for. And now everyone knows why I never Mastered OTB play! :)

Interesting. It will be fun to analyse or see what happened anyway :) How bout it Magna?
I hope it is Blacks move tho!
ccmcacollister ♡ 30 ( +1 | -1 )
hmmm Looks like WT can save a tempo in making the BL rook sac by Kc4-b5 then c7 Rc1 Kb6-b7 since he has not had to move his b-pawn, rather than the route Kc4-c5-b6-b7 but in the end the tempo is regained since the b-pawn must still move forward. But the question IS ... would it allow wt K to get to the last BL pawn before it can run? well I still think not.
spurtus ♡ 26 ( +1 | -1 )
the thing to bear in mind in RvPP(P)... is if white promotes to a queen, QvR endgame is very hard to win in 50 moves, even for a GM, try it versus a computer and you'll know what I mean!

You'll probably find that these positions are more practically a draw.

ccmcacollister ♡ 15 ( +1 | -1 )
that should mean there Kc4-Kb5 then c7. Not the pawn to b5. When I use a dash like that ... it is meaning the same piece sited is moving to a further square. Sorry for the confusion.
heinzkat ♡ 2 ( +1 | -1 )
White wins? 1. ... Rc1 2. b5 Kg6 3. Ke4!
heinzkat ♡ 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Black might want to reach such a position - but I'm not so sure if this not-exact fortress is holdable.....

CCM C.A. Collister even proposed a variation with a half Saavredra thingy, but not quite...
1. ... Rc1
2. b5 Kg6
3. Ke4 Rc5
4. Kd4 Rxb5
5. c7 Rb4!!?
6. Kc3 Rb1
7. Kc2
ccmcacollister ♡ 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Ah but there is still 1.Rb1 !? etc
Which I guess is a little buried up there in my first post on this. Can Wt win vs Rb1 which forces defense of the pawns.
Nice finesse heinzkat vs the Rc1 line !
fmgaijin ♡ 17 ( +1 | -1 )
Is Draw, Boris?? Can't Black make a more straightforward draw with 1...Rc1 2.b5 Kg7/8 3.Kd4 Kf8 4.Kd5 Ke7 5.b6 Rd1+ 6.Kc5 Kd8 7.f4 Kc8 (Rf1 8.Kd6 Rd1+ etc.) 8.f5 when White will play f6 and leave Black with no way to zugzwang? Am I missing anything tricksier??
lighttotheright ♡ 27 ( +1 | -1 )
2. ... Kg6 is another pitfall allowing White to win. Instead Black goes through f8 to centralize his King to e7 or d8--depending on what White does--and he can draw the position. I worked that much out before in my head...I just didn't write it down in my previous post.
lighttotheright ♡ 21 ( +1 | -1 )
The reason 2. ... Kg6 is a pitfall is simple. The standard technique requires Black to be able to get in front of White's connected passed pawns on the b and c files if necessary to be able to stop promotion. Kg6 doesn't allow that.
lighttotheright ♡ 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Kc4 to Kb5 is a pitfall for white. White needs to be able to move the the b pawn (not necessarily actually move it). Kb5 allows Black to win the game. And if b5 is done before, then the King cannot move to b5 anyway.

Instead, the white King works its way up along the c, d, or e files to support his pawns.
ccmcacollister ♡ 59 ( +1 | -1 )
looking anew at 1. ...Rb1 And adding two fingers, and a cursor, to do "goes here, goes there" :))
All I can get there for BL is the draw with 2...Kg6. Pretty much as originally speculated. Couldnt come up with any ultimate tempo gainer for WT there. But in this line BL Can just step up to Kg6 and start eating pawns :)

And of course vs Rb1 WT can't use the d-file for his King approach lest he lose the b-pawn immediately.
Hmmm, wonder what happen if I try 1.Rb1 coupled with fmgaijins King walk via f8 ...
will definately stop those Q-side pawns! Wonder if WT can hold the R and K's attention to them long enough to push the K-side . . .
lighttotheright ♡ 12 ( +1 | -1 )
That maybe an alternative path for a draw for black. Let me look into it further and see if that is a correct analysis.
lighttotheright ♡ 32 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, apparently 1. ... Rb1 works too...for a draw and would allow Black Kg6 by giving an extra tempo; but it is not enough for Black to start eating pawns because White can force the c pawn to promote if he does.

