Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bishop + Knight v/s King Endgame

Recently I came across this video where in former Women's world Champion Anna Ushenina, (Women World Chess Champion then) during the Geneva Women Grand Prix 2013 failed to checkmate with Bishop+Knight v/s lone King

So today I decided to show how to check mate with Bishop+Knight. And continuing with this trend I will talk about how to think in minor piece endgames.

Though you may not ever (or have a very rare chance to be in such a situation) face this this end game as any side, this is a good puzzle to test how good you are with minor piece coordination and square controls on the board.

Firstly let's see how our final position will look like and try to understand how to approach to that

Pattern 1:

Pattern 2:

Key points to remember:
1. Mating done in corner with square same color as of the bishop (Light squared corner since light squared bishop here)
2. Bishop+Knight form a boundary which the black king can not cross and are in sync with each other. For other squares coverage we have our king.
3. Keep pushing the king the corner as we desire else black king will run to opposite corner
4. Very similar to the idea of "boxing in the king" in case of Rook + King v/s lone King here consider triangles to corner the opposite king into.

Triangles look like this:

1. The bishop and knight cover all the red colored squares and form a wall the  king can't cross
2. White king will next play to e4 thus controlling the e5 square.
3. The Green triangle shown is the largest of the 3, where black king is currently inside.
4. Then push inside the red, followed by yellow and deliver mate.

So let's start with a random position

Follow my blog for more such posts, coming up next will be minor piece end games. Bishop/Knight + pawns to play for draw.