Thursday, March 20, 2008

When Is the Knight Better than the Bishop?

We are taught early on that the Bishop is better than the Knight, because it can cover both sides of the board at the same time. Given this, one would think that the Bishop would be especially useful vs. the Knight in an ending.

However, in many endings the Knight is better. This occurs when the board is congested with Pawns, and especially when the side with the Bishop has Pawns on the same colored squares as the Bishop, thereby limiting the Bishop's scope of operations.

Without further comment, following are 4 ICC games in which the Knight outplays the Bishop, followed by one in which the Bishop is better.

chessart(1482)-Shortcastle(1431), exchange Slav, 8/6/00, time control 0,4
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Bf4 Bd6 7. Bxd6 Qxd6 8. e3 O-O 9. Bd3 a6 10. O-O b5 11. a3 Bd7 12. b4 Nc6 13. Qd2 Rac8 14. Rfc1 Ne7 15. Rc2 Rc7 16. Rac1 Rfc8 17. Ne5 Ng6 18. Nxg6 fxg6 19. Qe2 Qf8 20. Qd2 Ne8 21. Ne2 Rxc2 22. Rxc2 Nd6 23. Rxc8 Qxc8 24. Qc2 Qxc2 25. Bxc2 Nc4 26. a4 bxa4 27. Nc3 a3 28. Bb3 Bb5 29. Nb1 Kf7 30. Bxc4 Bxc4 31. Nxa3 Ke7 32. f3 Kd6 33. Kf2 e5 34. Ke1 exd4 35. exd4 Ke6 36. Kd2 Bb5 37. Kc3 Kf5 38. Kd2 g5 39. Nc2 h5 40. Ne3+ Ke6 41. Kc3 g6 42. Kd2 Bc6 43. Kc3 Bb5 44. Kd2 Bc6 45. Nd1 Kf5 46. Ke3 g4 47. f4 h4 48. g3 h3 49. Nf2 g5 50. Nd3 gxf4+ 51. Nxf4 Bb7 52. Nh5 Kg6 53. Nf4+ Kf5 54. Nd3 Bc6 55. Nc5 Bb5 56. Nb7 Ke6 57. Kf4 Bc6 58. Nc5+ Kd6 59. Kxg4 Bd7+ 60. Nxd7 Kxd7 61. Kxh3 Kc6 62. g4 Kb5 63. g5 Kxb4 64. g6 a5 65. g7 a4 66. g8=Q a3 67. Qg2 Kc4 {Black resigns} 1-0

