Rook Endgames - Practical Guide
We are happy to present this fascinating interactive endgame manual by GM Nikolay Ninov. By analyzing more than 200 rook endgames from the recent Olympiad in Chennai, Ninov illustrates the most important and instructive aspects of the rook endgame theory.
Additionally, this database is highly interactive. The Computer Practice section allows you to apply your knowledge by playing some key positions against a strong engine.
Preview by the Author
As a rule, the rook endgames are the most frequent guests in practical tournaments and the recent Olympiad has not changed that tendency - they took place in almost 900 of the games. One of the central matches – between the eventual winner Uzbekistan and the top seed USA has been decided exactly in such endings, in which the trailing team could entirely turn the tables.
By far not only the members of the elite have shown their skills – it is impressive to see how many little-known players, practically without exception, have been striving at every opportunity to activate the king. Plenty of participants with ratings about 1800 and below have had their moments of glory and these achievements are not missed by the author. Of course, each rule and axiom in chess, as well as in life, has its exceptions and, for instance, there will be a number of examples, in which the rook has been automatically placed behind a pawn and that cost the game.
Most of the mistakes have supposedly been a result of the limited time on the clock (this is a worthy reason to study endgames, is not it?) and the inevitable huge tension during a team event.
The main purpose of the survey is not to look condescendingly at those omissions, even at the one-move tragedies, but to explain the reasons behind them in order to limit their reiteration in future encounters.
The Olympic champion with the Bulgarian team from the 19th ICCF Postal World Final GM Nikolay Ninov has accepted the challenge to define the critical moments of about 200 games. All of them will be examined in this review, which consists of 7 Sections, as follows:
1) Games with a transition from a rook into a pawn ending, including 10 exercises
2) Mistakes, which have to be avoided, this part is closely connected with the previous Section
3) Races, in which at least one of the sides has 2 or 3 connected passed pawns
4) A powerful central passed pawn
5) Typical situations with an extra passed pawn on the queenside
6) Games with missed opportunities for win/draw
7) A gallery of instructive games, including the most magical saves
There is no separate section about piece activity because it is essential and valid for practically all the presented games. Enjoy the most interesting rook endings from the Olympiad in Chennai!
Below, you shall find one of the annotated examples: