An unexamined life is not worth living.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Endgame: Bad Bishop/Good Bishop

Replay Game howdyfriend - DDT3000, ICC 3 0 2008

howdyfriend (1963) - DDT3000 (2118) [D00]

ICC 3 0/Internet Chess Club 2008

Here is a curious blitz game I played online today (I was black).Even with 3 minutes per game it is possible to utilize small positional advantages - with opponent's help of course. White was oblivious to the problem of his bad bishop, and was just getting himself into more and more trouble as the game progressed. Eventually all the pieces except for the bad bishop got traded off, and the game was lost very quickly in the endgame.

19... Qe6

20. Qxe6 I was somew hat surprised by the speed with which my opponent traded off all the heavy pieces leaving himself off with a terribly bad bishop. 20... fxe6 Before the the pawn moved to e6, White was having pressure on the f file, now it is just an open file that we can both challenge. 21. Rxf8+ Rxf8

22. Rf1 It is intere sting that a computer also supports this decision to trade rooks. Practically speaking though - the more pieces on the board - the more difficult for Black to utilize his better bishop. 22... Rxf1+ 23. Kxf1 c4 Now the c3 pawn is also going to stay on the dark color. 24. Be1 Kf7 25. Kg2 Bg5 26. Bf2 Ke7 27. Kg3 h5

28. h4? Another pawn goes on the dark color. But why? It is interesting that the computer does not sense the danger of White's position at all (thinking it is equal), but I believe any expert player would be wondering what chances white has to save this endgame, especially after h4. Shuffling the pieces around after the game seems to confirm - White's in big trouble. 28... Bh6 29. Kg2 b5 30. Kf1 Kd7 31. Ke2 Bf8 32. Bg3 Be7 h4 now is a new target. 33. Kf2 a5 34. Kg2 g5 34... b4!? 35. hxg5 Bxg5 36. Kf2 Black already has a passed pawn on the kingside, and pressure against e3. That however is not enough, so I try to create some more tension on the queenside. 36... b4

37. Ke2 Kc6 38. Kd2 Kb5

39. Kc2 White now collapses and loses another pawn. 39. Ke2 bxc3 40. bxc3 Ka4 41. d5 exd5 42. e6 Ka3 43. Bd6+ Kxa2 44. e7 Bxe7 45. Bxe7 a4 39. Bf2 h4 40. Bg1 h3 41. Bh2 bxc3+ 42. bxc3 Ka4 39. cxb4 axb4 40. Bf2 h4 41. Bg1 h3 42. Bh2 Ka4 43. Bg3 b3 44. a3

44... Bxe3+ 45. Kxe3 c3 Black queens... 39... Bxe3 39... h4! was winning faster! 40. Bf2 h3 41. Bg3 Bxe3 40. Bh4 Bf4 41. Be7 Bg3

42. d5 Even this desperate break does not change anything. 42... exd5 43. e6 Kc6 44. cxb4 axb4 45. Bxb4 h4 46. e7 Kd7 47. Bc5 h3 48. Bg1 h2 49. Bxh2 Bxh2 50. Kc3 Be5+ 51. Kc2 Kxe7 52. a4 Kd6 53. b3 cxb3+ White resigns 0-1

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