Using the King in the Endgame

This position is taken from a game one of my students played at Mayor Cup, 2018 (C Category) after 46…Rb5. In the game my student decided to block the Black’s passed pawn with the rook (47.Rc4) and lost very quickly.

Q: What do you think? Is it possible for White to save this position?


In this case, blocking the pawn with the rook is necessary as White’s king is too far from the Black’s b pawn. But the blockader must be changed to the king very soon because the rook can’t block two passed pawns. The correct move is 47 Kf2! which allows the rook to reach to b1 in two moves compared to three via c4. This one is not so hard to find but the issue was that he simply didn’t consider the king move. Play might continue as follows:

47.Kf2! b3 48.axb3 axb3 49. Rg1 c5

After the tricky 49…Rc5! White can generate his own counter play with pawn to f4-f5 advance as Black’s king is already cut from the g file.

50. Ke2 c4 51. Kd2 b2 52. Kc2 c3! 53. Rb1!

Otherwise Ra5 to a1 is winning for Black.


Now white can start pushing his f-pawn.

54. f5 Kh7 55. f6 Kxh6 56 Rg1!

The game is now a draw, which is a good example of the value of using the king.

Ashvin Chauhan