Other moves for black that seem to work to hold the draw are 1. ... Kg7 and 1. ... Kg8--centralizing the King through f8.
ccmcacollister ♡ 5 ( +1 | -1 )
......... Rc1+ should make the Queen short lived tho :)
lighttotheright ♡ 17 ( +1 | -1 )
But White will have a second promotion to queen with the b pawn, because the black rook would be forced to abandon it to exchange the queen off the board.
lighttotheright ♡ 12 ( +1 | -1 )
An interesting possibility with 1. ... Rb1 2. Kc4 Kg6 is that Black could perpetual check White with his rook for the draw.
ionadowman ♡ 247 ( +1 | -1 )
What a fine and lively discussion! ... How did I miss this??

From the magna68 diagram, I quite like the 1...Rc1, 2...Kf8 plan proposed by lighttotheright, which seems to hold the draw well enough. The ...Kg6 plan is a tempo slower in centralizing the BK even if he doesn't take on g5.

The diagram heinzkat looks drawn to me, so it offers and endpoint for a plan that Black might choose to adopt (broadly speaking getting one of the Q-side pawns then taking out the K-side pawns, allowing White to promote.

But this might not be a realizable plan. As it transpires, theoretically speaking, Black could leave White with an extra pawn and still have practical chances of a draw. According to Paul Keres (Keres and Kotov, "The Art of the Middle Game"), the following diagram position is a known draw:
The idea seems to be that the rook, protected on e6, keeps the king at bay.

Clearly no WP is going to appear on g4, but if Black were to achieve this position with the WP on g5, but with BLACK to play, surely that would be a theoretical draw as well? The downside of this plan, though, is that it's hard to imagine the WK being so distant when Black's "fortress position" was reached. If the WK were "behind the lines" at d7,say, or somewhere on the K-side, Black should lose.

Having said all this, I'm rather more intrigued by Craig's (ccmcacollister's) 1...Rb1 suggestion. Unless one can demonstrate that it's a forced win for White after that, I reckon it might be a better practical winning chance for Black. Here's a sample line to start off the discussion:

1...Rb1 2.Kc4 Kf8 3.b5 Ke7 4.Kc5 Rc1+ 5.Kb6 Kd6
6.Kb7 Rc5 7.b6
(something has to give somewhere)

7...Rxc6 8.Ka7 Rc3 9.b7 Ra3+
(9...Kc6!? is another plan. If 10.b8=Q Ra3#. But 10.b8=N+ spoils the party a bit. Black should still win, though, after 10...Kd6 11.Na6 Rxf3 and then rounding up the g-pawn)

10.Kb6 ...
(10.Kb8 Kd7 11.f4 Rb3 and then 12.f5 Kc6 etc, or 12.Ka7 Kc7)

10...Rb3+ 11.Ka7 Kc7 and Black wins.

This seems to be a plausible, straightforward, line. I'm fairly sure it's the kind of plan I would have chosen in OTB play, though of course my calculations would have stopped about 5 or so moves in! Can White improve?

lighttotheright ♡ 29 ( +1 | -1 )

1. ... Rb1 2. Kc4 the black King cannot go immediately to f8. It is not a legal move. So you accidentally gave black an extra tempo, which could potentially allow black a winning position. This was an OTB game, so if white was not looking!... nah!!!!!!!! We cannot do that.

1. ...Rb1 2. Kc4 Kg7 3. b5 Kf8 4. Kc5 and black maybe OK but seems to be under pressure.
lighttotheright ♡ 9 ( +1 | -1 )
... 1....Rb1 2. Kc4 Kg7 3. b5 Kf8 4. Kc5 Ke7 5. b6 Kd8 and Black does seem to have chances to win; but it is hard to see a forced winning line.
lighttotheright ♡ 19 ( +1 | -1 )
1....Rb1 2. Kc4 Kg7 3. b5 Kf8 4. Kc5 Ke7 5. b6 Kd8 as before

then 6. f4 Rd1 7. f5 Kc8 8.f6 Rd8 and now how does white stop Black from winning?

If you find the answer, how many people are going to find it over the board under time pressure?
ionadowman ♡ 207 ( +1 | -1 )
Typical! ... got the position wrong. Again. Should have checked back. Arrgh! Bang. :-( :-( :-(
I knew someone would find something. It just had to be an illegal move. Dayyyyyum!

OK, the thing is a bit harder. But before going into it, I want to mention an alternative plan that Black might consider adopting, provided, of course, that it's realizable. In view of the BK's starting position on h7, it might well not be. The idea is to steer for this diagram position with Black to play:

Now back to the line suggested by lighttotheright, resulting in this position after 5.b6 (i.e. Black to play):
After 5...Kd8 what are the practical chances?
One thing Black has to watch for is White suddenly abandoning the Q-side pawns with a quick dash for the f-pawn. White for the moment has free hand.

