Monday, March 08, 2010


This is a recent endgame I played against an online opponent. A thorough assessment on this kind of position is essential if you are to be a good chess player. Pawn structures, king position, minor piece arrangement should be considered very accurately. Knight versus bishop always has been, and will be, debated fiercely as who is better, but really, it is only a matter of who realizes the advantages better.

From the above position, white made a mistake when he played 43.f4? to which black strongly replied 43...e4! creating a passed pawn. The play continued 44.h4 b5, 45.axb5 axb5, 46.h5

White tried to create his own passed pawn by exchanging his pawn majority on the Kingside. 46...gxh5, 47.g5 Nd6! The black knight blockaded the passed pawn. 48.Ba7 Nf5+, 49.Kh3 e3, 50.Kg2 The King scrambled back to stop the intruder. 50...Ke4, 51.Kf1 Kxf4, 52.Ke2 Kxg5, 53.Kf3 h4, 54.Bc5 h3, 55.Bb6 e2!

The pawn marched on, knowing that it cannot be captured because of the threat of 56...h2 queens. 56.Bf2 White tried to stop both pawns with the bishop and the King, but yet the knight delivered a stunning blow 56...Nd4+!

57.Kg3 Nxb3 Creating another passed pawn. 58.Kxh3 Nc1!

This knight heading for d3 to control the queening square e1. Game over. 0 - 1

Here we can see that the knight was powerful enough to jump all over the place creating havoc and defending at the same time, while the bishop was helpless when all the opponent's pawn were on the light squares. The King was tied to defend the queening of the two passed pawns, but the third one proven to be too much.

However, when both bishops are still on board, they pose powerful threats. The next game shows the power of the two bishops against the two knights.

In this diagram, the knights movement were severely restricted by the bishops and the phalanx of pawns. Even after exchanging all the rooks the bishops will still dominate the knights. Nothing fancy about black's attack - it was straight forward towards the King. Enjoy.

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