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4th File Rook Defending Against Rook Pawn Question
thekiyote (937) 2017-02-10 02:33
I was playing a fourth file rook game as black, and my opponent advanced his rook pawn and pretty thoroughly trounced me (kifu here:  

Starting at around move 6, I didn't know how to respond to that aggressive rook pawn advancement.  Should I have advanced my gold instead of my silver? 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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4: kmullin (1129) 2017-02-12 00:58
Well, i guess if you are playing normal 4th Rook, then your typical reaction to that rook pawn push is to defend the space above your pawn with your bishop (on 77 if Black or 33 if White). It's basically the same reaction as when they push this rook pawn in a later move. 

The only catch is you have to make sure that your opponent's bishop diagonal is also not open. If it is open, then to play normal 4th Rook, you would need to close your bishop diagonal with a 6th (Black) or 4th (White) pawn push. 

So, in summary:
- If (1) they open bishop diagonal: you close your diagonal. Then, (2) they push rook pawn: you defend with bishop.
- If (1) they push rook pawn: you defend with bishop. Then, (2) they open diagonal: you close your diagonal.

If they open their bishop diagonal and you don't close yours, then you will have some trouble moving your bishop to defend against their rook pawn push since they may catch your bishop which will only be defended by your left knight. It might be in favor of your opponent at that point. So, you might need to do something else.
3: thekiyote (937) 2017-02-11 07:33
Thank you for the tonari opening.  I've been having a ton of people lately just march their rook pawn up to my bishop and I have had no clue how to respond to it at all.  

In trying to figure out what to do, I've been blundering left and right and its been becoming very frustrating.
2: kmullin (1129) 2017-02-10 05:01 (Edited at 2017-02-10 05:12)
Also, checkout the Tonari opening. It's a trap opening for gote against Static Rook sente. But, since you moved your rook on your second move, you have effectively 'lost' a move with respect to getting the Tonari opening shape.

For Tonari, you allow the 8th pawn trade and you would have moved your silver to 78 on your move #5. Then, if they do the pawn trade, you move your gold to 79 on your move #9. You're aiming for an Opposing Rook position (and that's the sense in which you have 'lost' a move as you move your rook twice to get to the same 88 square). The traps have to do with capturing their rook/dragon or blocking the rook from being able to attack.


But, i guess one would need to see if moving your rook to the 6th file can be exploited. I dont know...
1: kmullin (1129) 2017-02-10 04:33 (Edited at 2017-02-10 04:35)
Typically, if you are playing 4th Rook, you would protect the 8th file pawn with your bishop on 77 in order to prevent your Static Rook opponent from getting a pawn in hand. An exception to this might be when you are playing Bishop-Exchange 4th Rook where you might want to trade bishops before, but your opponent would need to have their bishop diagonal open for that.

The other option is to allow your opponent to trade pawns on the 8th file. Then, you need to defend 87 so that you can drop a pawn there on 87 (to protect from a future dangling pawn drop to 86) or prevent their rook from promoting on 87. But, generally, you want to use a gold to do that since a gold can defend 87 as well as 88. If your silver is on 78, then your opponent may get a chance to attack your bishop with their bishop and it won't be defended by any piece which force you into an uncomfortable shape? Allowing the 8th file pawn trade is more common when you are playing Static Rook. But, it's not the end of the world for you. But, I think it might be better if you dont give your opponent that pawn in hand.

Your move #7 was dangerous, i think. Allowing that pawn promotion makes your opponent too powerful. It would have been better to capture their pawn instead (Px86). Then, you could defend 87 with your gold on 78 (and your silver stays on 79 in case of a bishop trade threat).

After their move #9, maybe it's better to remove their promoted pawn and give them your silver? It's not a good trade especially since their rook will promote, but maybe they can't break through as easily? Seems hard to recover from. I couldnt do it. So, preventing this position definitely seems to be the answer...

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