Rook Endings – Terry Chapman’s Theme

April 21, 2016 Matthew Sadler No comments exist

During our interview with Terry Chapman for “Chess for Life”, Terry mentioned one of the most memorable moves of his career played in a rook ending during his victory over the Russian Grandmaster Alexander Cherniaev. We didn’t have the space to include the game in the book, so we published it instead in a video entitled “Terry Chapman’s Memorable Moves” (video #15 on Matthew Sadler’s videos) A little while ago, my friend Steve Giddins set a variation from a book he was translating for publication as a puzzle for his Facebook friends. When my “Chess for Life” co-author Natasha saw it, she messaged me at once: “That’s just like Terry’s game!”. It’s an unusual theme, so well worth sharing!


After 42 eventful moves, Terry reached the following position:


Chapman - Cherniaev Coulsdon 2008 after Black's 42nd move
Chapman – Cherniaev Coulsdon 2008 after Black’s 42nd move


Chapman,Terry – Cherniaev,Alexander

Coulsdon 2008


Terry had built up a winning advantage but seen it slip away in the face of obdurate resistance. It seems that Black is ready to regain his lost material with a good position. However, Terry spotted a wonderful resource to re-establish control of the position.





A lovely idea! The pawn ending after 43…exf4+ 44.Kxd4 fxg3 45.Ke5 is winning for Black which means that Black’s rook must abandon the 4th rank. White thus wins the g4 pawn and – in the long run – the game.


43…Rd1 44.Rxg4 Kf6 45.Rc4 Rb1 46.Rc3


and Terry converted the game some 30 moves later.




You can imagine that Natasha didn’t find it too difficult to solve this gorgeous little puzzle:


Steve Giddins' endgame test
Steve Giddins’ endgame test


1…Rf6 2.Rxd2



Best as other lines even lose!


2.b7 Rxd6 3.exd6+ Kf6 Very nasty! 4.b8Q d1Q+ 5.Kh3 Qh1+ 6.Kg4 h5#


2…Rxb6 3.Kh5 Rb3


with an equal position

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