An unexamined life is not worth living.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Opposite Coloured Bishops – Part 7

(9) Shariyazdanov Andrey (RUS) (2470) - Ruck Robert (HUN) (2465)
Ch Europe (juniors) (under 20) Slofok (Hungary) (9), 1996


Now we have some sense of what to expect from pure endings with bishops of opposite colours. With rooks on the board, things are different. In "Basic Chess Endings" Reuben Fine noticed that with the presence of rooks, first of all, an attack against the enemy's king is possible; secondly, it becomes possible to attack the enemy's weak pawns. Coming are examples to 11-13 illustrate his point, but is there anything else that is different? In fact, for the stronger side it is not necessary to be attacking the king directly, more active and better coordinated pieces can promise serious winning chances even if the opponent's pawn structure is undamaged and provides relatively good shelter for the king. We have already seen how Botvinnik (in example # 7) managed to win a pawn by just using better placement of his heavy pieces. 30...Bf8 White has several very important advantages:
1) his pieces are much more active
2) as a result of this Black's a7 and f7 can become a target
3) White has a kingside pawn majority that he can advance, while Black's queenside majority is useless. 31.Kf3 Ba3 32.g4 Diagram


Examples of winning such positions can be found in the games of Keres, Boleslavsky and others. For young modern GM's this has become just a part of their technique. 32...Kg7 33.Rd3 Bc5 34.Ke4 Kf8 35.f5 gxf5+ 36.gxf5 f6 Diagram


37.Be6 Typical for positions with rooks + bishops of opposite colors: the bishop 'physically' limits the range of opponent's rook. 37...fxe5 38.Kxe5 Kg7 39.f6+ Kg6 40.Rg3+ Kh5 now the Black king may be danger. 41.f7 Rf8 42.a4 a6 43.Rg8 Kh6 44.Kd5 a5 45.Kc6 Kh5 46.Kd7 Kh6 47.h4 Bb4 Diagram


48.h5! Kxh5 [48...Bc5 49.Rxf8 Bxf8 50.Ke8 Kg7 51.h6+! - the idea behind advancing the 'h' pawn.] 49.Rxf8 Bxf8 50.Ke8 Bc5 51.f8Q Bxf8 52.Kxf8+- Kg5 53.Ke7 h5 54.Kd6 Kf6 55.Bd5 h4 56.Kc6 Ke5 57.Bh1 1-0

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