PDA

View Full Version : Another curious endgame



Kevin Bonham
28-05-2004, 01:17 AM
Saw this in a club game last night. You can see the remains of quite an interesting strategic tussle where White's tried very hard to put all his pawns on dark squares to increase the scope of his Bishop - but wound up with it virtually blocked out of play by the light square pawns blocking his own. Actually the B has been on b1 for quite a few moves.

8/4rp2/4pP1k/3b4/2pP1K2/1pP5/1P6/RB6 b 0 0 - 1

Black to move, White's last move was Pf5-f6. From this position followed 1...Re8 2.Be4 Bxe4 3.Kxe4 Kg6 4.Ke5 and now Black for no readily apparent reason played 4...Rh8?? ... and if you can't find at least two very easy wins for White here then it might be time to quit chess and take up farnarkling. :eek:

Who wants to open the bidding on the result with correct play from the starting position? During the post-mortem my view shifted from "draw" to "probable White win" but I haven't really got out the fine-toothed comb yet.

Duff McKagan
21-09-2004, 07:27 PM
Saw this in a club game last night. You can see the remains of quite an interesting strategic tussle where White's tried very hard to put all his pawns on dark squares to increase the scope of his Bishop - but wound up with it virtually blocked out of play by the light square pawns blocking his own. Actually the B has been on b1 for quite a few moves.

8/4rp2/4pP1k/3b4/2pP1K2/1pP5/1P6/RB6 b 0 0 - 1

Black to move, White's last move was Pf5-f6. From this position followed 1...Re8 2.Be4 Bxe4 3.Kxe4 Kg6 4.Ke5 and now Black for no readily apparent reason played 4...Rh8?? ... and if you can't find at least two very easy wins for White here then it might be time to quit chess and take up farnarkling. :eek:

Who wants to open the bidding on the result with correct play from the starting position? During the post-mortem my view shifted from "draw" to "probable White win" but I haven't really got out the fine-toothed comb yet.

Any moves yet? Looks like a draw.

Recherché
22-09-2004, 10:20 AM
Despite the fact that black's bishop is technically "bad", and white's is technically "good", white's bishop is actually a lot more useful if they stay on. It makes it much easier to hold the pawns together, and black's rook runs rampant after 2. ...Rg8. The black pawn on f7 is untouchable so long as the white king remains on f4 (...e5+), etc.

So, swapping the bishops off seems forced. After that, I can't find a way for either side to make progress. White can keep black's king on the h-file, and black can stop white's king making it through to the queenside.

Things don't seem any better if we go back a move and play fxe6, either.

Kevin Bonham
22-09-2004, 02:34 PM
It's actually quite tricky. One way White might break through is to cut the Black king off on the h-file after the bishop swap, play Rg7 to force the black rook to White's 7th, then play Rg8 which threatens Rc8 attacking the black c-pawn. As soon as Black goes to the c-file there is d5 and Black is in trouble. If Black parks the rook on d5 and allows White to take on c4 (in turn capturing the pawn on f6 with the king while White's rook is busy) we get a messy ending where both sides have passed pawns but White looks better. Another option for Black is to respond to Rg8 with ...Rd6 then Rc8 with ...Ra6 so that after Rxc4, ...Ra2. But instead of Rxc4 White plays d5 and things get interesting again. So what Black really wants to do is to be able to play ...R-d5-a5. This can only be done if the Black king is on h6 not h5 (to stop Rc5+ winning), so Black's earlier choice of where to put the king could be crucial. It looks like if the king goes to h6 Black is safe, but if the king goes to h5, it can be trouble several moves later.

I reckon it's drawn but I'm still not at all certain.