The Three Philidors
by Malik Dannarzai
The Philidor position is an important position in chess. It arises in the endgame at the time in which the climax of the game arrives. This kind of chess endgame actually gives a drawing strategy when a defender has a king and rook vs a king, rook and pawn. The Philidor Position is also called as the Third Rank Defense.
It is called so because of the importance of the rook on the third rank cutting off the opposing king. This endgame was first noted and analyzed by Francois-Andre Danican Philidor in 1777. This position is one of the most frequently occurring positions in endgame strategy.
Most rook and pawn versus rook endgames reach either the Philidor Position or the Lucena Position if played in a proper way. The Philidor position has three variants actually:
- Rook and Pawn versus Rook
- Queen versus Rook
- Rook and Bishop versus Rook
The important trademark characteristics of this position are:
- The defending king (White in this diagram) is on the queening square of the pawn (or adjacent to it). The pawn can be on any file.
- The opposing pawn has not yet reached the defender's third rank (it's sixth rank).
- The opposing king is beyond the defender's third rank.
- The defender's rook is on the third rank, keeping the opposing king off that rank.
Maybe it's an old strategy but it's a 100% reliable strategy to defend in this kind of endgame.