If a chess player is really good at endgame play it can be guaranteed that he possesses a clear understanding of the Lucena Position. Luis Ramirez de Lucena, a Spanish author is believed to be the person behind the discovery of the secrets of the Lucena. A clear and sharp understanding of the Lucena can convert a draw into victory or a loss into a draw. Different opinions have emerged on the importance of Lucena Position. Efstratios Grivas, in his famous book Practical Endgame Play - Mastering the Basics says, "It is the most important theoretical position for the conversion of an extra pawn."
It is not a complex position in comparison with other endgames. Some of the typical characteristics of Lucena Position can be defined in the following methods. Both Black and White have one rook each and one pawn for White only. The White pawn can be on the seventh rank and it should not be a rook pawn. The king will be in front of the pawn on the eighth rank and the position of the Black king will be very near, typically two files away. You can find the Black rook on a file adjacent to the king and the pawn. The position of the White rook will be on a file between the White king and Black king.
If the player with the White pieces can play accurately without making any mistakes he will easily win over his opponent with Black pieces irrespective of whose turn it is to move. Great players are of the opinion that the endgames deserve more importance than the openings because endgame theory is finite. The rapidly changing nature of opening theory makes it less important and the endgame theory always remains constant. That is why the Lucena Position assumes paramount importance.
Since the Lucena is less confusing, one can easily learn this position inside out. Then a player can handle the rook endgames with great amount of comfort and ease. Modern day chess has become a global sport with a huge amount of prize money and with a great number of followers. Leading players of the modern era have become superstars with colossal popularity and the level of competition has also improved to a great extent. Even today some of the modern greats become eloquent when they speak about Lucena. It is a clear manifestation about the popularity of the Lucena Position.