Two Rooks on the 7th!! Learn with Mrs Jessica E Prescott (aka BoundingOwl) how rooks can crush when they are on the 7th and 2nd ranks. Already know this stuff? Great! Scroll down to the puzzles below.
Why are rooks so powerful on the 7th rank? Two reasons:
1. They trap the king on the back rank, and
2. They can attack a lot of pawns.
This works best if the opponent has castled, but 2 rooks on the 7th is always strong. Sometimes it's even worth it being down a pawn or more! Rooks are happier on the 7th when there are fewer pieces on the board. Do you know why? (Remember, rooks like freeways. They can drive fast on open ranks and files!)
1. Do you remember the Blind Swine Mate?
2. If you could make two moves in a row, they might be Rd7 and Rh8 checkmate. A ladder mate! What's wrong with Rd7 though? Is there another way to protect the g7 rook?
3. Black has mate in one! Fortunately white's rooks save the day with perpetual checks along the 7th rank.
4. White is up a whole piece here, but black has two rooks on the 2nd. How can black force a draw?
5. Nobody's rooks are near the 7th yet. How can you open up a file to get there? White to move.
Great work! Here is a short summary of this lesson:
1. Rooks love open files.
2. Rooks super love the 7th rank.
3. Two rooks on the 7th equals CRUSHING!
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