The javelin can help the attacker win a queen versus rook battle, according to Derek Grimmell, who has published many Youtube videos on this end game. Yet this is not the easiest tool to use for the attacker, and you’ll not likely see it in a chess book.
The big challenge, for the side with the queen, is when all four pieces are on the two central files or on the two central ranks, like the following:
Diagram-1 A javelin position, Black to move
One point of this kind of position is that the rook cannot immediately be brought back to near the defending king. Notice that Rg5, in Diagram-1, would allow Qh7# mate. Let’s first consider the obvious way for the defender to avoid mate: Move the black king.
Diagram-2 After Black moved Kh6, to avoid mate
How does White not win this end game? Don’t randomly throw the queen around, giving checks with only a vague hope of coming across a forking check. More than one pattern can be used for eventually forcing the defender to chose between losing the rook and getting checkmated. Precise forcing variations are especially worth looking into.
Notice, in Diagram-2, that Qc6+ would force the black king back to h5, giving the position shown in Diagram-3:
Diagram-3 White to move
Now the defending king is back where it could be threatened with mate, if the queen can get to h7. White now give a double threat with Qc7:
Diagram-4 with Black to move
Grimmell makes use of this technique quite a few times in this instructional videos. White now threatens both the rook and mate on h7. Trying to defend with Ra6 allow a mate in three, beginning with Qh7+. What else is left for the defender except Ra4+? Yet after Ra4+ the white king moves up to directly oppose the black king, threatening the defender with two potential mating threats.
Diagram-5 after Ra4+ and then Kf5
In Diagram-5, we see a threat of mate in one: Qh7#. Black has no useful check from the rook, so what is left for the defender? The king seems to be able to escape with Kh6, but that just gives away the rook: Qc6+. No move of the rook can protect against two potential mate threats from the queen: at h7 and h2. It’s time for Black to resign.
Uses the new teaching system for beginners: NIP
Getting the defending king to the edge of the board does not always mean a win is then easy for the side with the queen.
. . . with Beat That Kid in Chess and How to Beat Your Dad at Chess. The first is for beginners; the second is for more experienced players.
I’ve enjoyed watching Youtube videos by Derek Grimmell, instructional productions on various aspects of the queen-versus-rook end games of chess.
In this demonstration, we’ll have the attacker play about as well as the defender, with no major blunders for either side, for we’re trying to simulate master endgame play.