Queen vs 2 rooks

Hey ChessMood Family! 
I have a question for you.

What tips would you offer, when playing with queen against 2 rooks, and what tips when playing with Rooks against Queen.
What general rules are there? 

The best answer will be rewarded :) 

GM_Avetik Grigoryan

GM_Avetik Grigoryan 2 years ago


Thank you for your great answers, Jay, Mate, Kevin, Arnav, Mr. Pascual! 

I will my summarize and add my notes :)  

Important factors 

  • King safety 
Especially the side with 2 rooks should worry about his King a lot! 
Because when their Kind is open, it's becoming tough to coordinate pieces together. Why? Because check-check-check and Queen takes the rook ? Or check-check-check-check and draw because of perpetual checks.

  • How many pieces are there on the board 
As Kevin mentioned, When playing with the queen, it is a good idea to try to avoid trading pieces so you can attack.
Two rooks prefer endgames whiles queens prefer attacking positions. 
  • How many pawns are there on the board  
Rooks love open lines! 

  • Piece coordination
Queens work well with knights whereas the rooks work great with bishops. 
  • Pass pawns 
Is there a pass pawn on the board?
If Rooks side has a pass pawn, it's gonna be tough for the queen to stop it. 

  • Is the game on one side or both?  
Queen plays better on both sides.

Tips for playing with Rooks 

  1. Keep your King Safe 
  2. Keep you rooks together  
  3. Try to change pieces; Rooks love endgames.
  4. Change a few pawns(but not all), and open lines for your rooks. 
  5. Create weak pawns in opponent's position and attack them with rooks.
  6. Try to get to the 7th (or 2nd rank) and make a horror (terror there) 
  7. Be careful, it's very easy to blunder something when playing against Queen (Especially if your King is open)

Tips for playing with queen 

       1. Try to keep pieces and create an attack! Queen loves to attack and she needs her pieces to help her.
  1. Open opponent's king! If not checkmate there will be lot's of chance for perpetual checks if things don't go great.
  2. Avoid having week pawns. Rooks will attack them and your Queen alone can't protect it. She is alone, while rooks are two ?   
  3.  Try to keep the game on both sides of the board. Your queen will feel gratitude. 
  4. Try not to exchange pawns and open lines for opponent's rook 
  1. Never resign! Opponent always can blunder some check-check and you took his rook ? 

Jay Garrison

Jay Garrison 2 years ago

With a Queen vs. 2 Rooks:

The strength of my queen is its superior mobility, so I would keep her centralized as much as possible to take advantage of this. I would then use her to quickly switch attacks from target to target when it would be difficult for the rooks to keep up and defend as quickly. I would also keep my eyes open for fork tactics that my Queen could take advantage of.

With 2 Rooks vs. Queen:

First I would keep my rooks connected, to avaid losing one to a fork by the opposing queen. I would strive to get them both on the 7th rank to generate many threats. By working together, my rooks can generate threats against weaknesses that the queen alone can not defend.

Máté Jánosik

Máté Jánosik 2 years ago

Generally two rooks are equal to a queen, if everything is equal otherwise, the game should be a draw, if noone blunders. So these positions are always situational, never follow general rules without checking the concrete position.

Tips for both sides:

  • The initiative is really important. (Maybe even a sacrifice is worth it)
  • Don't create any weak pawns (Queens and rooks don't like defending)
  • Don't expose your king
  • Look for tactics (Queens are tricky)

Playing with the Queen:

  • Try to keep as many pieces and pawns on the board as you can. The queen is an attackig piece without supporters (pieces) it will be weaker. About the pawns: rooks need open lines, so don't exchange pawns. Your queen can use the diagonals, rooks can't. Keeping the board crowded will make your opponent more likely to blunder.
  • Advancing your pawns to open your opponent's king is really great even if your king becomes open too (but it depends ). You could then save tempis by checking your opponents king and attack faster. 
  • If nothing else works go for the perpetual (with a queen you have great chances)

Playing with the Rooks

  • Keep your rooks connected. Attack a pawn with both of your rooks and the queen won't be able to defend
  • Try to open the position (but not your king)
  • Try to exchange pieces, rooks are the strongest in the endgame
  • If playing for a win, your king should have a pawn shelter

It's worth mentioning that lonely Queen against rook is difficult to win ('almost' a draw), just imagine another rook, they are menacing in an open board.

Don't forget that playing in the right mood is the most important, you will find theright moves easily.

