Chess Lesson # 99: Queen vs Rook Endgame | Fundamental Chess Endgames

The queen and king vs rook and king endgame is certainly a complex one. However, if you learn it in a simple and gradual way, it will stick so that you can execute it whenever you need it. The Philidor’s position and the third-rank position could seem confusing at first, but if we take the essence of each and learn them while training your calculation skills, it could transform your Chess in general.

00:00 Intro
01:30 How to use the board editor on Lichess to practice Queen vs Rook and other positions
03:10 Key positions in the Queen vs Rook endgame
03:29 Special positions in the Queen vs Rook endgame
06:10 Queen vs Rook endgame: Philidor position
22:25 Queen vs Rook endgame: third rank defense
30:53 First demonstration on how to win Queen vs Rook endgame from random position
33:40 Second demonstration on how to win Queen vs Rook endgame from random position
39:26 How to get the most out of your Queen vs Rook endgame training
39:43 Third demonstration on how to win Queen vs Rook endgame from random position
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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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​- Promotes brain growth
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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. waiting for whoever it was that was challenging to comment now 😀

  2. Heyy can you make a video king’s indian defense against jobava london ?

  3. Great info for me. More of my games are going to the end game recently. I don't know these techniques at all and would never have been able to work it out.

  4. Dry but essential stuff. I notice that I lack endgame knowledge when I am up against the higher ratings after a climb. I either get outsmarted in endgame technique or flagged (because I have to think too much). Then I tumble but not to previous lows.

  5. Thank you Robert. Really enjoying your vids, especially the ones about the Czech Pirc. Was wondering if you're planning on doing some Ponziani videos in the future.

  6. Robert, after learning the Bishop and Knight mate from your earlier lesson, I have been eagerly awaiting this lesson to learn the Queen vs Rook mate. That said, I'm still lost. From lichess's starting position it is relatively straightforward to push the black King to the back rank, creating a Philidor-like position on the c-file with my King on the b-file. But how to force the black pieces over to the g-file so that I can apply the Philidor solutions? Nothing I've tried works. Please help!

  7. Heyy 😀❤️ just wanna say ur doing great keep going 👍

  8. If anyone rated around 1200 wants to play a game (not blitz) with me. Please let me know

  9. Hi robert!, i am a regular student of yours, mostly stuck around 1400 on and oddly enough can win against 1900's on lichess..
    One question i had in mind, how do you recommend i increase my rating?? i do puzzles on the regular but i am not seeing much improvement..

    Also one big question about the pirc, when do i play E5 vs C5, wherever i have tried to study this opening the break c5 is mentioned alot, could you make it easy for me to understand?

  10. Wonderfull explanation!! I just learn a lot of things from here, I even don't know before this video that back rank defence can be used not only in Rook vs Rook+Bishop but also here in Rook vs Queen endgame but the difference is that there (R vs R+B) it works and you can get a draw (theoretically) but here (Q vs R) it doesn't work totally (opponent can hold a position for so long by using it but In the end he has to lose because of the Queen and king combo!) This is what just I can say after watching this video!

  11. And the answer of the question that was asked in the end is triangulation.

    Waiting for the 100th vid of this special series you have here 🙂 Having watched you videos since day one its a special feeling to see how far you have come =D

  13. Queen triangulation, T, Rectangle etc ! Look forward to your lessons. Learning a lot might have to contribute at some point.

  14. There is no straight forward method to solve queen vs rook endgame. I mean tackle any random position with perfect accuracy. The way to solve this is to reduce the initial position to next lowest distance to mate position. For example if the initial position is 10 moves to mate then the goal is to reduce it to mate in 9 moves position then to 8,7,6,5,4,3,2 and 1. If anyone interested to learn this step by step then check this In this you'll find compilation of puzzles for each distance to mate position. Currently up to 5 added.

  15. Crossed 1300 !!!! From 700 to 1300 in 3 months 😁😁

  16. Your videos are amazing. Thank you very much. Can you do a video on playing Czech Pirc VS the London System? Any more videos on Czech Pirc would be so helpful. Thanks again.

  17. A few years ago, I was walking through the park and there was a guy there waiting to play someone. He was not a hustler, just an elderly gentleman that wanted to play someone. I offered him a game and he accepted. I got the advantage and went into this endgame somehow. It was not easy at all to convert! At one point, I thought I would be stuck if he played a certain move, but luckily for me he chose another move and I figured how to win from there. I went into the public bus and it was very crowded. What is fascinating is, that standing next to me in the bus was a grandmaster that was rated around 2600. We didn't know each other at the time, but he knew my face from some tournament, and I said hello. Then I told him about my game from the park and we discussed different positions and he actually explained to me how to defend R vs R+B with no pawns (the second rank defense). This is what comes to my mind , when I see this endgame, 🙂 P.S. I sort of forgot his advice about that defense.

  18. Thanks for all of these instructive chess lessons Robert! Keep it up!

  19. 28:51: The tricky move black still has after Kf7 is Kh8. If I now take the rook, it's stalemate. I'll need to do Qh3+, after which they have to block with the rook on h6, and Qxh6 is checkmate.

  20. thank u so much i strart now lessons of all ends games lesson thank you agamain ; i t ell myself master your old opening kid kia colle scheck pirc; pirc etc and after i will study your new lessons of sicilienne bu im here everyday for +8hours studying and mastering old lesson and watchin your speedrun too 5min its better so thaaannkk you soooo much master

  21. great video, very thorough! but still, trying this against lichess level 8, i understand nothing heh

  22. you are the best coach ever. thank you for this master pice

  23. @Robert Ramirez : Look at 37:56 after black plays Ka2, just play Qa8+, then it will come to the b-file and then play Qb8+ and win the rook. This is much easier and simpler.

  24. A lot of practice is required on Chess board to master the fork

  25. Third rank defense is best if you are defending with rook

  26. Very difficult when you are attacking third rank defense

  27. I practiced on the board and was able to fork in third rank defense

  28. Today I played against stockfish level 3 and won after forking the king and the rook

  29. One thing the defender needs to remember is that there are still other lines that can make life diffucult for the side with the queen. When you make the T in a 3rd rank defense you can also go Kf8 after which kf5 and rh6 you need to know the right moves to break it. Its objectively worse and quicker to mate but if you are the side with the queen and I see you make the T the best defense is usually a worse move against a human of course because theres a good chance they dont know the right defense. Another annoying defense is harrasment which is a lot more effective if you do a 3rd rank defense on the 4th rank. where you hide in the shadow of the white king making it difficult and threatening a lot of checks and because the attackings side king is in the way forks are not possible. Not to brag but I can make life hell for the side with the queen. Objectively its lost but a good defender can really test the ability of the attacker and if you dont know your stuff probably draw by 50 move rule.

  30. Lost to the 1600 robot on Chess today when I had Q&B against R&N – with pawns on both sides (& later lost again with better pieces) but I had no idea what to do, so skipped straight to this lesson.
    Have been using your recommended Czech Pirc as both white & black &, except when I blunder, have come safely out of the openings.

  31. but is there any possibility that just left with rook and queen till the end of the game?

  32. 38mn15sec: QA8 check., King B1,B2 or B3 QB8 Fork

  33. Thanks Man, i was trying for a while and with this Video Im finally able to win against the Engine (not in 100% but often).
    My Blitz Rating is between 1300 and 1400

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