Rolling Rooks

Here's a step-by-step of the basic Rolling Rooks pattern.

Black to mate.

1 ... Ra5

The Rook on a5 draws a line controls the 5th rank.

2 Kd4, Rb4

Push the White King down!

3 Kc3 ...

White threatens the Rook on b4, so where to go? Just roll that Rook to the other side of the board!

3 ... Rh4

4 Kc2 ...

White steps to the side of the board without being forced.

What should Black do here? Or rather, what should Black not do?

Don't check! The White King will slip away. Draw a new line!

4 ... Rh3

Either Rook will do as long as you just draw a new holding line.

5 Kd2 ...

The White King makes it easy. What should Black do?

5 ... Ra2

Push the White King down!

6 Kd1 ...

6 ... Rh1 mate

No stalemate today!

Nutshells & Links

The Rook's power to rule along the ranks and files means it can do something the minor pieces cannot: a Rook can draw a line on the board that the opposing King cannot cross.

Connected Rooks usually means a player has developed their pieces.