Ladislav Prokeš

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Ladislav Prokeš

Ladislav Prokeš (7 June 1884 – 9 January 1966) was a Czech chess master and one of the most prolific composers of endgame studies in chess. He was born and died in Prague.[1]

Prokeš was joint Czech Champion in 1921[1] and played for the Czech Olympiad team in 1927, 1928, and 1930.[2] In 1951 he published a collection of studies "Kniha šachových studií". His 1,159 endgame studies, as listed in Harold van der Heijden's database, rank fourth among all composers.[3]

Prokeš maneuver[edit]

L. Prokeš, 1939
h5 white king
c4 black king
d3 black pawn
e3 black pawn
f1 white rook
White to move and draw

The Prokeš maneuver is a tactic in chess that enables a rook to draw against two advanced pawns in a chess endgame. Prokeš composed an endgame study in 1939 which illustrated the Prokeš maneuver for the first time.[4] The solution begins:

1. Kg4 e2
2. Rc1+ Kd4
3. Kf3 d2

and Black threatens to promote a pawn, which would win. But White forces the draw with:

4. Rc4+! Kd3
5. Rd4+! Kxd4
6. Kxe2 Kc3
7. Kd1 Kd3 stalemate

The idea is, that by vacating the c1-square on the fourth move, White's rook prevents Black's pawn from capturing on c1. The white king is then able to reach the d1-square, stopping the pawn. The position after 6.Kxe2 is drawn (see King and pawn versus king endgame).



  1. ^ a b Whyld, Ken (1986), Chess: The Records, Guinness Books, p. 159, ISBN 0-85112-455-0
  2. ^ Prokeš, Ladislav team chess record at
  3. ^ My Computerised Collection Archived 2005-05-13 at the Wayback Machine by Harold van der Heijden. EG 130, October 1998, page 413.
  4. ^ Article by Tim Krabbe (See Diagram 12.) Viewed 6 August 2007


External links[edit]