Chess Lesson # 54: Fundamental Chess Endgames | Philidor Position |

We need you to learn the Philidor endgame the right way. We need it to stick! Now that you are more advanced at this point in the course, it is time to start learning about Rook endgames – more specifically the Philidor position. This endgame will be found in any endgames book because not only is it common to come across it in your games but it also helps us understand ideas, which can be applied to many other endgames. The reason why rook endgames are so important is that if you remember, you were taught to start the game by developing your minor pieces, but rooks typically take longer to come out and consequently, they are not traded off so quickly. This allows rooks to make it to the endgame stage very often. Such endgames are pretty complex, but if you pay attention to this lesson, you will start acquiring the necessary skills to make better decisions.

00:00 Intro
00:43 Why are rook endgames so important to study?
01:24 How rooks usually help in the Philidor position
03:10 The Philidor position explained the right way
07:34 Coach Robert demonstrates how to play the Philidor endgame vs a Chess engine

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My Book Recommendations:
First tactics book:
Mixed tactics book:
Advanced tactics book:
Advanced tactics book (II):
Carlsen’s book (excellent):
Kramnik’s book (excellent):
Pirc Defense book:
Endgames book:

Learn how to play Chess the right way from beginner to master level. National Master Robert Ramirez will take you up the pyramid by following a proven Chess training program he has been improving and implementing for over 10 years.

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Chess is an intellectual battle where players are exposed to numerous mental processes such as analysis, attention to detail, synthesis, concentration, planning and foresight. Psychological factors are also present on and off the board; playing Chess stimulates our imagination and creativity. Every single move a player makes is the result of a deep analysis based on the elements presented on the battlefield.

Chess in its essence teaches us psychological, sociological and even moral values. In a Chess game, both players start with the same amount of material and time. The fact that the white pieces move first is considered to be practically irrelevant —especially because a player typically plays one game as white and one game as black. Consequently, the final result of the battle solely depends on each player. It doesn’t matter if you win by taking advantage of your opponent’s mistakes or by simply avoiding mistakes yourself. Truth is that Chess is an extremely individual sport and our defeats can only be blamed on ourselves and no one else. And this, in the end, only benefits us because we learn to be and feel responsible for our actions and never come up with excuses to justify ourselves.

We also learn that when it comes to our victories on the board, our opponent’s mistakes play a more significant role than our own skills. Let’s not forget that a Chess game without any mistakes would be a draw. This way, Chess provides us with another valuable life lesson: be humble at all times.

About National Master Robert Ramirez:

With an outstanding background as a professional Chess player and over 8 years of teaching experience, Robert Ramirez brings both his passion and his expertise to the board, helping you believe & achieve!

Robert Ramirez was introduced to the fascinating world of Chess when he was 5 years old and has participated in prestigious tournaments such as the World Open Chess Tournament and the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Championships. Thanks to his performance, he has earned his National Master title from the United States Chess Federation.

Currently, NM Ramirez and his carefully selected team teach at several private schools in the counties of Miami-Dade and Broward and they also offer private lessons. He says the key to their success as Chess coaches is their ability to adapt to every student and to make lessons fun and interesting for students and even their family members.


  1. you are a great teacher the way you explained everything with clearity and to the pointthe efforts you put in are very appreciated

  2. Excellent explanation of the Philidor rook ending. I studied this ending long ago, but your explanation made this ending much easier to understand.

  3. Estan muy buenos tus videos, apenas inicie el curso solo vine para ver lo que me espera, espero pronto poder llegar a este nivel.

  4. Great Video very well explained! One question…. what if at some point white tries to exchange the rook?

  5. Thanks for this one. I got a bit confused though as to when you should bring your rook to the top of the board and put them in check? When you did the exercise this scenario didn't seem to present itself as you didn't do this manoeuvre. Is it only in a very specific scenario that you do this? I thought as soon as he took his king around the other side of his pawn then you would bring your rook to the top, but perhaps I misunderstood?

  6. It feels the King is taking this car to the opposite side to make it into a Helicopter. And the two rooks are army tanks. Very nice!

  7. so only attack the king like in 5:20 when the pawn is on the 6th (or 3rd rank) because the king cant get in front of it, right?

  8. This helped me sneak out a win on time in a match I played right after watching this video haha. These videos are great. Thanks a lot!

  9. Idea: do the "long side short side of the king" R+K vs R+K+p" the right way. There's videos about it of course, but most keep it too simple and others also show the "nasty" side variants, but don't show insight. I think you can do better. Wanna try it?

  10. Many thanks Robert. Well explained. I like to go over these endings every few months. I call this the 6th rank defense or 3rd to remind me of my defense. If I remember correctly I think you can hold with the back rank defense against a,b,g,h pawns..

  11. Hello Mr Ramirez. Sir plz I have a question. As iam going through ur amazing videos watching them. Iam confused if I should watch the endgame videos first or the middle game videos. I mean should I master the endgame or middle game 1st ? Thx a lot for ur replies and time😊

  12. Coach ar 1:50 why black didn’t play Ra2 ?
    Then we pin the knight cuz white rook can’t defend the pawn

  13. Coach after watching this video for the 3rd time , plz let me ask u. If at 12:02 we play Rg1 and start checking white king. Is it okay ? Thx for ur replies🙂

  14. today may training programs is tactics puzzles, and reviewing all endsgame lesson, ( philidor, lucena etc etc) 🙂 i hope i will remember and recover all my skills soon , ill training hard every day for that, 85 pour cent with your lessons, my books , puzzles on lichsschesscom, and watching other channel with famous games of capablanca vishy kasparov carlsen, dubov etc etc.. my motivation and the love of playing are coming back 😀 im exciting everyday like i dicover chess for the first time in my life its very cool 😀

  15. For 5 years, I haven't seen as good as this kind of tutorial. I haven't ever ever knew that the Lucena and Philidor is not that hard endgame. Cause for many years ago, I analyze it in a hard way. But thanks for this video that I found a better perspective for the position. Nice sensei!

  16. Alway’s terrific content. Thanks for the lessons and your time and talent.

  17. Another brilliant video, clearly explained. Thanks, I am loving this chess lesson series.

  18. Your lessons are always spot on and very clear explanations. Thanks

  19. Hi Robert, I started learning how to play chess at the age of 19 towards the end of July. With your videos + a little bit of Gotham chess I’ve gone up from 520 to hitting 1000 today. As a senior in chemical engineering I’m just trying to survive this semester but I want to keep practicing a bit by playing a rapid game or 2 whenever I have time.

    What should my next steps be in terms of progressing once my time frees up in December? Thank you for all this free content. It’s fantastic!

  20. Very clear explanation. I think of it as "Cut(R) 'n Block(K)."

  21. After this video what should be our decent chess rating?
    Please reply

  22. Every videos i Learn something from u…you ar my coach

  23. thank you for this lesson. So the goal for black in this position is to draw the game right? Normally there´s no chance black gonna win. right?

  24. On 1:41, can the rook just go to a2 since the king can't reach the pawn in time?

  25. Wasn’t Rook to a2 in your beginning example just better then cutting of the King?
    Cause he was 2 Squares away and the King controlled the rook

  26. You are the best at teaching chess hands down

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