6.b7? Kc7 frees the rook to go after the K-side pawns.

6.c7+ Kd7! (...Kc8 looks very risky, as after 7.Kc6 Rc1+ 8.Kd6 Kb7 9.Ke7(=)) But now the BR is again free to round up the White sheep on the K-side.

What's left, then? 6.f4 Kc8?? 7.Kd6 Rxb6 8.Ke7 Rxc6 9.Kxf7. It seems a waiting move like 6...Rb2 isn't good enough either: 7.f5 Rf1 (say) 8.Kd6 Rxf5?? 9.b7 Rb5 10.c7+ wins for White.
A similar fate befalls 6.f4 Rf1 7.Kd6 Rxf4? 8.b7 Rd4+ 9.Kc5 (+-)

It seems that 6.f4 Re1 is also insufficient. Even if White doesn't play 7.f5 Re6 won't induce White's Q-side pawns to advance. It looks like a draw after all, but a reasonably comfortable one for Black.

I did wonder if 5...Rc1+ might improve Black's chances. 6.Kb5? Kd6 7.c7 Kd7 8.Ka6 Kc8 with ...Ra1+ and ...Kb7 to come should win for Black. But after 6.Kd6 the BR must either check again, or go back to b1 (5...Rc1+ 6.Kd5 Rf1?? 7.b7 Rb1 8.c7 etc.

I began this posting with a view to discuss the jstevens vs bleddy71 game. I'll reserve it for the next...

magna68 ♡ 125 ( +1 | -1 )
Wow! I just signed in for the first time since I posted my position and could not believe how much feedback had been posted! Really nice, and interesting discussions. I think I owe you how it played out! :-) To add extra twist to the game I had only one minute on the clock when this position was reached, earning 30 sec. every move I made. (90min + 30sek/move for entire game) So I had not much time over the board to figure out the correct continuation. To be honest, I had little idea after 4 hours of play if I was winning or loosing at this point! :-)

My opponent played the most straight forward and correct move here, 56. ..Rc1 and after 57. b5 Kg7! (not Kg6? loses) 58. Kd4 Kf8 59. Kd5 Ke7 60. b6 Kd8 61. f4

61. ..Kc8? (kind of poor move though it doesn't change the outcome) 62. Kd6 Rf1 63. Ke5 Kd8 64. f5 Rb1 65. b7 Kc7 66. Kf6

.. the draw was reached after
66. ..Rf1 67. Kxf7 Rxf5+ 68. Kg6 Rb5 69. Kh6 Kxc6 70. g6 Rxb7
71. g7 Rxg7 72. Kxg7 1/2-1/2

The original position is theoretical draw with best play, but it's not quite obvious right away. The real pitfall for black is if he plays Kg6 in the second move. Then it's lost for black!


ionadowman ♡ 131 ( +1 | -1 )
Back to jsteven1's game... Referring back to the position at move 50 in the game jstevens1 vs bleddy71, here is the position, after White has recaptured on d5 (50.Rxd5).
Black played 50...e4, perfectly fine, winning move. Now, I suggested 50...g4 instead (actually I see I posted ...f4, but I think - I hope - my meaning was clear; 50...f3? probably doesn't win) as an equally winning line on account of the 3 connected passed pawns vs an unaided rook.

Now I look at it again, this isn't very good example after all: Black's f-pawn is protected! After 51.Rxe4 it is Black to play, but this position would be winning for Black even if it were White to play! The continuation is a little trickier owing to threats White can make against the BK, but then the BK is on hand to help the pawns.
White's king remains a spectator.

White has no useful counterattack (50...g4 51.Rxe5 h3 52.Re8 g3 53.Rh8+ Kg5 54.Rxh3 g2 55.Rh8 Kg4 - simplest - 56.Rg8+ Kf3 57.Kd2 Kf2 58.Rg6 f3 etc).

One with different experience of the game might well find 50...e4 a much more congenial proceeding.

E.g. 50...e4 51.Rd6+ Kh5 52.Rxa6 h3 53.Ra8 g4 54.Rh8+ Kg5 55.a4 g3 56.Rxh3 g2 57.Rh8 f3 58.Kd2 f2 59.Rg8+ Kf6 60.Rf8+ Ke7 61.Rxf2 g1=Q (-+).

A fascinating ending.