chancery(1735)-chessart(1750), Sicilian Dragon, 11/13/99, time control 2,10

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. O-O-O Nxd4 10. Bxd4 Be6 11. Kb1 Qc7 12. g4 Rfc8 13. h4 Qa5 14. Qg5 Qxg5 15. hxg5 Nd7 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Be2 f6 18. gxf6+ Nxf6 19. Nb5 Rc5 20. Nd4 Bd7 21. c4 Rac8 22. Rc1 a6 23. b4 R5c7 24. Kb2 b6 25. a3 a5 26. Rc2 axb4 27. axb4 Ra7 28. Ra1 Rxa1 29. Kxa1 Ra8+ 30. Ra2 Rxa2+ 31. Kxa2 Kf7 32. Kb3 h5 33. gxh5 gxh5 34. Nf5 Bxf5 35. exf5 h4 36. Bf1 Nh5 37. Kc3 Nf4 38. Kd4 h3 39. Bxh3 Nxh3 40. c5 dxc5+ 41. bxc5 bxc5+ 42. Kxc5 Kf6 43. Kd4 Kxf5 44. Ke3 Ng5 45. Kf2 Kf4 46. Kg2 Nxf3 {White resigns} 0-1
tostos(1921)-chessart(1761), Benko Gambit, 2/22/01, time control 2,10
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. Nc3 axb5 6. Nxb5 Qa5+ 7. Nc3 Bb7 8. Bd2 Qb6 9. e4 e6 10. Bc4 exd5 11. exd5 d6 12. Nge2 Be7 13. O-O O-O 14. Ng3 Nbd7 15. Nf5 Rfe8 16. Nxe7+ Rxe7 17. Qc2 Rae8 18. Rae1 Rxe1 19. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 20. Bxe1 Ne5 21. b3 Ba6 22. Bxa6 Qxa6 23. h3 Qd3 24. Qxd3 Nxd3 25. Bd2 Nb4 26. Bf4 Nfxd5 27. Nxd5 Nxd5 28. Bxd6 Nc3 29. a3 Ne4 30. Be7 f6 31. f3 Nd2 32. Bxc5 Nxb3 33. Be3 Kf7 34. Kf2 Ke6 35. Ke2 Kd5 36. Kd3 Na5 37. Bd2 Nc4 38. Bc1 f5 39. Kc3 Kc5 40. a4 g6 41. g4 fxg4 42. fxg4 h5 43. Bh6 hxg4 44. hxg4 Na5 45. Be3+ Kd5 46. Kb4 Nc6+ 47. Kb5 Ne5 48. g5 Nc4 49. Bc1 Nd6+ 50. Ka6 Kc6 51. Bf4 Ne4 52. Be3 Nc3 53. Ka5 Kb7 54. Bd2 Ne4 55. Bf4 Ka7 56. Kb4 Ka6 57. Be3 Kb7 58. Kc4 Ka6 59. Kb4 Kb7 60. Bf4 Ka6 61. a5 Kb7 62. Kb5 Ka7 63. Be3+ Kb7 64. a6+ Ka8 65. Kc6 Kb8 66. Kb6 Ka8 67. Bf4 Nxg5 68. Bxg5 Kb8 69. Be3 Ka8 {Game drawn by mutual agreement} 1/2-1/2
chessart(1443)-johh(1742), exchange Slav, 1/24/07, time control 2,10
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bf4 e6 6. e3 Nf6 7. Bb5 Bd7 8. Bxc6 Bxc6 9. O-O Be7 10. Nc3 O-O 11. a3 Rc8 12. Qd2 b6 13. Rfc1 a6 14. b4 Bb7 15. Rc2 Rc4 16. Rac1 Nd7 17. Ne2 b5 18. a4 Nb6 19. axb5 axb5 20. Ne5 Bxb4 21. Qd3 Rxc2 22. Qxc2 Nc4 23. Ra1 f6 24. Nf3 Bd6 25. Qb3 Bxf4 26. Nxf4 Qb6 27. Nd3 Ra8 28. Rxa8+ Bxa8 29. Nc5 Kf7 30. Qc2 g6 31. Qa2 Qa5 32. Qxa5 Nxa5 33. Kf1 Nb7 34. Nxb7 Bxb7 35. Ke2 Ba6 36. Kd2 Ke7 37. Kc3 Kd6 38. Kb4 Kc6 39. Nd2 e5 40. Nb3 Bc8 41. Nc5 Bf5 42. h4 h6 43. g3 Bg4 44. f4 exd4 45. exd4 Be2 46. Ne6 Kd6 47. Nc5 Bf1 48. Nb7+ Ke6 49. Kc5 Bc4 50. Nd6 h5 51. Ne8 Kf5 52. Nd6+ Kg4 53. Nxb5 Kxg3 54. Nc7 Kxf4 55. Nxd5+ Bxd5 56. Kxd5 g5 57.
hxg5 fxg5 58. Ke6 h4 59. d5 h3 60. d6 h2 61. d7 h1=Q 62. d8=Q Qe4+ 63. Kf6 Qf5+ 64. Kg7 Qe5+ 65. Kh6 g4 66. Qf8+ Qf5 67. Qb4+ Kg3 68. Qc3+ Qf3 69. Qe1+ Kg2 70. Qd2+ Qf2 71. Qd5+ Kh2 72. Qe5+ g3 73. Qh5+ Kg1 74. Qd1+ Kh2 75. Qh5+ Kg2 76. Qd5+ Qf3 77. Qd2+ Kh3 78. Qd7+ Kh2 79. Qd2+ g2 80. Qd6+ Kh1 {White resigns} 0-1

