If white has the next move, can black still win the game? The players accepted the draw here, but I am not sure if it is still a draw.

[fen "8/8/3k4/4NK2/8/8/8/6r1 w - - 0 1"]

3 Answers 3


No, this is a draw. These kind of positions can be checked with an online database, e.g. this one.

In general, King+Rook vs. King+Knight is only a win for the side with the Rook if the other King is cornered or separated from its Knight, as also described in this answer. Just play around a bit with the endgame database to get a feeling which positions are drawn and which ones are won. Black to move wins in this particular position only because of some short term tactics (Rf1+ and Re1+ wins the Knight).

  • 1
    Oh nice. I didn't know that there are places where I can check this. TBH, black moved from g8 to g1 on his move. I thought that was a bad move from him. May 31, 2016 at 13:22
  • Yes, it was - Rf8+ and Re8 would have won the Knight immediately.
    – Glorfindel
    May 31, 2016 at 13:23

This is a tablebase draw.

But speaking from experience it can be pretty difficult to defend for white, especially if you are playing on increment.


The black king and the rock are too far away from each other for the knight to have a fork. and no more pieces to have a tactic or coordinate an attack or promote a pawn. Black will always have the advantage of long range attack (that's why the rock valued for more points as it can attack larger number of squares) So the knight movements will always be restricted.

So in nutshell no hope for white player to achieve anything more than a draw.

  • The question was whether black could win this game. Jun 4, 2016 at 20:48
  • @DagOskarMadsen Someone edited it earlier and changed it to white by mistake. So, I can understand if someone missed it. Anyway, I wanted to know if it is really a draw. Jun 6, 2016 at 4:20

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