I know that 2 rooks vs 2 minor pieces is a win for the rooks (at least from the endgame tablebases), but I found nothing about the winning strategy.

For example, consider a KRR-KBB endgame with opposite colored bishops. It seems to me that the natural way for the rooks to win is to drive the enemy king to a corner, and then exchange the rook for the "good" bishop, which has the color opposite to the corne. This transforms it into to a KR-KB endgame with the opposing king is trapped in the "bad" corner so the side with rook wins.

How good good or bad is this strategy?

1 Answer 1


First of all I believe that this endgame must be really rare in practical games.

Playing around with the tablebase of rook+rook vs bishop+bishop, I noticed the following:

  • the weaker side quickly runs out of checks
  • the rooks cover quite some squares, leaving little space for the bishops
  • it is not difficult for the rook side to avoid getting pinned
  • with the help of all three pieces (two rooks + king) it is easy to drive the enemy king to the border
  • once the king is at the edge of the board, you just threaten the typical mate with two rooks, to which there is no defense really (if a bishop is placed to protect against a check from the side, you can easily win this bishop using the other rook
  • in many cases it also happens that you can win a bishop through a pin before the king is pushed to the side of the board

I suggest that you play this endgame against an engine to see for yourself. It does not seem particularly difficult that you would need any method. Just checking the king and pushing him to the border in the usual way is winning.

I'd expect that playing against two knights or bishop+knight should be even easier because of the shorter range of the knights.

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