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binkers ♡ 56 ( +1 | -1 )
should White win this endgame? Hi all you expert analysts! here is an endgame with W having a 2P advantage, B's of opposite colours. I was black, and thought for sure I had lost, but the game ends in a draw, with Black apparently successfully blocking all White's possibilities of promoting a P.
Could W have won?



1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. c3 Nf6 4. Bc4 Nc6 5. d3 e6
6. O-O d5 7. exd5 exd5 8. Bb5 Bd6 9. Re1+ Be6 10. Ng5 Qd7
11. Nxe6 fxe6 12. Qe2 Kf7 13. Nd2 Rhe8 14. Nf3 Re7 15. Bg5 e5
16. Nh4 e4 17. Bxf6 Kxf6 18. dxe4 dxe4 19. Rad1 g6 20. Rd2 Rd8
21. g3 Qc7 22. Ba4 Na5 23. Qg4 Nc4 24. Rde2 Qc8 25. Qxc8 Rxc8
26. Bb3 Ne5 27. Re2xe4 c4 28. Rf4+ Kg7 29. Bc2 Bc5 30. Kf1 Rd8
31. Re2 b5 32. Rfe4 Kf6 33. Ng2 Rdd7 34. Nf4 Nf3 35. Kg2 Rxe4
36. Bxe4 Ne5 37. Nd5+ Kf7 38. b4 Bf8 39. a4 bxa4 40. Ra2 Ng4
41. Rxa4 Nf6 42. Nxf6 Kxf6 43. Ra6+ Ke5 44. Kf3 Bh6 45. Ra5+ Kf6
46. Rc5 Rd6 47. Rxc4 a6 48. Rd4 Rxd4 49. cxd4 Bd2 50. Bb7 Bxb4
51. Bxa6 Ke6 52. Ke3 h6 53. h3 Kd5 54. f4 Bc3 55. Bb7+ Kc4
56. d5 Kc5 57. Ke4 Kd6 58. g4 Bf6 59. Kd3 Kc7 1/2-1/2

appreciate any comments.

Vern
atrifix ♡ 55 ( +1 | -1 )
Not sure, but I think that 48. Rd4?? was the decisive mistake. Winning chances are greatly reduced with the rooks off the board. If White wanted to win, he should have played something like 48. Rc5. After 54. f4 the game is quickly drawn. In order to preserve any winning chances White should have tried to activate his king, even at the cost of material. For example, 54. Bb7+ Kc4 (Ke6 is more tenacious, but White has better chances to win with Ke4 than in the game) 55. Ke4! Be1 56. f4! Bxg3 57. Bf7 g5 58. f5 with some chances to win because the King is better placed and White now has two passed pawns.
binkers ♡ 34 ( +1 | -1 )
simplifying in the endgame thanks for your reply!
yeah, I wondered about the R trade too, specially since it disconnected his P's.
yet the general principle is to simplify when you're up material, and one would think a 2P advantage should be enough to win.
I felt he was immobilized considerably by the fact the B's were of opposite colours, so they couldn't be traded off.

anybody else like to comment??

More: Chess
atrifix ♡ 90 ( +1 | -1 )
Rules and General Principles The golden rule of chess is that there are no rules. Blindly following general principles like "trade off pieces when you are up material" and etc. can often (as in this case) lead to failure, and one should check not the principle but the situation on the board.

In this case, the R trade leaves ONLY the opposite colored bishops. Of course, a pure king ending would be an easy win for White, but pure opposite color bishop endings have much more drawish potential than, for example, opposite colored bishops + 2 rooks. Black can establish a blockade here and the position is drawn.

Following the trade of rooks, white's only attempt to win would have been to prevent Black from establishing such a blockade, even if it meant giving up material.

Anyhow, White should probably win after 48. Rc5, for example: 48... Ke6 49. Bb7 Ke7 50. Ke4 followed by f4, Bd5, Kd3-c4, and advance of the pawns.
nottop ♡ 88 ( +1 | -1 )
bishops opposite colors A fascinating message. Thank you.

I agree with you that Rd4 is not the best. BOOC endgames are very difficult to win. The chances of a win increase with the presence of more pieces and more pawns. More pieces diminish the drawing tendencies of BOOC (both Dvoretsky and R. FIne have shown this in their works).

Since Rd4 lead to both less pieces and less pawns it was not a promising idea.

I would have liked Rc7 instead. It is hard for black to reasonably defend the h pawn and natural moves - like Bd2 (targeting the c3 pawn) don't seem to work because of Ke2 with the idea of moving Bd3 and trapping the black bishop - into a trade of bishops. With bishops off the board this ending must be won.

I think you are fortunate that white was apparently not familiar with the nuances of BOOC - his moves before were imaginative and creative.
binkers ♡ 90 ( +1 | -1 )
atrifix said >The golden rule of chess is that there are no rules. Blindly following general principles like "trade off pieces when you are up material" and etc. can often (as in this case) lead to failure, and one should check not the principle but the situation on the board.

well, now, no rules, eh - no general principles.
*hmmmm*!! tell that to the beginner who opens with a4, h4, R-a3, etc.
I learned the 'general principles' of chess at a young age, and have won lots of games using them.
*certainly* no one *blindly* follows *any* principle or rule; it must be seen to apply in the situation.
and I imagine even you my friend must apply these principles when playing: control the centre, develop minor pieces before major, keep all pieces protected, etc. etc.
applying these general principles does not preclude being radical or innovative, IMHO, and naturally each situation must be considered on its merits.

Vern