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Two Different Worlds
Opposite-colored bishops live in two different worlds and the endings have two different characteristics. Pure opposite-colored bishop endings have a very large drawish tendency and the main theme is the construction of a fortress. When more pieces are on the board it favors the attacker as in the middlegame.
A) Pure opposite-colored bishop endings
A1) Nakamura's King
Positional themes are often more important than material:
152.01 Nakamura, Hikaru (2772) – Cori Tello, Deysi (2434)
The route of Black's king must be cut. 83.Bc2? can even be met by 83...Kf7 84.Kxg5 Bc1+ as the pawn g5 is not important.
Invading with the king is more important than the pawn. (84.Kxg5? Bc1+ 85.Kf5 Kf8 86.g5 Kg7 87.h6+ Kf8 88.Kg4 Bd2 89.Kh5 Bc1 90.Bf5 Bd2 91.g6 Bc3=) 84...Bb2+ 85.Kg8+-.
83...Bf8+ is met by 84.Kh7 Bg7 (84...Ke7 85.h6 Ke6 86.Be8 Ke7 87.Kg6 Bxh6 88.Kxh6 Kxe8 89.Kxg5 Kf7 90.Kh6+-) 85.h6
A) 85...Bh8 86.Bh5+- (86.Kxh8?? runs into 86...Kxg6 87.h7 Kf7 stalemate).
B) 85...Bf8 86.Bh5 Ke7 (86...Ke6 87.Kg6 Ba3 88.Kg7 Bb2+ 89.Kg8+-) 87.Kg6+-.
84.Kh7 Ba3 (84...Ke7 85.Kg8+-) 85.Kg8 Bb4 86.Bf5 Bc3 87.h6 Ke7 88.h7 1-0
B) The principle of one diagonal
This is very important in bishop endings, as the bishop is very efficient when all jobs are on one diagonal:
152.02 Kamsky, Gata (2741) – Lou, Yiping (2484)
A step in the wrong direction. 72...Kd6 draws because of the counterplay on the queenside: 73.Kg4 Kc5 74.Bd7 Kxd5 75.h5 Ke5 76.h6 Kf6 77.Kh5 Bc5=.
Kamsky seizes the moment to break the blockade forcefully.
73...Bd8 is met by 74.Bc8 Ke5 75.d7 Kd6 76.Kg4 Ke5 77.Bb7 Kf6 78.h5 Kg7 79.Kf5 Kh6 80.Bf3+-.
This loses one all important tempo.
75.Bc8! wins; e.g., 75...Kd4 (75...a5 76.bxa6 Bb8 77.h5+-; 75...Bc5 76.h5 a5 77.bxa6 b5 78.h6 Kd6 79.h7 Bd4 80.a7+-) 76.h5 Kc5 77.Ba6 Now Black's counterplay is stopped for good. 77...Kd5 78.h6 Ke6 79.Kg7+-.
75.Bc4? is also insufficient because of 75...Kd4 76.Bf1 Be5 77.h5
77...Kd5! (After 77...Kc5? 78.h6 Kd6 79.Kf7 Bd4 80.h7 Be5 81.Kg8 Bd4 82.h8Q Bxh8 83.Kxh8, White wins as the bishop has everything under control on the all important diagonal f1-a6.) 78.Kf7 Bf4 79.Kg7 Be5+ 80.Kg6 Ke6=.
76.Bc8 Kd6 77.Kf7 a5 78.bxa6 b5 79.h5 Kc7 80.Be6 Kb6=.
76...Bd4 77.h6 Kd6 78.Kf7
Black's king is now in time after 78.Bc8 Ke7 79.h7 Kf8=.
Black must get counterplay immediately to overload White's bishop.
79.h7? even loses to 79...a4 80.Be6 Kc5 81.Ke7 a3 82.Ba2 Kxb5 83.Kd6 Kb4 84.Kd5 Bh8 85.Kc6 b5 86.Bg8 Ka4-+.
80.Bf1 Kc6 81.Ke6 b4 82.Bc4 Kb6 83.Kd5 Bh8 84.Ke4 b3 85.Kd3 b2=.
The right path, as 80...Kc6? runs into 81.Bd7+ Kxd7 82.a7+-.
Now White's bishop cannot protect the a-pawn and stop Black's b-pawn on one and the same diagonal.
81...Kb6? 82.Bxb5 Kxb5 83.a7+-.
