6th Rank Pawn (Vančura Defense) – Beginner to Chess Master #22

This is video #22 from the “Beginner to Chess Master” playlist. The Vančura defense is an important rook and pawn endgame drawing idea that is specific to a rook pawn on the 6th rank. This concept is well beyond the beginner stage, and is likely one you would only find applied efficiently in a game between two skilled endgame players since it requires prerequisite rook and pawn endgame knowledge. However, it has its place in this playlist right now because it ties in very well with what was covered in video #21, namely “7th Rank Pawn”. Are you familiar with Josef Vančura’s important contribution to this key rook and pawn endgame?

Beginner to Chess Master Playlist:

2014 Gashimov Memorial
Teimour Radjabov vs. Hikaru Nakamura

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Qb3 Qb6 6. Nc3 e6
7. Nh4 Bh5 8. h3 g5 9. Nf3 h6 10. Bd3 Nbd7 11. g4 Qxb3
12. axb3 Bg6 13. Bxg6 fxg6 14. Ke2 Bg7 15. Bd2 O-O 16. Be1 a6
17. h4 gxh4 18. g5 hxg5 19. Nxg5 Rfe8 20. Rxh4 e5 21. cxd5
cxd5 22. Rd1 Rad8 23. Nf3 exd4 24. Rhxd4 Nb6 25. Rb4 Rd6
26. Na4 Nxa4 27. bxa4 Re7 28. Bc3 Ne4 29. Bxg7 Kxg7 30. Nd2
Rc6 31. Nxe4 dxe4 32. Rdd4 Rc2+ 33. Rd2 Rxd2+ 34. Kxd2 Kf6
35. Rb6+ Kf5 36. Ke2 Rc7 37. Kf1 Rd7 38. Kg2 Rf7 39. b4 Kg5
40. a5 Re7 41. Kg3 Rf7 42. Re6 Kf5 43. Rd6 Re7 44. Rb6 Rf7
45. b5 axb5 46. Rxb5+ Ke6 47. Kg4 Rxf2 48. Rxb7 Rf5 49. a6 Ra5
50. Rb6+ Kf7 51. Kf4 g5+ 52. Kxe4 g4 53. Kf4 Ra4+ 54. Kg3 Re4
55. Rb8 Rxe3+ 56. Kxg4 Ra3 57. Ra8 Ra5 58. Kf4 Kg7 59. Ke4 Rb5
60. Ra7+ Kg6 61. Kd4 Rb6 62. Ke5 Rc6 63. Ra8 Kg7 64. Ra7+ Kg6
65. Re7 Rxa6 66. Re6+ Rxe6+ 67. Kxe6

2014 Sinquefield Cup
Magnus Carlsen vs. Levon Aronian

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 O-O 7.e3
Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Rc1 c6 10.Qc2 Nxc3 11.Qxc3 Nd7 12.Be2 dxc4
13.Qxc4 e5 14.O-O exd4 15.Nxd4 Nf6 16.b4 Bd7 17.Rfd1 Rfe8
18.Qc5 g6 19.a4 Qxc5 20.bxc5 a5 21.Nb3 Re5 22.Rd4 Kf8 23.Kf1
Ke7 24.Bc4 g5 25.h3 b5 26.cxb6 Rb8 27.f4 Rxe3 28.Nc5 Rxb6
29.Kf2 gxf4 30.Rxf4 Re5 31.Rxf6 Be8 32.Rf4 Rxc5 33.Re4+ Kf8
34.Rxe8+ Kxe8 35.Bxf7+ Kxf7 36.Rxc5 Rb4 37.Rxa5 c5 38.Ke3 Rd4
39.Ra6 Kg7 40.a5 Ra4 41.g4 h5 42.gxh5 Ra3+ 43.Ke4 c4 44.Kd4 c3
45.Kd3 Kh7 46.h6 Rb3 47.Kc2 Rb5 48.Kxc3 Rf5 49.Ra8 Rb5 50.Kc4
Rf5 51.Kb4 Rf4+ 52.Kc5 Rf5+ 53.Kd4 Rb5 54.Ke4 Rc5 55.Ra6 Rb5
56.h4 Rc5 57.Kd4 Rb5 58.Kc4 Rf5 59.Kb4 Rf4+ 60.Kc5 Rf5+ 61.Kb6
Rf6+ 62.Kb7 Rf7+ 63.Kc8 Rf8+ 64.Kd7 Rf5 65.Ra8 Rd5+ 66.Ke6 Rb5 67.Kf6 Rc5 68.Ra7+ Kxh6 69.Kf7 Rb5 70.a6 Rb6 71.Kg8 Rb8+
72.Kf7 Rb6 73.Ke7 Kg6 74.Kd7 Rf6 75.Ra8 Kg7 76.Kc7 Rf7+ 77.Kd6
Rf6+ 78.Ke5 Rb6 79.Ra7+ Kg6 80.h5+ Kh6 81.Kf5 Rc6 82.Re7 Rxa6
83.Re6+ Rxe6 84.Kxe6 Kxh5

I’m a self-taught National Master in chess out of Pennsylvania, USA who was introduced to the game by my father in 1988 at the age of 8. The purpose of this channel is to share my knowledge of chess to help others improve their game. I enjoy continuing to improve my understanding of this great game, albeit slowly. Consider subscribing here on YouTube for frequent content, and/or connecting via any or all of the below social medias. Your support is greatly appreciated. Take care, bye. 😀

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  1. Hi, I am from the czech republic and you read Vančura's name wrong

  2. Frøken Glattbarbert Stillas-sikkerhetsinspektør says:

    Can you make a pattern recognition video?

