What Rooks Want
When at the end of January a friend of mine invited me for a lecture with his young students I did not think twice, and accepted. “You choose a theme”, said Pavel. I decided that something that will help my young audience understand better their pieces will be most helpful. Therefore I picked up the theme “What Rooks Like”.
Here are a couple of samples from the lecture, which came to demonstrate that rooks prefer to torture the opponent’s king from far away. The first sample is given by Tarrasch:
Black can save himself here if he is to move by harrassing the opponent's king: 1...Ra8+ 2.Kd7 Ra7+ 3.Ke6 Ra6+ 4.Ke5 Ra5+ 5.Kd4 Ra4+ 6.Kc5 Ra5+ 7.Kb6
And only when the king is too far away from the pawn- 7...Re5 ½
However, a slight change of rok's operating area might change the situation dramatically:
1...Rb8+ 2.Kd7 Rb7+ 3.Kd8 Rb8+ 4.Kc7 Ra8
Seems like everything is OK for Black, the rook occupied "his" vertical and is ready to torture the white king again, but...
5.Ra1! Re8 6.Kd7 Kf7 7.Rf1+ 1–0