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JoshSpecht - Chess Endgame Lesson: Lucena Position [5:18] 
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 JoshSpecht - Chess Endgame Lesson: Lucena Position [5:18]
Poster: JoshSpecht
Name: Josh Specht
Federation: USA
Videos Made: 169
FIDE Rating: 2102
World Rank: 37819
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Video Tags: Endgame Lucena position

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Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:25 am
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:54 am
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Location: Budapest
Rating Class: Class C (1400-1600)
that was instructive indeed. I only wonder where the idea to have a look at all these specific endings comes from? Whatever, it obviously is useful ,since if you know what endings are winable (there is such a word right?) then you can try forcing the game into this direction. Thank you very much JoshSpecht (do you speak german by the way?- i think the word "Specht" means sth. in german :shock: ) although it probably needs a lot of review to memorize all necessary endings to be able to actually make use of them.

Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:11 am

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:17 pm
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Gift, I'm glad you liked the video. I don't speak German (although both my parents and sister do), but I believe a Specht is a kind of bird, maybe a woodpecker. Anyways, the idea that certain endings are fundamental is a pretty old idea in chess training. The Lucena position and Philidor position are fundamental for rook endings because they represent the key positions for the simplest rook ending, rook+pawn vs. rook. The Philidor shows the situations where the game is drawn and the Lucena shows wins. This means that all rook endings must be evaluated based on whether or not one side can achieve these positions (or similar ones). The ideas in both positions are also instructive in that they show how the rook and king can work together to either promote a pawn or blockade a pawn. Finally, I think you'll find that memorizing the Lucena position and the Philidor position (and other fundamental endings like king+pawn vs. king) isn't too tough if you just try playing them out a couple times against a friend or a computer. In fact, when I quit playing chess for a couple years I was worried I would forget some of these positions but they came right back. Learning to win with king+pawn vs. king, for example, is like learning to ride a bike...once you know it, you probably couldn't forget if you tried.

FIDE 2118, USCF 2073.

Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:32 am

Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:57 pm
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Location: Schwarzwald, Deutschland
Gracias por los videos, de esta manera es mucho más ameno estudiar los finales de partida.
Thanks for the videos, so it is much more fun and easy to study the endgames.

Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:06 pm

Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:55 am
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Location: Wynne, Arkansas USA
[size=20][color=black]There are four points I would like to add that were omitted in the video:

1. I've seen a lot of GM games that were played out of habbit. If, for example, black plays Ke8, instead of Ke7, then white can save time by playing the rook to the 5th rank instead of the 4th.


2. Given the opportunity, black can play his rook to the 4th rank challenging white to drive the rook away in order to get his own rook to the 4th rank.


3. The knight pawn is an exception. White can win quickly by moving his rook to the rook file given the opportunity. This allows the black king to approach the pawn closer, and even capture the pawn after it has been promoted, but at the cost of his rook, and the game. The knight pawn is the most interesting in such cases. Consider white moving Ka8, or Ka7. Each wins, but the technique is different for each.


4. White can win the Lucena Position with a rook pawn if black's king is at least as far away as the distant bishop's file. This gives white time to move his rook to b8. There are instances where white can win even when black's king is closer, but these exceptions must be memorized.


Other examples of the Lucena Position from actual games:


Last edited by petrovitch on Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:21 pm

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:42 am
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Thank you so much this is a great example of rook and pawn vs rook and king ending!me and my co club players here in the Philippines are learning a lot fro,m you guys!!More Power and keep it up!!

Rodgie San Luis
Zabarte Chess Club,Zabarte Rd.Novaliches
Quezon City,Philippines

Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:48 am
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Good explanation of Lucena. Thank you!


Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:07 am
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petrovitch wrote:
2. Given the opportunity, black can play his rook to the 4th rank challenging white to drive the rook away in order to get his own rook to the 4th rank.


Other examples of the Lucena Position from actual games:


Whoa -- I've never seen Black try that before! That seems to make the win much harder for White, although Shebarschin could have tried 96...Rf4+ and Belavenets could have tried 81...Kd7 to offer even more resistance. Hopefully I'll never gets stuck on the weaker side of this endgame, but if I do I'll try this stuff out. :)

The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it." - Benjamin Franklin

Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:33 am
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well put together thx

Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:22 pm

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 Re: JoshSpecht - Chess Endgame Lesson: Lucena Position [5:18]
Note about what happens if Black is to move and he plays ...Ra4. Then White can play 2. Re1(e2)+ Ke7(e8) 3. Kc7! Rc4+ 4. Kb6 Rb4+ 5. Ka6! Ra4+ 6. Kb5 Ra1 7. Re4! and after Rb1+ White achieves the Bridge proper with 8. Rb4+-

Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:33 am

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 Re: JoshSpecht - Chess Endgame Lesson: Lucena Position [5:18]
In Dutch "Specht" is a woodpecker btw.

Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:58 am

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 Re: JoshSpecht - Chess Endgame Lesson: Lucena Position [5:18]
Thank you Josh,
As a teacher in a tertiary institute for over two decades I've learnt the value of repeating concepts three times ie presenting them in three different ways.
It isn't the repetition but the slight variation in presentation that shifts the subject matter from short term to long term memory. It happens automatically. So thank you for showing us the principal variation twice using names such as "bridge" It helps to have labelled pictures in our minds. I also learnt that I need to know this variation and the Philidor ending. Well done.

On another issue do you have a selection of openings for beginners. OK not total novices but openings suitable for someone who hasn't played for a decade and wants to get back into it? Thanks. :D

Fri May 22, 2009 10:08 pm

Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:35 pm
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 Re: JoshSpecht - Chess Endgame Lesson: Lucena Position [5:18]
Nice video! However, when I tried the endgame with the computer, black always attacks the white rook on d4:

d1 e7
d4 e6

Therefore, my moves were:

Rd1 Ke7
Rd4 Ke6
Kc7 Rc2+
Kb6 Rb2+
Kc6 Ke5
Rd5+ Ke6
Rb5 Rc2+
Kb6 Rd2
b8=Q winning
Could you let me know if those were the best moves for the combination? If so, could you add that variation to your video?

Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:59 pm
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