82.Kg8 Kb6 83.h8Q Bxh8 84.Kxh8 b3 85.Bd3 b2 86.Kg7 b1Q 87.Bxb1 Kxa6=.
82...b3 83.Kd5 b2
84.a7 also does not win because of 84...b1Q 85.a8Q Qxh7 86.Kxd4 Qd7+=.
85.Ke6 Kb6 86.Kf7 b1Q 87.Bxb1 Kxa6=.
85...Bg7 86.Be4 Kb8 87.Kb6 Bd4+ 88.Kb5 Ka7 ½-½
C) Jakovenko's last pawn
Pawns are very valuable winning potential, when the material is reduced:
152.03 Paragua, Mark (2565) – Jakovenko, Dmitry (2724)
This pawn must be preserved. It will win the game in the end.
52...axb5? 53.Bxb5 Bxa3 is only drawn; e.g., 54.Kf3 f5 55.Bd3 Kg5 56.Bc2 Kf6 57.Bd3 g5 58.Bc2 g4+ 59.Kg2 f4 60.Bd1 Kg5 61.Be2= And play has reached a well known book draw.
53.a4 Kg5 54.Ke3 f5 55.Be2 Be5 56.b6 Kh4
56...Kf6 wins as well.
Black is also quicker after 57.Bd3 Kg4 58.Bc4 g5 59.Be6 Bd6 60.Kd4 (60.b7 Bb8 61.Bd7 Ba7+ 62.Ke2 Kf4 63.Kf1 g4 64.Kg2 Kg5-+) 60...Kf4 61.Kd5 Bb8 62.Kc6 g4 63.Kb7 Be5 64.Ka6 g3 65.Bd5 Ke3 66.Kxa5 f4 67.Kb5 f3 68.a5 g2 69.a6 g1Q-+.
Passive defense with 58.Kf2 g4 59.Kg2 f4 60.Bd1 is broken by 60...Bb8 61.Be2 Kg5 62.Bd1 f3+ 63.Bxf3 gxf3+ 64.Kxf3 Kf5 65.Ke3 Ke5 66.Kd3 Kd5 67.Kc3 Kc5 68.Kb3 Kb6 (68...Kd4-+) 69.Kc4 Kxb7 70.Kb5 Bc7-+.
58...f4+ 59.Ke4 (59.Kf2 g4-+) 59...Bb8 60.Be2
60.Kf3 g4+ 61.Kg2 f3+ 62.Kf2 Ba7+ 63.Kf1 g3-+.
60...g4 61.Bb5 Kg3 62.Kf5
62.Bd7 f3 63.Ke3 f2 64.Bb5 Kg2-+.
62...f3 63.Bc4 f2 64.Be2 Ba7 65.Kg5 (65.Bf1 Kf3-+) 65...Kg2 66.Kxg4 f1Q 67.Bxf1+ Kxf1 0-1
One possible finish is 68.Kf3 Ke1 69.Ke4 Kd2 70.Kd5 Kc3 71.Kc6 Kb4 72.Kc7 Kxa4 73.b8Q Bxb8+ 74.Kxb8 Kb5-+
And finally Jakovenko's a-pawn will have the last say.
B) Opposite-colored bishops and rooks
Opposite-colored bishops favor the attacker, if an additional pair of rooks is on the board and the drawish tendency of pure opposite-colored bishop endings is much reduced:
B1) Safarli's strong shots
152.04 Safarli, Eltaj (2660) – Amin, Bassem (2652)
It is very difficult for Black to defend because of White's activity:
Amin should keep the position static with 73...f6! 74.Ra7+ Kh8 75.Be6 Re5+ 76.Kd3 Rc5 and Black should be able to hold.
Safarli's strong shot.
74...Kh7? 75.Kd3 Rd7 76.Kc4 Rc7+ 77.Kb5 Rc8 78.Bxf7+-.
75.Rxa5 Re7+ 76.Kd3 Re5 77.Rb5
77.Kc4!? Rxh5 78.Ra7+- is more precise.
77...Rxh5 78.a5 Rh3+ 79.Kc4 Rc3+ 80.Kb4 Rc1
80...Rc7 81.Bc4 Be7+ 82.Ka4 Bc5?! 83.Rxc5 Rxc5 84.a6 Rc7 85.Kb5+-.
