Checkmate with one rook

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end game :: rook checkmate
the square rule | opposition | zugzwang | checkmating with one queen | checkmating with one rook | checkmating with two rooks | checkmating with two bishops | back rank mate

One rook checkmate

Just like in the case of checkmating with one queen, the rook needs the support of the king in order to checkmate the opponent. It uses the same principle : the rook reduces the enemy king free space while its king approaches it.

Look at the following example :

checkmate with one rook the initial position of the kings and rook 1. Kc2-d3 The only active move. There was no point in moving the rook. 1... Kf4-g4 The black king can't go past the 6th rank because the rook controls it. All it can do is to attack the rook in the hope that the opponent will make a mistake and live the rook in its place 2. Rh5-a5 Kg4-f4 3. Ra5-d5 3... Kf4-f3 4. Rd5-f5+ White takes advantage of the fact that the two kings are in opposition and checks the king. Now the king loses another rank by
The two kings are in opposition. After the White rook checks the king by moving to f5 Black will lose another rank 4... Kf3-g3. As a general rule,you should know that in this kind of endgame the side which is about to checkmate will always try to gain opposition; this way he will be able to force the opponent's king towards the edge of the board by checking it. 5. Kd3-e3 Kg3-g4 6. Rf5-d5 And now the black king is forced to enter opposition 6... Kg4-g3 and of course White takes advantage : 7. Rd5-g5+ Kg3-h3 8. Ke3-f3 Kh3-h2 9. Rg5-h5!? But what is this!? The black king is allowed to escape the h file! But wait there is more to this then meets the eye! 9... Kh2-g1
 After White makes the waiting move Rh5-h8 Black is forced to enter the opposition where it will be checkmated 10. Rh5-h8 (This is a waiting move. This kind of moves are made with no specific purpose other then that to wait for the opponent to make his move). White did this move because Black is in a zugzwang position, and now he is forced to make a bad move. 10... Kg1-f1 And now he entered in opposition 11. Rh8-h1checkmate Checkmate! Black is in a checkmate position. White wins the game