This article is about how to win a Rook and Pawn endgame. Meaning, a Rook and pawn versus a Rook. This kind of endgame has a fancier term called, the Philidor Position.
What Is The Philidor Position?
The Philidor Position, also known as the third rank defense, is an endgame position with just a Rook versus a Rook and Pawn. It’s is the most important pawn endgames to learn.
When you’re the one without a pawn, the goal of this position is to capture the pawn or exchange Rooks while also being able to prevent the pawn from promotion, either by capturing or blocking.
There are many pawn endgames to learn, practice, and perfect, this is another one of those positions. Also knowing the key squares is crucial. The most important part of this endgame is being able to create the possibility to start a never ending King hunt by the defending Rook resulting in a draw due to repetitive moves.
Here’s the bottom line of the third rank defense, as well as the sixth rank defense.
The enemy Rook is keeping the opponents King away from the Sixth Rank.
As soon as the pawn moves to the sixth rank the defending rook must be moved back
This initiates a King hunt using distant checks
The position below illustrates a common Philidor Position. Click the arrows to go through the position to see how to draw the game instead of losing.
Every move must be precise in a position like this. One inaccurate move is the difference between getting the draw and losing.
White is winning in the position. However, with precise moves, Black is able to win a draw. Getting a draw is considered a victory when losing is nearly guaranteed.
Did you find this guide on the Philidor Position helpful? If you did, you might also want to reference the complete guide on the pawn endgame.