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Learning from Blitz Blunders 1: Rook and Pawn Roller coaster

by | Apr 23, 2020

Hello chess friends!

     Today, I’d like to begin a series of blog posts where I will share an instructive moment found while analyzing one of my recent blitz chess games. This is a practice that I highly recommend for players that are looking to improve in chess overall (if you just like playing blitz for fun, that’s cool too). Even if there is only one takeaway from a blitz chess game, the act of reviewing the game and checking out your calculations and ideas can be quite valuable. I find it good for improving my thought process to record what I was thinking and to check it against an engine. 

As always, I take a first glance at the game without an engine just to see what I can find when I’m not in time pressure before I turn on Stockfish or Lc0. In today’s position, I’m playing Black in a rook ending. White has just played f2-f4+. What would you play and what do you think the result of the game should be?

At the moment, material is equal and both sides have a passed pawn. White’s rook is more active (tying down Black’s rook to defense of the b-pawn), while Black’s king is more active. Therefore, Black should move the king away and the game should end in a draw. However, as you’ll see in the analysis below, despite the eventually drawn result both sides made serious errors and Black should have been in some trouble. 

I hope you found the analysis of this blunderful ending somewhat instructive in terms of common ideas in the rook endgames. 

Stay safe and play chess!


Ryan

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