P-2 (Checkmate with King and Rook)

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1.2. King and Rook versus King

2. Although rook’s manoeuvring ability is far inferior to queen’s, also in this case a win is very simple. As in the previous example, the enemy king must be driven to the edge of the board and then be forced into the opposition. However in contrast to the queen which was quite capable of doing the job practically alone, the rook has to rely on the coordinated effort of the king as well. Therefore the “logical” moves like 1.Ra5 or 1.Rd1, do not make much sense. White must first gain space by immediately activating his king.


Key moments:
6. Re5! Depriving the black king of the fifth rank thus further limiting its free space.
8. Kd4 The king keeps on gaining space until White can ensure the cutting off of the enemy king by the rook near the edge of the board.

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GM Vlatko Kovacevic

Vlado Kovacevic is a chess grandmaster and an endgame expert. He very successfully competed on the national team. From 2000 – 2004, he acted as selector of the Croatian Men’s national team. He is also a well-known chess author.