81.Rb7 Bc3+ 82.Kb5 Rf1 83.a6 Bd4 84.Bc4 Rf2
84...Rf5+ 85.Kc6 Rc5+ 86.Kd6 Kf6 87.Rxf7++-.
85.b4 Rf3 86.Bd5 Rf1
87...Be3 88.Re7 Bg1 89.a7+-.
88.a7 Rc1+ 89.Kb5 Ra1 90.Rxf7+ Kg6
Safarli's second strong shot.
Kaidanov manages to drum up a mating attack in the following example:
152.05 Kaidanov, Gregory S (2577) – Zhou Weiqi (2616)
41...gxf4 is also playable because of 42.g5+ Kf5 (42...Ke7?? 43.Re8#) 43.Kf3 e5 44.dxe5 Kxe5 45.exf4+ Kf5 46.Rd8 Bxf4 47.Rxd5+ Be5 48.Bd3+ Ke6 49.Rxa5 Rb4 and Black should be able to defend.
After 42.Rxg5?! Rh8, White's rook cannot break free anymore.
42...Ke7 43.Rg7 Kf8 44.Rh7
As this defense cannot prevent the invasion of White's rook, it is better to play 44...Rb6! 45.g6 fxg6 46.Ra7 Bb4 and Black should be able to hold.
Mistakes always seems to come in pairs. 45...Rf8 46.g5 Bb4 47.Be8 or 45...fxg6 46.Ra7 Rb6 47.Be8 are preferable, but White's attack continues in both cases.
Kaidanov forces Black to open the gate.
46...Rb2+ 47.Kf3 fxg6 48.Rd7 Bh2
48...Bb4 49.Bf7+ Kf8 50.Bxe6 Ra2 51.Rf7+ Ke8 52.Bxd5 Rxa4 53.Rg7+-.
49.Bf7+ Kf8 50.Bxe6 Bg1 51.Bxd5 Rf2+ 52.Ke4 Rg2?!
52...Rf1 is more tenacious, but also insufficient in the long run: 53.Ra7 Re1 54.Rf7+ Ke8 55.Rf3+-.
White can repeat the position first, but ultimately he should opt for 53.Ke5! when his attack crushes through; e.g., 53...Rxg4?! (53...Rb2 54.Kf6 Rb6+ 55.Be6+-) 54.Kf6 Ke8 55.Bc6+-.
53...Rf2+ 54.Ke4 Rg2 55.Kf3?
55.Ke5+- was the last chance to win with a direct attack.
55...Rf2+ 56.Kg3 Re2?
This runs into a tactical refutation.
56...Rf6! was called for: 57.g5 Rf1 58.Kg2 Re1 59.Rf7+ Ke8 60.Rf6 (60.Ra7 Bxe3 61.Be4 Bxd4 62.Bxg6+ Kf8 63.Rxa5 Bb6 64.Rf5+ Kg7 65.Bh5 Rg1+ 66.Kf3 Rf1+ 67.Kg4 Rg1+ 68.Kf4 Ra1) 60...Bxe3 61.Re6+ Kd7 62.Kf3 Bf2 63.Rxg6 Bxd4 and in both cases it is not clear if White can win.
57.Rf7+ Ke8 58.Rf1!
A powerful blow that dominates the bishop.
58...Bh2+ 59.Kf3 Rb2 60.Rh1 Ke7 (60...g5 61.e4 Ke7 62.e5 Rd2 63.Ke4+-; 60...Bd6 61.Rh6+-) 61.g5 Kd6 62.Be4+-; 58...Bxe3?! 59.Kf3+-.
59.Bf3 Rxf3+ 60.Kxf3 Bxd4 61.Ke4 Bc3 62.Rc1 Bd2 63.Rc7 1-0
Solutions to last month exercises
How did Black defend all inroads?
White cannot win, as his king has no access to the c4-square; therefore, he cannot transform the distant opposition into normal opposition.
66...Ke6? 67.Ke4 Kd6 68.Kf5 Ke7 69.Kg6 Ke6 70.Kxh6 Kf7 71.Kh7+-.
66...Kd6? 67.Kd4 Ke6 68.Kc5 Ke5 (68...f5 69.gxf5+ Kxf5 70.Kxb5 Kg5 71.Kc4 Kxh5 72.b5+-) 69.Kxb5 Kf4 70.Kc5 Kxg4 71.b5 f5 72.b6 f4 73.b7 f3 74.b8Q+-.
