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The  "Lucena Position." 

( Click HERE if you would like to go over this ending on a java-script 're-play' board. ) 

(1) Rook Endgame Course - R + P Endings
Position # 1[A.]; (Lucena) (1.1), 09.12.1999


This is the so-called  "Lucena Position." 
You  must  know this position if you are going to master R+P endings!!
(Virtually  all  R+P end-game knowledge is predicated on 
understanding this one endgame!)


(The main line here is under-lined.)


  "The famous Lucena Position. It is one of the fundamental positions to know to begin to have mastery of R+P endings."   (Says LIFE-Master A.J.)
White to play and win.



  The first step is to check and drive the Black King away.

1. Rc1+, Kb7;


One of the  first  things to learn is a good general rule of thumb: In order for the 
side with the Pawn to win, the opposing King 
must  be driven  2  files away! 

If 1...Kb6; 2. Rc4 Kb5; 3. Rd4 Kc5; 4. Rd1!,

(4. Kd7 Kxd4; 5. e8/=Q, "+/-", also wins, but is not as good. It also requires a 
greater knowledge of the endgame. You must be prepared to beat a K+R combo.)

4...Kc6; 5. Kd8 Re2; 6. e8Q+ Rxe8+; 7. Kxe8, "+/-", and White wins easily.

Or 1...Kd6?; Black's King blocks his own Rook from checking White's King. 
2. Kd8 Re2; 3. e8/=Q Rxe8+; 4. Kxe8, "+/-".



  White just put his Rook on the c4-square.  WHAT was the idea of that move?
(The position after 2. Rc4!)

2. Rc4!,


     Part of the technique. Find the promotion square for the pawn, and count  
five (5) rows    back. This is the row where the White Rook must go to now!!

It's too early to bring out the White King, i.e.,  2. Kd7? Rd2+; 3. Ke6 Re2+; 
4. Kd6 Rd2+; 5. Ke6 Re2+; 6. Kf6 Rf2+; 7. Kg7 Re2; 8. Kf7 Rf2+; 9. Ke6 Re2+; 
and White cannot make progress. The King would have to seek refuge in front 
of the pawn. 

Or: 2. Rc5? Kb6; 3. Re5 Kc7; 4. Rc5+ Kb6; 5. Rd5 Kc6; 6. Re5 Kd6;
 7. Re1 Kc7; and White finds it difficult to make progress. 




   Black is simply marking time.
(The position after 2...Rf1.)


Black simply makes a move. 

[ If the Rook tries to cover one file... 2...Rd2 then: 3.Kf7, The King simply steps 
 out on the other file. The point is the Black Rook cannot cover two files at once. ]


3. Kd7, Rd1+;  4. Ke6, Re1+;  5. Kd6, Rd1+;  6. Ke5!, Re1+;  7.Re4,


  The checks are blocked, and the Black King is too far away to catch the pawn.
(White has built the bridge.)


The "Building of the Bridge."

Black cannot now prevent the White Pawn from promoting. 


7. Kd5??, Rxe7; is a draw. Or 7. Kd6 Rd1+; 8. Ke6 Re1+; 9. Kf7 Rf1+; 
10. Ke8, and White makes no progress.




Or 7...Rd1 8.e8/=Q, "+/-".


8. Kxe4, Kc7;  

 Now we see the importance of driving the opponent's King two files away! 
 This leaves the poor leader
(of the other guy's army) too far away to get 
 back in time to stop our pawn from promoting. 

9.e8Q,  "+/-".


  Time to resign ...
(The final position. Black can hang it up.)


Study this technique carefully.  It is one of the most basic of all endings. Mastery of it is  ESSENTIAL  to understanding and playing R+P endgames!  

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   Copyright  (c)  (LM) A.J. Goldsby I   

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 1985 - 2011. 
  Copyright   A.J. Goldsby, 2011.  All rights reserved.  


  Page last {majorly} updated on: January 1st, 2007.     Last edit/save on: 07/14/2012 .  

Click  HERE  to return to my  "Endgame Challenges"  page.

 Click  HERE  to learn about the  "Vancura Position."
 (Another VERY essential R+P ending you should know!!)

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