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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Endgame Technique from Fred Reinfeld


This instruction comes from Fred Reinfeld's 1953 book The Complete Chessplayer. In this starting position, White has a rook and five pawns to Black's bishop and six pawns.

Reinfeld explains that the task for White "is to give the rook mobility, and increase that mobility." He continues, "What will be achieved thereby? The goal will be: weakening Black's pawns to the point where they can no longer be guarded adequately. Once this happens, White will win one or more pawns. It will then become possible for him to obtain passed pawns."

Reinfeld notes the following about the starting position:

(1) Black has three weak pawns - his king pawn [e6] and knight pawns [b6 and g7]. They are weak because they cannot be guarded by pawns. They must be guarded by the Black king. This obligation imposes severe limits on the Black king's freedom of action.

(2) White's rook has at present three [semi-]open files. Nevertheless, he will strive to put even more open lines at the rook's disposal.

(3) White's king must operate more aggresively and find some way of penetrating into Black's position.

This steady increase of one's mobility and command of terrain is standard position in any ending…Hence White must rely on the simultaneous increase of his own mobility and the cutting down of Black's command of the board.


Reinfeld further notes that although White's pawns "are useless for fashioning a passed pawn," nevertheless "they can play an important role in creating new open lines for White: by playing c4 and f5 at the right moment, White will enormously increase his mobility." Here is how Reinfeld accomplishes these goals:

1.c4 Kc6

2.Rb5 Be7




3.f5 dxc4+

4.Kxc4 exf5




5.Rxf5 Bf6

6.f4 Kd6




7.Rb5 Kc6

8.f5 Bg5




9.Re5 Bf6

10.Re6+ Kc7




11.Kb5 Bd4

12.Rc6+ Kd7




13.Rc4 Bc5

14.Rg4 Ke7




15.Rxg7+ Kf6

16.Rg6+ Kxf5




17.Rxh6 and Black resigns, since White can then play 18.Rxb6, sacrificing the exchange for an easily won ending.

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