In different ocasions I find my self in a very dificult situation (for me). The only pieces on the board are: Mine - King an Rook ; Oponnent - King.

It is very dificult for me to check mate... Can somebody give me the main lines to do so, or where can I find this information?

  • Yes, defenetly a duplicate... Sorry, and thank you!
    – J.L
    Feb 24, 2015 at 13:29

2 Answers 2


Here's one way:

  1. Use the Rook to restrict the opponent's King to one part of the board.
  2. Use your King to gain the opposition (Kings facing with one space between them, and it being your move)
  3. Use the Rook to take a rank (or file, as appropriate) from the opponent's King.
  4. Repeat until checkmate.

[Title "Checkmate with K+R vs K"]
[FEN "8/8/8/3k4/8/8/6K1/R7 w - - 0 1"]

1. Ra4 {Now the king can't access half of the board.} Kc5 {He chases the Rook. Don't get fixated and let him take it! #guilty} 2. Rh4 {Keep the Rook away from the enemy King} Kd5 {The opponent will not want to leave the the 5th rank.} 3. Kg3 {This move is actually a little tricky, but the concept is key to quickly winning this ending. We must not allow the opponent to gain the 'opposition'. Whenever there is one space between the two Kings and they are lined up (even diagonally), that is, when they _oppose_ one another, the player on move has the advantage. Thus if we played Kf3, Black would have the opposition and we'd waste moves.} Ke5 {Keeping in the center, the best defense.} 4. Kf3 {Note this position - your King between your Rook and the enemy King. Now the enemy has 2 choices, charge or run. Might as well charge...} Kf5 5. Rh5+ {Absolutely fundamental here is that you gained the opposition (the Kings had one space between them and it was your move). In this position, you take the row away from the opponent's King.  This is what this checkmate technique is all about.}  Kg6 {Never give up. Maybe White will make a careless error...} 6. Ra5 {Nope. The Rook runs.} Kf6 {chases!}
7.Ke4 {Now if the enemy King chases, White gains the opposition again...} Ke6 (7...Ke7? {when defending, do not surrender space} 8. Ra6! {Gobble that rank!}) 8. Ra6+ Kf7 {Black knows he's doomed.} 9. Ke5 {Other moves allow Black to get the opposition. Do not allow it.} Kg7 {He runs because he knows what happens if he goes the other way.} 10. Kf5 Kh7 11. Kg5 {almost there...} Kg7 {what else??} 12.Ra7+ {Forces the King back} Kh8 {Kf8 is better but I have to go to work!} 13. Kg6 {will gain the opposition next turn. Not Kh6? which allows the king to escape to g8. Then you'd have to chase him to the other side of the rank. Go ahead and try it, it's annoying.} Kg8 14. Ra8#

One thing about your Rook when checkmating like this - never give up a row once you take it. Never loosen your grasp.

Another thing is that your King should be between the opponent's King and your Rook. If he chases your Rook anyway, you'll get him in opposition and force him back. If he does not chase your Rook, then he'll run out of room to run and you'll gain the opposition. Sometimes, you'll need to move your Rook one square to 'waste' a move. If you do, don't surrender the rank! Keep the king contained. See the 2nd diagram.

You can use the opposition in lots of endgame positions to force your opponent to make a move he does not like. Learn it, love it.

Per the note above. In this case it is White's move. But the natural Kh5 and Kf5 give Black the opposition which means the game will be extended. The horrid Kg6 allows the King to slip the noose. So White needs to put black in Zugswang (which means to make him make a bad move.)

[TITLE "It Happens."]
[FEN "8/7k/R7/6K1/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"]

1. Rb6 {Now Black has no good moves.} Kg7 2. Rb7+ {There we go, we're back on track.} 

  • Not a bad answer, but I think you're just a tad confused on the opposition. White isn't taking the opposition; he's actually forcing Black to take the opposition.
    – D M
    Mar 31, 2019 at 0:17

Actually, this is a very fundamental ending and once you grasp the concept, it is quite simple.

Essentially, you need to get your King close to your opponent's King and then coordinate with your Rook to close (or force) his/her King to a corner. A bit of care is needed (e.g., using the concept of opposition) to give the final mate.

The following should help you:


  • I use the 'alternate method' from the link above.
    – Tony Ennis
    Feb 24, 2015 at 11:46

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