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?
Moving Rc8 soon results in a fatal back-rank prison for the black king as follows:
- . . . . Rc8
- Qf7+ Kd8 (forced)
- Kd6 with mate soon to follow
What if black moves the rook all the way down to c1? Consider this:
- . . . . Rc1
- Qf5+ Ke8 (The black king must avoid the dark squares or lose the rook)
- Qh5+ Kd7
- Qg4+ Ke8
- 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?
That’s the best defense for black (Rb7) but there’s a problem:
- Qf7+ Kc8
- Qe8+ Kc7
- Kc5 . . . . which brings us to Diagram-3. Does the position look familiar?
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.
A special case of corner defense, known for centuries
A fine video on this aspect of queen-versus-rook chess end game
If you know the chess rules but almost nothing about how to win, this book is for you.