  3. Before the Carlsen-Aronian game, you said "2004 game" instead of "2014 game". Might need an annotation. Cheers. 🙂

  4. I just had the amusing thought that one might attempt to learn all of chess backwards, by starting from positions with pawns on high ranks and successively working backward to the case of all pawns on the 2nd rank.

  5. 6th Rank Pawn?! I expected a progress from 7th Rank Pawn to 8th Rank Pawn.

  6. I thought I knew all of those concepts before, I thought that video series was going to be boring. I was wrong. I learned all of them again thanks to you, and now it's so much clearer in my mind. Thank you ChessNetwork.

  7. if it works, it works no matter how old is it. we're still using fire and the wheel.

  8. I wonder how many GMs resigned drawn positions because they played before the Vancura defense was discovered, or the game was just after, and they just didn't study it.

  9. Vančura is not the same as Vankura or Vancura… it is pronouncing something like Vanchura

  10. Thank you for making 22 great videos! I learned a lot from them.

  11. please make the video about how to calculate or how to visualization. thanks Jerry!!!

  12. 10:04 If Re4 Ke5, doesn't black just have Rb4? What progress can white make? If a7 then Ra4, draw. If king approaches then Rb6 and you're back on those key 5 squares. So is this a loss for black and I'm missing something?

  13. Thanks for the playlist Jerry! Are you planning on continuing the series?

  14. this series helped me a lot to become a very strong chess player it is excellent. is there #23 coming up?

  15. what about 23th vid. openings would be nice and some tricks

  16. Knew he'd randomly give up on this series at some (fairly early) point. Pretty unprofessional tbh.

  17. All these 19-20-21 and 22th videos on rook endgames are excellent.They are so well explained that there is nothing to add.

  18. Not a big deal, but I wish you had touched on the idea of the possibility of the King being on h7, with the defending side then playing the rook to the g-file.

  19. wouldnt Ra7 be better for your black loses example with both kings pressuring black's rook? that would force the black king off of the safe squares, and the white rook can return to a8, or does that not help? (whether or not mate is faster)
    also 10:56 black should do Ra1, next move check the king, and keep doing so until its in the old position.

  20. I have learned so much from these tutorials, Jerry. Keep up the good work.

  21. I cannot understand how ANYONE who loves chess would dislike this video. Great Job Jerry!

  22. What is the point in checking with the black rook at all. Why not just keep it always on rank 6, cutting off the white king from ever getting to the 7th rank pocket.

  23. Rest in Peace, Josef Vančura. Your innovation (and name) live on.

  24. At 10:43 You demonstrate that Check on Rf4 is a losing move.

    To show this you play Ra4, Kd5, Ra5, Kc6, Ra3

    You then move on as if White wins… but would Black not be able to then move to f5, instead of a3, if the King moves to a7 you could move to f7 give a check on the rank and be right back in the Vančura Defense.

  25. Says Josef was born in 1870 but died in 1930…

  26. wow — amazing drawing defense. Pity that Vančura died so young.

  27. It doesn't seem like the error talked about from 10:0011:00 is actually losing. If rook plays to f6 or a4, then sure, it's losing, but looks like rook can play to b4 and then b6 and get back to our sixth rank defense.

  28. Great stuff, Jerry! My game is improving leaps and bounds as of late, thanks to you! You have a staunch fan in Spain here!

  29. Is the h7 square still safe for the black king in this ending? Or does it have to be the g7 square?

  30. It says that Josef Vancura died at 60 years old. (1870-1930). Which is why I don't understand how he could of died at 23, but great video. This teaches me so much about chess and has made me so much better.

  31. somewhere in the past, when Vančura created his defence: I, Josef Vančura, have a dream…

  32. what if the last game had a dual pawn on g & h? Would that be a win instead of a draw?

  33. What if white doesn’t know how to mate with a rook.

  34. I watched the video and had this position as the defending side two days later. Without knowing how to play this I would definitely have lost. Thanks Jerry 😉

  35. thank you so much for the playlist and pgn in the description

  36. 10:45 – What if you play Rb4 instead of Ra4? Then you can apply rank pressure the move after.

  37. “A guy’s idea from the 1920s is still used today” That’s like saying Newton’s ideas on gravity are still used today.
    Good ideas are timeless.

  38. I don't get it . . . why not just take the pawn ?

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