67.Kd4 Kd6 68.Ke4 Ke6 69.Kf4 Ke7 70.Kf3 Kd6 71.Ke4 Ke6 72.Kd4 Kd6 73.Ke4 Ke6 74.Kf4 Ke7 75.Kf5 Kf7 76.Ke4 Ke6 ½-½
E151.02 Abel, Dennes (2437) – Zwanzger, Johannes (2326)
Where shall White's king invade?
White wins by marching through the center in the right way:
78.Kf5 Kh7 79.h5?
Now Black's counterplay is always quick enough.
The king had to take the following route: 79.Ke4 Kh6 80.Kd5! (The square e5 must be avoided as 80.Ke5? Kg6= is reciprocal zugzwang.) 80...Kg6 81.Ke5 Kh5 82.Kd6 Kxh4 83.Ke7 Kg5 84.Kxf7+-.
79...Kh6 80.Kg4 Kh7 81.Kg5 Kg8 82.Kf5 Kh7 83.Kg5 ½-½
E151.03 Tereick, Benjamin (2398) – Kasimdzhanov, Rustam (2690)
Find White's only move to draw!
Tereick found the small path to draw:
46.Kf3? is met by 46...f5 47.e6 fxg4+ 48.Kxg4 d4 49.Kf3 Kf6 50.Ke4 g4 51.hxg4 h3 52.Kxd4 h2-+.
46...f5 47.Kf2 f4 (47...fxg4 48.fxg4 Kf7 49.Ke3 Ke7 50.Kd3 Kd7 51.Ke3=) 48.Ke2 Kf7 49.Kd3 Ke7 50.Kc3 Kd7 51.Kd3=.
47.exf6? Kxf6 48.f4 gxf4 49.Kf3 Kg5 50.Kf2 d4 51.Ke2 Kf6 52.Kf3 d3 53.Kf2 Ke6 54.Kf3 Ke5 55.Kf2 Ke4-+.
47...Kg7 (47...f5?? 48.gxf5++-) 48.f4!
48...f5 49.e7 Kf7 50.Kf3 fxg4+ 51.Kxg4 gxf4 52.Kxf4 Kxe7 53.Ke5=.
48...Kf8? 49.f5 Ke7 50.Kf3 Kd6 51.Ke3 Kc6 52.Kd4 Kd6 53.Kc3 Kc6 54.Kb4 Kd6 55.Kb5 d4 56.Kc4 d3 57.Kxd3 Kc6 58.Kc4 Kd6 59.Kb5 Ke7 60.Kc6 Ke8 61.e7 Kxe7 62.Kc7+-.
49.Kf3 Kf8 50.Kxf4 Ke8
50...Ke7 51.Kf5 d4 52.Ke4 Kxe6 53.Kxd4 f5 54.g5 f4 55.Ke4 f3 56.Kxf3 Kf5=.
51.g5 Ke7 52.gxf6+ Kxf6
52...Kxe6 53.Kg5 Kf7 54.Kxh4 Kxf6 55.Kg3=.
E151.04 Gomez Esteban, J (2462) – Illescas Cordoba, M (2613)
White to move and win.
White found the narrow path to victory:
50.Kf6? Kxg2 51.h4 Kf3 52.h5 Ke4 53.h6 Kd5 54.Kg7 Ke6 55.Kxh7 Kf7=.
50...Kg3 51.h5 Kh4 52.g4 h6 53.Kf4 Kh3 54.g5+-.
51...Kg3 52.h6 Kh4 53.Kf6 Kh5 54.Kg7+-
Now Black's king is in the bodycheck. 52.Kf6? allows 52...Ke4 53.Kg7 Kf5 54.Kxh7 Kf6=.
52...Ke3 53.Kf6 1-0
E151.05 Bates, C (2205) – Rudd, J (2280)
White has two moves to draw. Find both!
White has two ways to draw:
65.Nf6 g3 66.Nh5 g2+ 67.Kg1 Nh4 68.Ng3= (Baburin in Chess Today 4632).
65.Ke1 Ne3 (65...Ng3 66.Nf6=) 66.Kd2 (66.Ng7? g3 67.Ne6 g2 68.Nd4+ Kg3 69.Ne2+ Kh2 70.Kf2 Nf5 71.Kf3 Nd4+-+) 66...Kf2 67.Nf6 g3 68.Ne4+=.
66.Nxg3 Kxg3 67.Kh1 Kf2-+.
Endgame Corner #152
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