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Rook Endgames by Ron W. Henley

Rook Endgames by Ron W. Henley

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Videos 1 and 2 cover the essential tactics and themes that arise in Rook endgames. These include: Blocking, Deflecting, Rank Cut, Bridge Building, Zugzwang, Triangulation, Boxing-in, Desperado and Fortress. Ron gracefully explains each concept with clear cut written definitions for each tactic, and then proceeds to give real examples of each and how they apply to rook endgames.

Videos 3, 4, 5 and 6 cover the essential strategic themes of Rook Endings. These include: Active King, Delayed Gratification, Active Rook, and Three Rook placements: in front of the pawn, side of the pawn, behind the pawn (Tarrasch’s rule), Exceptions to the rule. 

Videos 7 and 8 cover Endgame Transition: when to liquidate your pieces into an advantageous rook ending. But not only that, when to transition into a rook endgame to save your game! Next, GM Henley covers the next step in transition: that is, when in a rook ending should you liquidate into a winning pawn ending.

Video 9 covers pawn structure. Here, the key concepts covered are how pawn structure affects how you should play Rook endings. Concepts include passed pawns, weak pawns and pawns for counter play. 

Video 10 covers pawn sacrifices. Ron explains the main reasons you’d want to sacrifice pawns, either to activate your rook for offense when you have a superior position or for defensive reasons, to gain counter play.  In total Ron offers 7 rules for when to sacrifice a pawn. A must view!

Video 11 continues to cover pawn sacrifices in rook endgames, but now with the goal of creating a mating net or mating attack. 

Videos 12, 13 and 14 cover piece coordination, converting a material advantage. As well as Probing; the strategic concept of attacking enemy pawns to create weaknesses in the opponent’s position.  Finally, Ron covers how to convert a material advantage into a win. 

In all the videos, Ron takes the utmost care in bringing up and using the most instructive rook endgames ever played. Historical games by the likes of Capablanca, Rubenstein, Botvinnik and Fischer. Modern masterpieces by Kramnik, Polgar, Magnus and simpler games from his own students played on the ICC.

Here are a few sample games used:

  • Wesley So - Mamedov, Gashimov Memorial 2015 
  • Fischer - Spassky, WC Match G16 1972 
  • Korchnoi – Karpov, Candidates M 1974 
  • Steinitz – Gunsberg, New York 1890 
  • Portisch – Petrosian, Candidates M 1974 
  • Alekhine-Bogoljubow, Weisbaden 1929 
  • Keres – Mikenas, 1937 
  • Grischuk – Anand, WC Mexico City 2008
  • Botvinnik-Levenfish, Leningrad 1937
  • Em Lasker – Rubinstein, St Petersburg 1914 
  • Capablanca – Marshall, St. Petersburg 1914 
  • Nakamura – Krush, World Open 2005 
  • Capablanca – Tartakower, New York 1924

         About GM Ron Henley

GM Ron W. Henley is an American Grandmaster best known for his role as second, analyst and trainer for former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov in several matches in the 1990s.  He has also served as a chess trainer and promoter of leading young women chess players, including Three Time US Women's Chess Champion Irina Krush.  In coordination with the ICC, Ron has recorded a superb 14-video collection on the all-important Rook Endings. Working side by side with an endgame artist like Anatoly Karpov clearly shows in these videos.  Ron shines with his excellent preparation on each topic, his thoughtful picking of games, and the simple yet effective way he teaches you the secrets of rook endgame play. Just like a vintage Capablanca endgame, you’ll be impressed on how Ron makes everything so easy and simple to comprehend.

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