While the rook versus bishop endgame may not be the most common scenario, it still occurs with considerable frequency, and it is quite possible that you may encounter it in one of your significant games.
There are, basically, two situations and related strategies to learn:
- The attacking player (with the rook) wants to checkmate the opponent, who will use the bishop to build a fortress to protect the king. The objective is to break through the fortress.
- The defending player (with the bishop) cannot hope for anything better than a draw, and that’s precisely what they will try to achieve. The mentioned king-bishop fortress must be solid enough to repel any rook attacks.
Win with the rook
Let’s find a solution to the first case:
Draw with the bishop
Okay, so it seems that the defending player has a better chance at the other corner. Let’s see how a successful defense could look:
To master this specific endgame configuration, always remember the basic strategy:
- If you attack, drive the opponent’s king to the corner of the same color as the color of their bishop.
- If you defend, get your king to the corner of the opposite color to the color of your bishop.