Sunday, December 29, 2019

LCCC Closed Until January 6th, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the chess players out there.

Our location is closed until the school sessions resume in January. Until then, here is an interesting game to look at:

White to make move 21
Black has just played 20. …..b6 when Bd6 was a better idea. Let us take stock of the situation:
The material is even and the remaining minor piece bishops are of the same color. Opposite color bishops make for a more draw-ish game as each side has the exact same power over half the squares on the board.
But in this situation, the side with more space and the more active pieces will have the advantage.
White has active rooks and a better placed Queen. Igor3000, my laptop Grandmaster agrees by giving White a full 1 pawn advantage here.
But how to convert that to a win?

21. Rd7        Qe8
22. Rcd1 ?!   …….
Igor was not a fan of this, sighting that 22. Qd5 not only guarded the rook at d7, but still attacked the rook at a8, and now attacks the bishop at e5 and X-rays the King on g8. White's advantage slips slightly to +.8.

22.  …..         h6
23. Qg4         Qe6
24. Qxe6       fxe6
25. Re7         Rfe8
26. Rdd7       Kf8?
Black needed to break up White's battery on the seventh rank with 26. ….Rxe7 27. Rxe7, Bf6 28. Rxe6, Rc8 and a draw was still possible. Instead White is now up 2 pawns!

27. Rf7+        Kg8
28. Rxa7        Rxa7
29. Rxa7        Rd8
30. g3             b5
31. Kg2          Kh7 ?!
Black needed to trade his less effective bishop for White's with 31. …..Bd4. White up +2.2

32. Ra6          Rd6??
Black lost his nerve, which is understandable when you consider how bad his situation was. White is +5.

33. Rxd6        Bxd6
34. a4             bax4
35. bxa4         Bc7
36. Bd2          Black resigns
Black knows he cannot simultaneous guard his isolated e-pawn and watch White's a-passed pawn.


  1. Your comment "...Opposite color bishops make for a more draw-ish game as each side has the exact same power over half the squares on the board" is only true in endings with bishops only, and even then one should never think that a draw is automatic. In fact, with opposite colored bishops and other major pieces, it is quite possible to create a serious attack. A good general principle in opposite-colored bishop endings is that two or more passed pawns which are two or more files apart should be a winning advantage.