Queen Versus Rook – Euwe Position

This is the Euwe position of the queen-versus-rook end game, named for Max Euwe, who was briefly the World Champion of chess in the early 1930’s. It is the defender’s move below, so what can black do?

Queen-vs-rook end game of chess


Moving Rc8 soon results in a fatal back-rank prison for the black king as follows:

  1. . . . .     Rc8
  2. Qf7+   Kd8 (forced)
  3. Kd6   with mate soon to follow

What if black moves the rook all the way down to c1? Consider this:

  1. . . . .    Rc1
  2. Qf5+  Ke8  (The black king must avoid the dark squares or lose the rook)
  3. Qh5+ Kd7
  4. Qg4+ Ke8
  5. Kd6   (the point of the queen maneuvering: black cannot harass the white king)

Black will then have to give up the rook to avoid mate.

From Diagram-1, what about moving Rb7?

queen-versus-rook Euwe position of chess


That’s the best defense for black (Rb7) but there’s a problem:

  1. Qf7+   Kc8
  2. Qe8+  Kc7
  3. Kc5   . . . .    which brings us to Diagram-3. Does the position look familiar?

Cont. Queen versus rook endgame


Compare the above position with that of Diagram-1. Each piece is one square to the left. This will be repeated (if black uses the best defense: Ra7), and the rook will soon have no room to retreat.

Other positions, in queen-versus-rook, are not so easy as the above, but with proper technique, precise technique, white should also win other variations of Q-vs-R.

Special thanks to Derek Grimmell for his research and his Youtube chess videos on various patterns and procedures in these challenging  Q-vs-R endgame variations.



Philidor Position of Queen-Versus-Rook

A special case of corner defense, known for centuries

Derek Grimmell’s Youtube Video on Euwe Position

A fine video on this aspect of queen-versus-rook chess end game

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