ESSENTIAL Chess Endings: The Philidor Position with GM Polgar [Master Method]


Essential Rook Endgame Positions with GM Polgar

As Capablanca once advised, chess should first be studied from the endgame. And, if you want to be practical, then you should begin by studying the rook endgames as they appear most frequently in tournament play.

Exact positions like the Philidor, the Lucena or the Vancura positions should be studied, understood and even memorized, as sometimes you must play ‘only moves’ to win (or save the game).

In this free preview of her Polgar Method series, GM Susan Polgar, a former World Champion, reveals the most important theoretical rook endgames, not only showing the correct moves but also explaining the reasoning behind them.

On top of this, Susan presents practical games to illustrate how the ideas play out in real games and how sometimes even GMs mess them up!

Take, for example, the following Rook Endgame

This theoretical position appeared in a game between Soviet GM Alexander Kochyev and former World Champion (and endgame specialist) Vassily Smyslov.

In this drawn position, Black deliberately lost a tempo to test his opponent: did he really know how to draw this position?

Smyslov played 77…Rd7, after which White played the natural looking (but bad) 78.Ke2??, after which Black is winning!

The idea is, as Susan Polgar clearly explains, that after 78…Kb5 79.Rb1+ Ka4 80.Rc1 Kb4 81.Rb1+ Ka3 82.Rc1, Black can now play 82…Rd5! winning. If the White king was on e3, then White can play 83.Ke4!, an a draw should be agreed. But now the White king is too far from e4!

If you want to internalize this essential knowledge, watch this free video!

And if, after seeing this free preview, you want the complete course click or if you want to improve your all-round game with Susan Polgar’s comprehensive course for club players, get the complete Polgar Master Method by clicking .


  1. What i usually do is keep my queen to the end and allow it to defend my pawns to make it to the end and promote at least three pawns to queens. Then I setup a trap with all 4 of my queens trapping 4 vertical lines with the king 3 or 2 vertical lines behind the first queen. Checkmate. Won 5 games with this endgame technique today

  2. Wow, it took a GM to teach the basics!
    Cut the crap, we want to see things that only a GM knows!

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