The position is a variation of a computer game.

[FEN "8/3k1R2/2p1p3/2PpP3/3P1P2/6r1/4K3/8 b - - 0 1"]

Can this position be won by white ABSENT the fifty move rule? I know this is mostly exotic, because a eleven , or nine pieces position will be considered a draw under current rules both in over the board chess and in correspondence chess. Nevertheless , I am curious to know. Can the fortress be broken , even if it takes more than 50 moves?

  • 1
    I would be very surprised if 50 moves rule made a difference in this position.
    – koedem
    Nov 23 '20 at 22:19
  • 1
    Is the diagram upside down? Is Black moving up the board?
    – bof
    Nov 24 '20 at 6:20
  • 1
    What could White do with unlimited moves that he couldn't with 50? There's only so much a king and rook can move around. Nov 24 '20 at 8:36
  • because black under check - assume its blacks move - so d3xc2 should win fairly easy for black :D seriously - edit question - turn the board with white at bottom or at least note that board is set up unusual way - black on bottom
    – Drako
    Nov 24 '20 at 9:47

The position very much looks to be a draw. The white king can't advance easily as the black rook stays on the third rank. All the maneuvers to bring back the white rook to help advance don't seem to work as both f4 and d4 can be weak. Furthermore the black king can stay on the d file to cover the e7 and c7 square while always having Kd7 if White attacks the weak e6 or c6 pawn from the side.

Therefore the only way to make progress for White is to play 0...Kd8 1.f5 exf5 2.Rxf5 Now White faces a similar problem. The d4 pawn is weak so as soon as White blocks with the rook on the third rank the black rook will move to the fourth rank and keep the d4 pawn attacked. For instance 2...Rh3 3.Rf3 Rh4 . To make progress White would have to block the fourth rank. However if White plays Ke3 Black can respond with Re4+ forcing the king to d3 from which it can not support a move like Rf4 blocking the fourth rank.

This of course is not a proof but I am very sure that for the reasons outlined here, the position is a draw under all circumstances.

  • why waste time with Rxf5 and not directly e6(assuming the board is rotated with black at bottom?
    – Drako
    Nov 24 '20 at 9:44
  • Since my trials with Houdini 6.02 seems to indicate White may win in the long run(though I am not 100 percent certain); it seems like FinalGen is necessary to solve this position.
    – Stefano
    Nov 24 '20 at 10:14
  • @Stefano what exact line do you think gives White any winning chances? Or what makes you think that? Pretty sure finalgen isn't necessary here. (though actually it might not take that long thanks to the locked up pawns)
    – koedem
    Nov 24 '20 at 11:47
  • Excuse me. It seems drawn by now, though by no means easy to defend.
    – Stefano
    Nov 24 '20 at 11:50
  • @Drako oh sorry, I must have missed that comment. Why waste time? Because time is irrelevant in this position. You can take on f5 get back to f7 and then play e6 anyway. However this isn't really a winning attempt, Black can just respond with Rg4 after which e7+ Ke8 doesn't help and neither does Kd3 Re4 Rd7+ Kc8! Rd6 Kc7 and White can't make progress.
    – koedem
    Nov 24 '20 at 18:56

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