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Current 4 follow-up questions for the answer (currently just 1 answer):

A - engine says Kf5 is a blunder. Did you mean Kf6?

B - engine says Kf5 Re7 is a blunder. Did you mean Kf5 Rd7? Kf5 Re7 blunders into king and rook mate with Kf6 next?

C - after Kf6 (instead of Kf5), white must not play a rook move right? after Kf6 any rook move leads to rook being captured or an actual king and rook mate right?

D - 'BTW I just autoplayed the position after Ke6, and White doesn't make any progress at all' --> aha! so Ke6 is actually a draw?


Click here for engine re position below

8/p2k4/1p4p1/1P1p2K1/3P1P2/R3P3/8/1r6 b - - 0 1

The way it's described by hanging pawns in A Rook Endgame Lesson with Akiba Rubinstein at 29:09 (the game is discussed from 22:48 until 31:21) makes me think it's some ordinary expected move while alekhine is already losing. but according to engine: there is a good move (or at least a better move), and the only good move here is Ke6. but then the evaluation goes from 0.6 to 3.2 for Rxb5.

the way this game is being described sounds as if alekhine's been doomed from the start of the endgame and didn't have any chances of winning or drawing in between and then it's just a matter of rubinstein to convert the win and it's like rubinstein does this perfectly. but it seems like there could've been some chance for Ke6 instead of Rxb5.

What's going on?

Similar question: Ulf Andersson vs Robert Huebner 1981 rook endgame: the mistake here is Rd8 right?

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  • 1
    Can you post the actual position rather than links to a video ?
    – Evargalo
    Aug 17 at 15:52
  • 1
    @Evargalo Actually I did post a link to lichess engine re the position but anyhoo I now edited post to include a visual of the position. Thanks for commenting.
    – BCLC
    Aug 17 at 16:01
3
+50

I'd prefer if you formulate your question clearly as "Is Rxb5 losing? Is Ke6 instead drawing?" but anyway.

"Activity is key factor in rook endgames"[tm].

After Rxb5, the f passer is simply too strong. It merely takes some precision (Rc7! at the end) to walk the point home, and Rubinstein was an endgame god anyway. After 1...Ke6 2.Rxa7 Rg1+ 3.Kh6 Kf5 4.Re7 Rg3, the black king will break through to the white pawn center as soon as White tries to net Pg6, which will cost him Pe3 and Pd4. His king is off on the h-line too...

[[FEN 8/8/1p4R1/1P1p2K1/3k1P2/7r/8/8]]

This would be a near-lying key position in the line described. Syzygy confirms Rxb6 only draws. This does not say 1...Ke6 holds the draw (White can e.g. try 5.Re5+ and gobble Pd5...only after some Kh7, though) but I think I had tried this too (in my best years).

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  • 'I'd prefer if you formulate your question clearly...' thanks for the feedback. i edited this several times actually before posting. wasn't really quite sure how to say it but the engine didn't say Ke6 was drawing exactly. the evaluation was like 0.7 or something.
    – BCLC
    Aug 17 at 9:59
  • thanks Hauke Reddmann shall read in a bit
    – BCLC
    Aug 17 at 9:59
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    @BCLC: I haven't played for years now and it shows ;-) (Be sure that I wouldn't overlook any of this in tournament mode...) Autoplay was Lichess Stockfish standard mode, I tried a few alternatives to the computer main line, no progress. Oh, and I googled, you should have done it too. chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1000899 Aug 17 at 20:58
  • 1
    What do you mean please? Why are you linking me to chessgames? Kinda confused...I'll restart please. 4 follow up questions: A - engine says Kf5 is a blunder. Did you mean Kf6? B - engine says Kf5 Re7 is a blunder. Did you mean Kf5 Rd7? Kf5 Re7 blunders into king and rook mate with Kf6 next? C - after Kf6 (instead of Kf5), white must not play a rook move right? after Kf6 any rook move leads to rook being captured or an actual king and rook mate right? D - 'BTW I just autoplayed the position after Ke6, and White doesn't make any progress at all' --> aha! so Ke6 is actually a draw?
    – BCLC
    Aug 18 at 9:46
  • 2
    The link goes to the game on chessgames and contains some analysis, agreeing that Rxb5 loses and Ke6 (most probably) draws (D). All concrete variants (A,B,C) I give usually are waffle since I rarely let an engine check them. Never believe them blindly ;-) (E.g., on Rg1+ the engine rather plays Kh4 than Kh6 anyway.) Aug 18 at 14:42

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