90% Of Chess Players Fail To Solve This “Easy” Endgame Puzzle | Can You Win Here As White?

Even in the most basic chess endgame scenarios, a notable level of complexity persists, adding depth to the apparent simplicity. Take a look at this Apparently straightforward endgame in front of you, white has a pawn one square away from promotion with their king near while black only has a rook which he can easily sacrifice in order to stop the promotion.

Well, let me tell you, this endgame is actually more complex than you think and it proves why a strong understanding of tactical positioning can save your endgame.

What a ride! I hope you enjoyed this tricky puzzle and made you realize that often times, in chess, even if things seems straightforward simple, in most of the cases they are not. So always look for possible wins even in the most dawnish scenario. Take care!

45 Comments

  1. This is a very famous puzzle. I saw it on multiple occasions

  2. This is an easy win for white that I dont personally believe 90% of players fail. The first example is a draw… not a win for either side, incase that clears up any confusion. I downvoted and this may have potentially been slightly misleading due to the clickbaity title.

  3. Found the key idea of staying in b file immediately; didn't see the stalemate trap though

  4. On my own, I got all the way to queening the pawn … and stalemating Black! Underpromoting is a beautiful thing.

  5. Wow! It never ceases to amaze how complex even simple-looking endgames can be. Great video.

  6. @3:48 although Rd4 is cool, the best move by black is to play Rg3. Then white has to know how to win with K+Q vs K+R which is it's own 6-part video.

  7. Great puzzle. I got nowhere! But still enjoyed it..

  8. This is the Saavedra position, one of the most elegant endgame studies. I found all of the right moves, but only because I've seen it before. The first time I saw the position, there was no hope of solving it. You give an excellent explanation of the winning method.

  9. Yes, I saw the stalemate threat. Only commenting because you asked for comments on that.

  10. "That's why we play chess and not checkers." 5:26 🤔You chose to slight professional checker players. Have you played International Checkers (10×10 board, 20 pieces)? Or Canadian Checkers (12×12 board, 30 pieces)?🤔

  11. Hard to believe I’m barely beyond a beginner, solved this in a few seconds, and 90% can’t solve it.

  12. I'd like to see winning pawns vs pawns endgames that seem drawish at first glance. Ty! 😊

  13. Be careful with your humor. Checkers also have absolutely magical and stunning combinations.
    Don't promote your game by trying to humiliate another one,
    And yes, this is a very beautiful chess idea.

  14. I easily found how to make a queen, then I kinda stopped there because I don't know how to checkmate queen vs rook hah.
    Then the video tells me we can't even make a queen in the first place!

  15. At 3:14, Stockfish actually decided that Kb2 was the best move. Because even though Black is giving up on preventing the Queen, it takes 70+ moves to Checkmate with the Rook defending, and Stockfish decided that this was a better outcome than what was shown in the video.

  16. I don't understand why under promoting helps. Why can't a queen just make the same moves the rook makes? Or alternatively, why is black Rc4 a defense against a queen, but not against a rook?

  17. OK. this may still be winning at the end for white, but hear me out. If the king goes to b5, as you said, then, instead of checking, I will move the rook to d2. Now what do you do? if you crown, then I will start checking you moving the rook between b2 and a2. You cannot get your king to the c column, because if you do I go to c2 and you lose your newly born queen (or whatever you crowned to). If you don't crown, you cannot hide behind the pawn, because I go to c3 and you lose it.
    Your only way to escape is to get your king eventually to c3, in which case I cannot put my rook on c2. To prevent that I have to find the opportunity (probably when your king is at the a row, to move my king to b1. If I can do that it is a draw…. I don't know if there is a safe way to do that, but is pretty late and my brain is not fully functional anymore…
    Great puzzle! thanks!

  18. if somethings seems simple, always remember that everything in the world is build of protons, neutrons and electrons which seem to be simple while the world is anything but simple😅

  19. Whoah ! Beautiful end game and nice explanations

  20. One of the best puzzles I've ever seen.

  21. What are s9me good books on chess???

  22. One of the member of my chess club showed this position a month or two ago, very interesting !

  23. I didn't find most of the winning moves, but I did see the stalemate trap near the end.

  24. I knew why Rd4 is a tricky move.
    I knew it before you said why.🤓😎

  25. I would have been able to figure this out, but not by finding the right answer but by eliminating the wrong answers.

  26. Solved this in the thumbnail. In my head I saw the white King responding to the rook checks by running down the b file to c2. The the black rook goes to d4 setting up a stalemate trap but white underpromotes to a Rook so black goes to a4 and then the white king goes to b3 hitting the rook and threatening mate.

  27. My last coach showed me this puzzle and it was really fun to solve!

  28. That was great. I found the moves once you paused. I'm decent in the middle game but not so good in endgames. Please do more of these items. Worth watching twice!

  29. I thought it is a really easy puzzle but when I saw the solution I was very surprised, because it wasn't that easy 😮

  30. 3:51 yes it would certainly catch uncautious players- but simply allowing the promotion and then letting white try and do queen vs rook checkmate is by far the more resilient try as that checkmate is almost impossible (it took engines too discover that its even possible…)

  31. he could easily still hit radiant if he wants to tbh

  32. Hmmm… but why won't rook go to the second rank instead? Even if you promote, you can't avoid infinite check by black rook. The only way to stop the checks is to not promote and hide behind the pawn, but the rook takes the pawn in two moves.

  33. I don't understand why black rook didn't just take the pawn when the king was so far away

  34. Id love to know where you get those 90% of…i didnt need 10 seconds to solve this, this is one of the easiest puzzles ive ever seen

  35. The position 4 min into the video:
    .
    .
    .

    if white promotes to a queen, black Rc4+, meaning the queen wouldn’t be able to take the rook because of stalemate. That’s sneaky and a very cleaver trap.

  36. What is the rule for only kings left.
    And rule for king checkmate/block other king escape?

  37. This is great. Will save it in my repertoire for my GM journey next thousand years later. 🎉🎉🎉

  38. Did you managed to find all the winning moves?

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