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Thread: Bishop Ending

  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Bishop Ending

    Can white win this?

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    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    I don't think so. As long as Black doesn't do anything really stupid ...
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Black has a bad B, but his Q-side Ps are well placed to complement it.

    Try h4, with ideas of exf6:
    if ... gxf6, then g4-g5 makes an outside passed P. This should have serious winning chances.
    if ... Kxf6, then g4-g5 will clear e5 for White's K. That's progress, but Black would have only one weakness.
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  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Thanks Jono. I tried chopping on b6 and bringing my king to b5 but he brought his King over to c7 in time and I couldn't do much there.

    At some point he played ...f5 which looked ugly but I couldn't work out how to take advantage. I tried a couple of cheapies with overworking the e6 pawn (Bxf5 Kxd5) but he didn't give me the chance.

    As you say, the one weakness didn't seem to be enough to win.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  5. #5
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    Its a bit better for white but draw is the most likely result
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  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I'd be interested to know what people think of this:

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    Black to move. Obviously one I would rather be white than black but how uneven is it?

    +/=, +/- or +- ?
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 17-12-2009 at 11:59 PM.
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  7. #7
    CC International Master Carl Gorka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I'd be interested to know what people think of this:

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    Black to move. Obviously one would rather be white than black but how uneven is it?

    +/=, +/- or +- ?
    Why is white obviously better?
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  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    At a glance, I think white is winning that. He should be able to use the h-pawn as a decoy for the black king and mop up with his own king.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  9. #9
    CC International Master Carl Gorka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    At a glance, I think white is winning that. He should be able to use the h-pawn as a decoy for the black king and mop up with his own king.
    How is white's king going to penetrate after say 1..Bc8? Or 1..a5 2.a3 b4 when Black's bishop can shuffle between the f1-a6 diagonal and the h3-c8 diagonal?
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  10. #10
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireeater
    Why is white obviously better?
    To me, black has obvious problems because white has an outside passed pawn and a favourable king position, especially relevant because if black's king diverts to stop white's pawn then white will get in towards the very weak black pawn on d6.

    It's true that white's d5-pawn is currently a burden, but it only really remains so while the black bishop attacks it and sort-of ties the white bishop to a fairly boring diagonal, thus rendering itself completely passive in the process. And the black bishop can't just sit there attacking the d5-pawn forever, or white will win much as if it was a straight king and pawn ending with the bishops off the board.

    So as I see it black clearly has issues to deal with (which is not to say they can't be dealt with) while white has no problems that actually matter and therefore white must be "better" in practical terms whether or not it is objectively a draw.

    But if anyone wants to disagree with that I'll gladly put a strikethrough through my "obviously".
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  11. #11
    CC International Master Carl Gorka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    To me, black has obvious problems because white has an outside passed pawn and a favourable king position, especially relevant because if black's king diverts to stop white's pawn then white will get in towards the very weak black pawn on d6.
    I'm not sure how white's king is going to penetrate into the black position. Black's king doesn't have to divert to stop the h-pawn, it is in perfect position to do so, and should white sac it, then black's king is in good position to support his own passed f-pawn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    It's true that white's d5-pawn is currently a burden, but it only really remains so while the black bishop attacks it and sort-of ties the white bishop to a fairly boring diagonal, thus rendering itself completely passive in the process. And the black bishop can't just sit there attacking the d5-pawn forever, or white will win much as if it was a straight king and pawn ending with the bishops off the board.
    White's d-pawn is a permanent weakness which will always need to be thought about. Black's bishop seems passive but it is attacking at the moment whereas white's is the defending piece. Should Black's bishop seek some open lines, then it is a move away from attacking the d-pawn so unless white can generate a position where he is willing to dump his d-pawn then one of his pieces will be tied to its defence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    So as I see it black clearly has issues to deal with (which is not to say they can't be dealt with) while white has no problems that actually matter and therefore white must be "better" in practical terms whether or not it is objectively a draw.
    I think its level, but if either side tries too hard to win, they run the risk of dropping into a worse position

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    But if anyone wants to disagree with that I'll gladly put a strikethrough through my "obviously".
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  12. #12
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I've disposed of my "obviously" but I'd still rather be white.

    One thing I have noticed is that sooner or later black will probably play ...f6, and then white will be trying to acheive Kf5-e6 winning. For instance 1...a5 2.a3 b4 3.Kg5 and black is going to have to play ...f6 soon or white will have a win after h5, h6, Kf6 etc with Bc2 thrown in where needed; some version or other of this seems to work wherever black's bishop is.

    Once ...f6 is played I reckon fireeater is right that just switching the black bishop between the two diagonals (not from move to move but simply as required) , if done even remotely carefully, stops white ever getting through.

    After 1...a5 White can play 2.Ke4 but now black seems to get away with ...Kg6 then ...f5.

    I was curious about this one because I did actually win it with white after black made some bad errors (like leaving the queenside pawns on light squares where they are both weaker and in the way), and I wanted to see what a clearcut holding plan for black actually might be (if there was one).

    This is what happened:

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    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 18-12-2009 at 12:55 AM.
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  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    I'm not convinced about Black's starting plan (1...Kf6 and 2..Bc8). I think the position is finely balanced, with White's outside passed pawn giving him an edge, however White's bishop is quite passive. If I'm Black, I think I would try 1...a4, threatening to kick the bishop from its defensive duties protecting the e-pawn. If White responds with 2.Ke4 then I'd play 2...b4

    At that point I have achieved a number of things:
    (1) my q-side pawns are now on black squares, making them invulnerable to attach from the White bishop; and
    (2) the White king cannot penetrate the q-side because of Ba6
    (3) if White tries to swap off the bishops in order to get in on the q-side, Black will mop up the h-pawn and queen his f-pawn before White can achieve anything

    I'd feel fairly confident of holding that position as Black. Of course, my confidence could be badly misplaced!
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireeater
    How is white's king going to penetrate after say 1..Bc8? Or 1..a5 2.a3 b4 when Black's bishop can shuffle between the f1-a6 diagonal and the h3-c8 diagonal?
    Well for a start black can probably not afford to swap bishops in most lines since the reulting pawn ending with outside passer will almost always be lost for him. So white can oppose bishops at moments when it suits.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  15. #15
    CC International Master Carl Gorka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    I'm not convinced about Black's starting plan (1...Kf6 and 2..Bc8). I think the position is finely balanced, with White's outside passed pawn giving him an edge, however White's bishop is quite passive. If I'm Black, I think I would try 1...a4, threatening to kick the bishop from its defensive duties protecting the e-pawn. If White responds with 2.Ke4 then I'd play 2...b4

    At that point I have achieved a number of things:
    (1) my q-side pawns are now on black squares, making them invulnerable to attach from the White bishop; and
    (2) the White king cannot penetrate the q-side because of Ba6
    (3) if White tries to swap off the bishops in order to get in on the q-side, Black will mop up the h-pawn and queen his f-pawn before White can achieve anything

    I'd feel fairly confident of holding that position as Black. Of course, my confidence could be badly misplaced!
    after 1.a4, white can play 2.Bc4. 2.Ke4 loses a piece. If black continues 1..a4 2.Bc4 b5, then White just takes on b5, then on a4 with passed pawns on both sides of the board which is probably a win.
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