Kevin H

Kevin H 2 years ago

It is important for both sides to evaluate the position and determine which side is better so they know whether they are supposed to be fighting for the win or playing for a draw. There are many factors that one must consider such as:

- king safety, the quene is either equal or superior to two rook is if the opposing king is exposed due to being able to create a lot of threats 

- pierce coordination, this is a very important factor that can determine whether the side with the queen is superior or not. If the side with the two rooks are not coordinated, this can be extremely troublesome. If you combine this factor with an exposed king, there might be a lot of forks available for the queen. The corrdination between the major pieces with the remaining pieces of the board is also important. It is generally well-known that queens work well with knights whereas the two rooks work well with bishops. 

- weak pawns and squares - the queen is usually superior when she is playing against a side with a lot of weak pawns and squares to attack. The queen is also better in positions where there is play on both sides because the queen can easily play on both sides of the board. 

- piece activity - it is important for both sides to make sure that your pieces are active and not passive. 


Here is some advice stated by Dvoretsky in his book: 

1. Rooks are powerful when they act together. A standard method is doubling the rooks to win, or at least stop, an enemy pawn. Rooks can also create mating threats, particualrly when the opponent's king is cut off along an edge. 

2. The queen has the upper ahdn when the rooks are disconnected or doomed to passivity because of the need to stop an opponent's pawssed pawns or to defend their own pawns. 



- The side with the queen should try to disconnect the two rooks by attacking certain weaknesses forcing the rooks to defend. This can lead to increased chances of forks that the Queen can perform. 

- It is also very easy for the side with the queen to get a draw with perpetual if the side with the rooks is not careful. So if the two rooks is playing for the win, make sure to prevent some ideas. 

- When playing with the queen, it is a good idea to try to avoid trading pieces so you can attack. Two rooks prefer endgames whiles queens prefer attacking positions. 

- Both sides should try to shelter their king but don't be afraid to activate it when the time is right. 

- The side with the rooks should try to connect their rooks and try to create a passed pawn. 


One of my favorite examples that feature this type of imbalance is in the 9.0-0-0 variation of Sicilian Dragon where White decides to be greedy and win a pawn. Even though White is "up in material", Black has a lot of piece coordination in compensation so Black is usuaully better in that variation.

ARNAV maheshwari

ARNAV maheshwari 2 years ago

With queen vs 2 rook : I will try to advance pawns on the side of the opponent king and not allow his rook to become active .  

With 2 rooks vs queen : with 2 rooks I will activate my rook ensuring that the rook doesn't go I will make my king safe so that not to allow perpetual check and take the opponent moves 

Artrosman Djangologic

Artrosman Djangologic 2 years ago

As a general rule, two rooks are better than one queen. The queen = 9 pawns, while the pair of rooks is worth 10. But several factors can influence this imbalance…

In the opening, or middlegame, the queen is much stronger because, it can collaborate with minor pieces and come into play faster. Rooks are waiting for late middlegame and endgame…

Now the endgame ! factors to remember :

  • The position of kings. If the side with two rooks has an exposed king, the queen is equal or even superior to the two rooks, since it can easily create threats against the king. Specially if there is a knight with the queen. The rooks cooperate better with bishop…
  • Pieces coordination. Two rooks are better than the queen, if they are well coordinated in time. , Two rooks that can’t manage to help each other, will become target of double attacks.

-  The queen is usually better, if there is play on both sides of the board. For a queen, it will be easier to create threats on both wings.

  • Piece activity. The queen or the two rooks need to be, above all active !  The rooks need open files. Two rooks on the 7th rank (2nd) are monsters.
  • When both sides have passed pawns, tactics will determine who is on top. The degree of progress is often more important than the number of pawns.

Obviously, there are exceptions to these rules. The right assessment of a position depends on the nature of details. So keep the right mood !

Artrosman Djangologic

Artrosman Djangologic 2 years ago

Please, note that most of the ideas are not mine. I had made a compiled data on internet few months ago.  

Kevin H

Kevin H 2 years ago

In your notes, you said that 

How many pawns are there on the board

 - Rooks favor open lines. 

How do those two relate?

Do you mean something along the lines of less pawn = more files?  

Thanks :) 

GM_Avetik Grigoryan

GM_Avetik Grigoryan 2 years ago

I mean not changing the pawn that protects our king when we play with two Rooks. 
But changing a few pawns will open space for our pieces.