How To Checkmate With King and Rook

 








White to move Position after move 0 0 half-moves after last pawn advance or capture

This lesson describes a rather easy method to perform a checkmate with a single Rook.

 

The black King is in the centre of the board and White must force him to the side of the board. This will be done by cutting off some of the King’s escape squares with the Rook. Since the black King is on the right side the rook starts from the left side by 1.Td1 (Diagram 2)








Black to move Position after move 1 1 half-move after last pawn advance or capture

Black tries to keep his King in the centre but White is also moving the King to the centre.

 

1…Ke4 2.Kc3

The white King will always go for the line just outside the Rook’s rectangle. The black King can not play 2…Ke3 because of 3.Re1. He has to avoid the opposition.








Black to move Position after move 7 13 half-moves after last pawn advance or capture

2…Ke5 3.Kc4 Ke6 4.Kc5 Ke7 5.Kc6 Ke8 6.Kc7

 

In fact 6.Rd7 is better, but in this lesson one line at the time is taken away from the black King.
Now the black King has reached the end of the board. He has to move to the right or in opposition with the white King.

6…Ke7 7.Re1+ (Diagram 3)

And now the black King has to move to the right.

7… Kf6 8.Kd6 Kf5 9.Re8 Kf4

The Rook likes to be on a rank that is nearer to his own King. This makes it easier to follow the black King.

 








Black to move Position after move 14 27 half-moves after last pawn advance or capture

And now to take away the next line:

 

9…Kf4 10.Kd5 Kf3 11.Kd4 Kf2 12.Kd3 Kf1 13.Kd2 Kf2 Rf8+
(Diagram 4)

14…Kg3 15.Ke3 Kg4

Again moving the Rook to the other side:

16.Rf1 Kg3

Not Black’s best move, but let’s see what happens if Black tries to capture the white Rook.

17.Rg1+ Kh2

Nothing happens. White just has to move the Rook to the other side.

18.Rg8 Kh1 19.Kf2 Kh2 20.Rh8# 1-0

Now black’s King has no lines left at all.
This is a rather easy way to accomplish the checkmate, but it takes some time. On the other hand it certainly takes less than 50 moves.

Have you already learned the checkmating with the Queen or do you prefer to start with the first lesson at intermediate level: Piece activity?

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