Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Rook vs Connected Pawns

Rook endgames appear very frequently in games at all levels. Besides that, rook endgames are also the most difficult and if you want to have good results in your games is a very good idea to start studying them.

A general rule in rook endgames that is worth keeping in mind states: “Without help, a rook can always stop two connected passed pawns UNLESS they both reach the sixth rank or one reaches the seventh and the other the fifth rank”

In the game Fridstein-Lutikov (Riga, 1954) appeared the following position and Fridstein probably knew that rule and resigned (wrong decision!)

However, this is a case where the rook benefits from the particular setup of black pieces. Despite Black’s pawns having reached their sixth rank, the black king helps the rook allowing an intermediate check. White draws the game!!

In a previous post, I presented other examples of resigning being the wrong decision.

While it is good to know the rules, it is also convenient to remember the conditions under which they apply.

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