Hey Look, There is  a Free Rook.

Hey Look, There is a Free Rook.

The Planet Greenpawn

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Hey Look, There is a Free Rook.



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green pawns

Whilst going though ‘Endgame Studies’ by Hans Bouwmeester

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I came across this ‘easy to solve position.’ by N.G. Grigoriev.
‘and easy’ was my first impression. It looks like child’s play.

White to play and win. Simple. Play 1.f4 and White Queens with check.

Then you spot after 1.f4 that with Black to move here.

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The Black King can step into the Queening square and catch the f-pawn.

OK in that case.

Try 1.h4 and the Black King is too far away to catch the h-pawn.
But Black plays 1...d5 and it is Black who queens with a check!

Let’s go though a pawn race variation where Black ignores the fact
that White will promote with a Queen check. We might get ideas.


So from that variation we see that Black must chase after the f-pawn after 1.f4.
But if Black chases the f-pawn, somewhere, somehow White must steal a tempo.


Queening with a check is often the main winning or drawing idea in a
pawn race. Here the idea was missed and Black missed a study like draw.

shouresh - Gajo Richie RHP 2022 (White to move)

White played 1.Ke4 to stop Black playing 1...Kd5 entering the pawn
promotion square. Black resigned but Black could have drawn this game.


Next another study like RHP game I think there is a very strong
chance that I and quite others on here may have lost this as well.

Gary Weaver - virgiltavi RHP 2022 (First we shall see what happened.)


Now look at this drawing variation based on the opposition.


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Next a game sportingly sent in by the winner although they missed snappier win.

venda - Quanto RHP 2023


Quanto need not worry too much there are 100’s (yes 100’s) of RHP examples of
players grabbing a free piece only to get checkmated. Here are just three of them.

Perfect 10 - gbjames RHP 2010

Black should play 20...Ne6. Instead it went 20...Bxd1 21.Qc8 Checkmate.

afzalskhan (1405) - 1992 RHP 2011

Black should play 20...Bxf6 Instead it went 20...Bxa1 21.Qe7 Checkmate.

paulross - mikearmstrong RHP 2011

Black should play 20...Qd4+ Instead it went 20...Qxh1 21.Qxe7 Checkmate.

By all means take loose free pieces but always hesitate before you do.
Look at what may happen next. It may not be a blunder. It may be a trap.

The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 197479
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