I found myself in this position as Black during a recent endgame situation with White to move.

[FEN "8/7k/2R4p/2p3p1/2N2p2/P4PnP/1P2r1K1/8 w - - 4 43"]

What is a good way to approach checkmate from here? Is it impossible to force this with the rook and knight alone (with this position)? Or is it a better idea to start pawn play along the e to h files?

  • 2
    As of now, there is no concrete mating threat that black has set up. But of course, Black has at least a perpetual check so there is no harm in playing on for a while (of course, some care is needed). One good try is to play for a pawn break on the kingside (...h5 followed by ...g4, and then push the resulting passed pawn down the board with mating threats). Be on the lookout for white's plan of trading rooks by means of Rd6-d2, it's difficult to say whether black has a forced win without analyzing more concretely.
    – Scounged
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 17:18
  • Unfortunately you can't mate here but you can use your astounding piece activity to make other gains
    – David
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 6:58

2 Answers 2


Some general advice about kings cut off on the 7th(or2nd) rank in rook endgames.

Involve your king or get your N to f3.

1.Kg1 Nf5!? {going after the f3 pawn.} 2.Rxc5 Nd4 (2...Kg6 also comes into consideration but
 is not tricky enough. although it is my personal fave) 3.Kf1! (3.Ne5?? Rxe5! -+) Rh2=

Involve a pawn!

1.Kg1 h5! {in order to get a pawn to h3 or f3 ASAP. Black will then threaten mate in two ways: ...Rg2# and ...h2#} 2.Rxc5 g4! -+

I have only used my head to give instructions. No computer, just to show what the general plans are. I'm IM but compared to a comp I'm nothing. So please forgive me if this is completely wrong. The general ideas are still valid though!


Looks like a win for white after Rxc5. Unless White blunders, Black has no mate. Look for white to queen a pawn before black can do anything.

  • 2
    I always overlook checks. Anyway looks like black can draw with a perpetual. If he does not do that white will win. Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 1:54
  • 1
    Hmm why don't you edit your answer to fix that oversight then?
    – user21820
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 15:28

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