An unexamined life is not worth living.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Opposite Coloured Bishops – Part 5

Continued from Part 4

(7) Kotov Alexander (RUS) - Botvinnik Mikhail (RUS)
Ch URS Moscow (Russia), 1955


25...Be4! Black's advantage is obvious: his bishop is much better than White's. 26.Qd2 Qg4 Black exerts pressure on 'g2'; his own pawns on f6 and g7 make similar ideas by White impossible. 27.h3 Qg6 28.Qf2 h5 29.Kh2 a5 Diagram


In these positions, it is important for the stronger side to have its pawns on the squares of the colour same as the opponent's bishop to limit its scope. 30.Ba3 b5 31.Bc5 b4 32.Rcc1 Rdc8 33.Bd4 Bc2 34.Rd2 Be4 35.Rdd1 Qf5 36.Qe2 Qg6 37.Qf2 a4 ! ? 38.Rxc8+ Rxc8 39.bxa4 Qe8 40.Rd2 Qxa4 41.Qh4 Rc2 Of course, trading rooks relieves White's defensive task, but there was no other way to win the 'a2' pawn. 42.Rxc2 Qxc2 43.Qg3 Qxa2 44.Bxf6 Qxg2+ ! 45.Qxg2 Bxg2 46.Bd4 Be4 Black won a pawn, but the position is very likely drawn. With great ingenuity Botvinnik confuses his opponent and pulls out a study-like win. 47.Kg3 Kf7 48.h4 g6 49.Kf2 Ke6 50.Ke2 Kf5 51.Kd2 Kg4 52.Bf6 White is defending according to the general principle: the king should block the passed pawn, while the bishop is defending his own pawns on the other flank. But he has to be very careful as both 'h4' and 'e3' require protection, and the 'b' pawn can be used to deflect one of defenders. 52...Kg3 53.Be7 Kh3 54.Bf6 Kg4 55.Be7 Bf5! Diagram


The bishop is being transferred to 'e6'. Notice that in the middlegame it would have been a passive square for it, but in the endgame the bishop is going to be very useful on the 'a2-g8' diagonal. 56.Bf6 Kf3 57.Be7 b3 58.Kc3 Be6 59.Bc5? Diagram


[59.Kxb3 d4+ 60.Kc2 dxe3 61.Kd1 Kf2 62.Bc5 Bb3+ 63.Kc1 Kf3 64.Kb2 Bd1 65.Kc1 Ba4 66.Bd6 Kg4 67.Be7 Kxf4-+; 59.Kd2 ! 59...b2 60.Kc2 Kxe3 61.Kxb2 Kxf4 62.Kc3= is given by Botvinnik] 59...g5 !! Shock. 60.fxg5 [60.hxg5 h4 61.f5 Bxf5 62.Kxb3 h3 63.Bd6 Kxe3] 60...d4+ ! The 'b' pawn must be saved. Material balance does not matter much as Black gets two distant passers, 'b' and 'h' pawns. White gets two passers too, but the bishop on e6 is acting according to the principle of one diagonal! It stops both White pawns and defends his own 'b3 pawn', along the a2-g8 diagonal. If White's pawn was on a4 instead of d4, he would not lose. 61.exd4 Kg3 that's why Black played 'g6-g5' - now the 'h4' pawn cannot be protected by the bishop from e7. 62.Ba3 Kxh4 63.Kd3 Kxg5 64.Ke4 h4 65.Kf3 Bd5+ Kf2 Kf4 and the king marches to c2. 0-1

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