K+Q vs. K+R Endgame

Chess lecture on March 14 by Erik Malmsten

This position usually arises after a player has promoted a pawn. It is a very complicated win. The computer database found it a win in less than 35 moves with best play. Even after getting the defending King to the back rank it can still take 20 moves, although the last eight or so are Queen and King mating the bare King. I find an open board with over 20 possible Queen moves difficult, but the attacker has to look only for the interconnecting squares to fork the King and a wandering Rook. A good technique is to put the Queen on a diagonal next to the diagonal that attacks the Rook. The winning position comes when White can threaten a back rank checkmate and the rook.

The defender can also fork, skewer and has some stalemate threats. Throw off the attacker enough times, such as harassment checks, and the 50-move draw comes into effect. Or with sudden-death time control, there won’t be enough time to calculate the win. So this makes it worth defending.

If you want to deeply explore this endgame search online for the training database by Derek Grimmell and practice with your computer.

White: Kc6, Qa5
Black: Kb8, Rb7

Philidor 1777
Black to move loses. White to move, White triangulates to make the
position Black to move.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on Reddit

3 thoughts on “K+Q vs. K+R Endgame”

  1. Thanks for mentioning my database. The Web site I ran for 3 years is down now, never paid for itself, so for anyone who gets this far, the best way to find a free download of my database is to google “derek grimmell chessbase queen rook.” That will pull up the page where you can download the chessbase file. I hope people enjoy this fascinating ending as much as I enjoyed creating the database!

  2. I very much enjoy the ChessBase file on queen versus rook. How come this is the only detailed work on this subject available nowadays?

    Doctor Nunn or Müller believe it’s too specific and hard, to write a complete winning procedure. Therefore, they seem to forget the fascinating aspect of it.

    Here is what Doctor Müller wrote to me : “Really mastering this endgame is indeed difficult. You can play against the engine of course and this is the only way to really master it. One excellent source is of course Dr Nunn’s Secrets of Pawnless Endings (2nd edition, GAMBIT 2002), which does deal with it in detail on p. 49-69 including my loss with the rook against Stefansson on p.67. Best regards, GM Dr Karsten Müller (Hamburg/Germany) “

  3. “…I think that it is too narrow and special for a whole DVD or a book. So you probably have to make do with Nunn’s excellent work and your fights against the electronic monsters. Good luck! Best regards, Karsten Müller”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *