To Win Rook Endgames, You Need To Know The Lucena Position | Chess Endgame Basics #8

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Once you overcome the Philidor defense of your opponent in the rook endgame, you often end up in the Lucena position in which your pawn is only one move away from promoting. Depending on which pawn you have, there are one or two winning techniques. The so-called bridge maneuver works with every pawn, except for the h-pawn. The rook of the attacker (with the pawn) guards the king from checks of the defender’s rook and the defender has to give up the rook for the pawn. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Here’s the video about the Philidor Defense, one of the most important endgame positions:

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Niclas Huschenbeth (born February 29, 1992 in Hann. Muenden) is a German Chess Grandmaster. Huschenbeth learned how to play chess at the age of five and participated in youth chess tournaments. He was awarded the title of International Master in 2008 and the Grandmaster title in 2012. At age 18, he achieved his most notable success, becoming the youngest German Champion in history. He has played 52 times for the German national team and participated in two chess olympiads. Currently, Huschenbeth studies industrial/organizational psychology at the Free University of Berlin.


  1. What happens if black goes Ke6 instead of Kg7 in the very last scenario?

  2. What Black's Rook STARTS on Whites' 4th rank? Then, how can White place HIS Rook on the 4th rank as is suggested when using the "bridge" method?

  3. Will you make a video about the endgame Queen vs. Rook?

  4. This video was extremely clear, thank you! Just one bit, is it really pronounced as "Lu-ki-na"?

  5. start video when the rook is already in h file is much harder …i am speaking of the black roook

  6. Very helpful, but let's give the Spanish chess genius's name its proper pronunciation. The letter 'c' in Lucena is pronounced as /th/, as in the word 'think', or as /s/ (in Mexican version of Spanish, as in the English word 'cell', 'ceiling' etc., and never as /k/which is the case only when the letter 'c' is followed by 'a', 'o' and 'u'. The same rule is valid in English, Italian and all the languages which inherited this pronunciation rule from Latin. Here on Google translate you can hear how it sounds when pronounced by a native speaker:

  7. I'm missing definitions (just as in Philidor Position). So here's the def for Lucena:
    the pawn is any pawn except a rook pawn
    the pawn has advanced to the seventh rank
    the attacking king (the one with the pawn) is on the queening square of its pawn
    the attacking rook cuts off the opposing king from the pawn by at least one file
    the defending rook is on the file on the other side of the pawn

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