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?

2 Answers 2


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)


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

(White to move, mate in 49)

  • Thanks. So its a draw, the game will continue endlessly if either side do not commit a blunder? Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 16:27
  • 1
    In most cases, yes.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 17:04
  • 4
    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". Commented Aug 29, 2020 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
    Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 8:20
  • 2
    @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
    Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 15:32

As ever, it depends.

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

  • Could you be a bit more specific?
    – user24344
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 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? Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 6:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.