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In Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual, 2nd Edition from 2006 the following important practical rook endgame with a distant passed pawn is analysed. The whole analysis (of the same position with white to move and black to move) is on pages 194-200.

 [Title "White to move"] 
 [SetUp "1"]
 [FEN "8/R4p2/P4kp1/7p/7P/4K1P1/r4P2/8 w - - 0 1"]

 1.Kd4! Rxf2 2. Rc7 Ra2 3. a7 Kf5 4. Kc4!! {Johannes Steckner} Kg4 5. Kb3! Ra6 6. Rc4+ Kxg3 7. Ra4 Rxa7 8. Rxa7 Kxh4 9. Kc3 Kg3 10. Kd2 h4 11. Ke2 Kg2 12. Rxf7 h3 13. Rf2+! Kg3 14. Rf6 +-  

The author claims, with very long analyses to back it up, that white wins after Kd4!, but he warns:

Nothing could be further from my mind than to label the analyses presented [...] as the "last word of theory" - long, complicated variations rarely turn out error-free.

Have there been any new developments since 2006?

I know 11-men tablebases are a long way off, but are we still confident this endgame is a win for white?

  • +1 Good endgame to analyze over the coming long weekend! – Wes Jul 3 '14 at 18:42
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    I don't know what move you are thinking of, but 1. Kd4 g5 is quite thematic to break up the pawn structure and try to create a passed pawn as soon as possible. – Dag Oskar Madsen Jul 4 '14 at 7:40
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    Yes, Dvoretsky has completely ignored that line. – Wes Jul 4 '14 at 14:41
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    I plugged the initial position into FinalGen, after 11 hours and 400 GB, it claims there is still 20 hours remaining to generate all the positions. Maybe someone else has tried that on a faster PC? – Joe Jul 4 '14 at 15:36
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    For the purpose of Google searches, could you edit your question to include the page numbers where this endgame is found in the book? – Patrick Coulombe Aug 17 '14 at 15:32
2

This entire endgame has been analyzed thoroughly on ChessPub. It seems that member Wes was right -> ...g5 is the main move. This was confirmed with a lengthy analysis at ChessCafe -> see the first position on the page ( there are some other games analyzed after the analysis of this position finishes ). I am sorry for posting links but the analysis is huge!

Good luck and hopefully this answered your question!

Best regards!

  • 2
    My suggestion was 1. Kd4 g5! and not playing g5 after first taking on f2. Don't take on f2 at all. Just play 1...g5! I think that's the critical line. The book does a fine job of refuting 1...Rxf2 already. – Wes Jul 11 '14 at 22:28
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    @Wes: Your "gut feeling" was good, it is the only move that leads to a draw! See detailed analysis in links I posted ( I have edited my answer ). Well done! Best regards. – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Jul 12 '14 at 14:48
  • It's amazing what possibilities exist in such a simple position. – Dag Oskar Madsen Jul 12 '14 at 19:13
  • Thank you for officially accepting, I hope you learned a lot as I have. What an amazing piece of art can be contained in such a simple endgame! Best regards. – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Jul 23 '14 at 8:20
  • The ChessCafe analysis is now behind a paywall. Is it possible to make a short summary? – Dag Oskar Madsen May 6 at 9:52

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