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Is an endgame with Queen and King vs. two Rooks and King a win for the Queen, a win for the two Rooks, or a draw?

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+50

Generally speaking, it's a draw. Most pawnless endgames are drawn, unless one side has a material advantage of more than a minor piece. Either side can win if there are short-term tactics. To check the outcome of a position, you can use an online tablebase. In particular, it's nice to view the longest wins for either side, which are (according to this page) are

[FEN "k2q4/7R/8/8/8/8/8/2K3R1 w - - 0 1"]

(White to move, mate in 29)

and

[FEN "4r3/8/5Q2/8/5r2/1k6/8/1K6 w - - 0 1"]

(White to move, mate in 49)

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  • Thanks. So its a draw, the game will continue endlessly if either side do not commit a blunder? – Prashant Akerkar Aug 28 at 16:27
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    In most cases, yes. – Glorfindel Aug 28 at 17:04
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    If it can take 49 moves to achieve a mate, then I wouldn't describe a failure to find that winning line as a "blunder". – Michael Kay Aug 29 at 7:30
  • @PrashantAkerkar In the last 50 moves, if no capture has happened and no pawn has been moved, then the players can claim a draw. It is not endless... In the worst case, if neither wants to claim a draw, then it will go on for some more time before a particular position would have been repeated 3 times, which in modern Chess means "draw by repetition". – varun Aug 29 at 8:20
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    @varun: Either player can claim a draw after a three-fold repetition; but if neither player wants to claim a draw, they can continue until a five-fold repetition is reached, at which point (under FIDE rules) the game is automatically drawn. – TonyK Aug 29 at 15:32
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As ever, it depends.

In general, given adequate king shelter, the rooks have good chances when there are targets to coordinate against.

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  • Could you be a bit more specific? – user24344 Sep 2 at 3:21
  • Not really. Say the ending is equal pawns and rooks vs. queen. The rooks might coordinate against any pawn to bring about a queen-and-pawn for two-rooks swap, and a (presumably) won pawn ending. And in any position where the side with the queen can't defend a weak pawn with the king, the rooks just team up to take those, yeah? – friscodelrosario Sep 2 at 6:12

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