Interesting Rook and Pawn Ending

I once read that “all rook and pawn endings are draws” in some russian manual on the topic. This weekend I was working as the TD in a tournament at the Marshall, and had the pleasure of being a spectator to the conclusion of a 5 hour game- (time control was 30/90, 1SD.) This was the position with black to move:

Black had approx. 30 minutes left on his clock, while white had only 5. Black then sank into deep thought for nearly 27 minutes, before deciding on a move which should have drawn, but didn’t… Naturally in such a position there was a modicum of kibitzing in the skittles room…as TD I kept my mouth shut until the game was over, but my mind was racing to find the answer for black to hold.

As it turns out, many moves in this position should hold the draw. I recommended 1…Ra6, which IM Jay Bonin immediately dismissed, saying white’s king activity meant he should have a win in all lines, (however 1…Ra6 does hold a draw.) While the computer prefers 1…Kf3, the text move Kf4 should have held as well. The game continued…