Friday, August 10, 2007

2 Bishops vs 4 Pawns Endgame

Anyone can win with two bishops against a lone king, but what if that king happens to have four pawns as bodyguards? How many pawns can two bishops take on and win?

The power of the bishop pair is undeniable and fascinating.

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[Event "2 Bishops vs 4 Pawns (c)"]
[White "likesforests"]
[Black "Rybka"]
[Result "1-0"]
[FEN "3k4/pp3pp1/8/8/8/8/2BBK3/8 w - - 0 1"]

1. Bc3 g6 2. Bd4 {Provoking Black's pawns to move forward and create weaknesses that my bishops can exploit.} b6 3. Bd3 {Black's a- and b-pawns are blockaded.} Kd7 4. Bc4 Ke7 5. Ke3 Kf8 6. Bf6 {Black's f- and g-pawns are blockaded.} Kg8 7. Kd4 {Now that all the pawns are blockaded, my king marches up the board to capture them.} Kf8 8. Kd5 g5 $5 {Desperation.} 9. Bxg5 Kg7 10. Ke5 Kg6 11. Bf6 {Swiftly restoring the f- pawn blockade.} Kh5 12. Bxf7+ (12. Kf5 Kh6 13. Bxf7 a514. Bg6 a4 15. Be5 a3 16. Kf6 a2 17. Bf4# {This is a risky but brilliant checkmate!}) 12... Kg4 13. Bc4 {Restoring the a- and b-pawn blockade.} Kf3 14. Kd6 Kg4 15. Kc7 Kf5 16. Bc3 Ke4 17. Kb7 a5 18. Kxb6 a4 19. Kb5 Kf3 20. Kxa4 Kg4 21. Bd4 Kg5 22. Bd5 {To checkmate with two bishops, take away squares from the enemy king one by one.} Kg6 23. Kb5 (23. Be6 Kg5 24. Be5 Kg6 {A slight improvement.}) 23... Kg5 24. Kc6 Kg4 25.Kd6 Kf4 26. Ke6 Kg5 27. Ke5 Kg6 28. Kf4 Kh6 29. Kf5 Kh5 30. Bf2 {Once the enemy king is on the edge, the checkmate is quick and easy.} Kh6 31. Kf6 Kh5 32. Bf3+ Kh6 33. Be3+ Kh7 34. Kf7 Kh8 35. Be2 Kh7 36. Bd3+ Kh8 37. Bd4#{Checkmate. 3:17} 1-0

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