Friday, February 2, 2018

Casual Chess on a Snowy Cold Night 012918

Chess is a nice way to spend a quiet evening.
We had five players brave the cold tonight for a casual chess night.

Our 960 tournament resumes next week. And in two weeks is our monthly Kid's Night. So plenty of chess action available during this indoor chess season. Stop by and enjoy the world's best game in a friendly atmosphere.

Now for a little endgame information.

Students of history may be struck by the knight because he is nothing like his medieval inspiration. That knight ruled the battlefield for centuries even though he was the equivalent of a cost overrun. You could outfit and hire ten foot soldiers for what it cost for one knight. But he was worth it - until a defensive counter - weapon - the English long bow - put the knight out of business.

The chess knight has the least offensive power of any first rank piece. Even the King has more punch in most endgames.  On the other hand, the knight is the second-best defender - after the pawn.

Ironically, the knight is weakest when he is protecting his fellow knight. But there are exceptions to every chess rule.

Computers tell us that a lone Queen can mate against two knights in 29 moves from a corner.

Place the queen other places and White can mate in 30 + moves.

Note that making 50 moves each without a capture or pawn move is a draw - so White is cutting it close.

However, if you can arrange your knights in the fashion shown here, it is a book draw.

Even though the Queen is a (+5) advantage over the knights, mate in this situation is not possible.

Keep this in mind if you find yourself in an endgame approaching this type.

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