An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Opposite Coloured Bishops – Part 13

This is a continuation of my posts on endgames with bishops of opposite colour. This example shows the importance properly transitioning to pawn endgames.
Kveinys Aloyzas (LTU) (2515) - Bagirov Vladimir (LAT) (2530)
It (open) Weilburg (Germany) (8), 1995

opposite_bishop_135 White to move

40.Ke1!? [40.Rxc4 ?? 40...Bb5] 40...Bb5 [40...Bxg2? 41.b5 is obviously in White's favour; the blockade cannot be lifted, so the bishop must stay on the a4-e8 diagonal] 41.g4 f6 42.Kd2 g5 43.Kc3 Rd8 Diagram

opposite_bishop_136 White to move

White has a positional advantage, as his pieces have more space and are more active. Black's bishop is blocked by his own pawns, Pawn on c4 is weak. Thus White played the 'straightforward' 44.Rxc4?? [44.fxg5! was the correct version of the same idea. Here White wins: 44...hxg5 (44...fxg5 45.Rxc4 +- ) 45.Rxc4 Bxc4 46.Kxc4 and the 'b' pawn is already seeing herself at 'b8', which is so nicely covered by the bishop. 46...Rxd6 ?! (46...f5 47.b5 f4 48.b6 Kd7 49.b7 f3 50.Kd3 +-) 47.cxd6 Kd7 48.Kc5 +5.50 48...f5 49.b5 f4 50.b6 +-] 44...Bxc4 45.Kxc4 Diagram

opposite_bishop_137 Black to move

White suddenly got hit by a counter blow: 45...Rxd6! 46.cxd6 gxf4 Despite his protected passed pawn (b4) and more active king, White loses! The problem is that Black wins the 'd6' pawn. 47.b5 [47.Kd3 Kd7 48.Ke4 e5 49.Kf3 Kxd6 50.Ke4 Kc6 51.Kf3 Kd5 52.Ke2 e4-+] 47...f3 Diagram


Now White loses both his 'b' and 'd' pawns, so he resigned (0-1)

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