pteros(1651)-chessart(1545), symmetrical English, 2/23/03, time control 5,0

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c5 3. c4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. e4 d5 7. exd5 exd5 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Bb5+ Bd7 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Bxd7+ Qxd7 14. O-O O-O 15. Qxd5 Qxd5 16. Nxd5 Bxb2 17. Rab1 Rab8 18. a4 a5 19. Nc7 Be5 20. Nb5 Rfd8 21. Rfd1 g6 22. g3 Kg7 23. Kg2 Bf6 24. f4 Rxd1 25. Rxd1 Rd8 26. Rxd8 Bxd8 27. Kf3 Kf6 28. Ke4 Ke6 29. h3 f5+ 30. Kd4 Bb6+ 31. Kc4 Bf2 32. g4 fxg4 33. hxg4 h5 34. gxh5 gxh5 35. Nc7+ Kf5 36. Nd5 h4 37. Ne7+ Kxf4 38. Ng6+ Kg3 39. Nxh4 Kxh4 40. Kb5 Be1 41. Kc4 Kg4 42. Kc5 Kf4 43. Kb5 Ke4 44. Kc4 Bd2 45. Kb3 Kd4 46. Kc2 Bb4 47. Kb3 Kd3 48. Ka2 Kc3 49. Ka1 Kb3 50. Kb1 Kxa4 51. Ka2 Kb5 52. Kb3 a4+ 53. Ka2 Kc4 54. Kb2 Kd3 55. Ka2 Kc3 56. Ka1 Kb3 57. Kb1 Bc3 58. Kc1 a3 59. Kb1 a2+ {White resigns} 0-1

5 comments:

chessart said...

Just played the following game, which could as easily go into the "surprise mate" category as well as this one. It illustrates a principle of use in "sudden death" games, in that the side with the Knight can stick his King on the opposite-colored square of the other guy's Bishop, and it makes the time scramble easier to play because checks are impossible. The mate at the was sweet indeed.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. O-O Be7 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. Nxc4 Nb6 9. Nce5 Nfd7 10. e4 Nxe5 11. Nxe5 f6 12. Nf3 c6 13. Be3 Qc7 14. Rc1 Bd7 15. Bf4 Bd6 16. Bxd6 Qxd6 17. e5 Qe7 18. exf6 Qxf6 19. Re1 Nd5 20. Qd2 Rae8 21. Ne5 Bc8 22. a3 Ne7 23. f4 Rd8 24. Rcd1 Nd5 25. Bxd5 exd5 26. Re2 Rde8 27. Kg2 Qf5 28. Rde1 Qh3+ 29. Kg1 Qh5 30. Qd3 Bf5 31. Qf3 Qxf3 32. Nxf3 Be4 33. Ng5 Bg6 34. Rxe8 Rxe8 35. Rxe8+ Bxe8 36. Ne6 b6 37. Ng5 h6 38. Nf3 Kf7 39. Ne5+ Ke6 40. Kf2 Kf5 41. Ke3 g5 42. fxg5 hxg5 43. h3 c5 44. Nf3 g4 45. hxg4+ Kxg4 46. Ne5+ Kxg3 47. dxc5 bxc5 48. Nd3 d4+ 49. Kd2 c4 50. Nc5 Kf3 51. Ne6 c3+ 52. bxc3 dxc3+ 53. Kxc3 Ke4 54. Kb4 Ke5 55. Nc5 Kd6 56. a4 Kc6 57. a5 Kc7 58. Na6+ Kb7 59. Nc5+ Kc6 60. Na6 Bh5 61. Nc5 Be2 62. Ne6 Bf1
63. Nd4+ Kb7 64. Ne6 Ka6 65. Nc5# {Black checkmated} 1-0

chessart said...

Here is another game I just played, featuring the good Knight working against a bad Bishop, in a setting with all Rooks still on the board.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 d5 5. Nf3 dxc4 6. O-O Bd6 7. e3 O-O 8. Nbd2 Bd7 9. Nxc4 Qe7 10. Bd2 Bb4 11. Rc1 Bxd2 12. Qxd2 Rfd8 13. Nfe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 c6 15. Rc2 Nd5 16. Bxd5 exd5 17. Rfc1 f6 18. Nf3 Bf5 19. Rc5 Be4 20. Qe2 Qd7 21. Nd2 Bf5 22. Qf3 Bg4 23. Qf4 Qf5 24. Qxf5 Bxf5 25. b4 Rd6 26. b5 Bd7 27. bxc6 bxc6 28. Nb3 Rb8 29. Na5 Rb6 30. Kg2 Kf7 31. a4 Ke6 32. R5c3 Kf5 33. Kf3 g5 34. Nb3 g4+ 35. Kg2 Kg6 36. Nc5 Bc8 37. Nd3 h5 38. Nf4+ Kg5
39. a5 Ra6 40. Rc5 f5 41. Nd3 Bb7 42. Nb4 Rxa5 43. Rxa5 {Black forfeits on time} 1-0

chessart said...

Yet another game, this one a particularly grotesque version of the good Knight burying the bad Bishop. At the end, poor Black is in zugzwang.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. Bg5 c6 5. Nf3 Be7 6. Rc1 O-O 7. e3 Nbd7 8. Bd3 h6 9. Bh4 Re8 10. O-O Nb6 11. cxd5 exd5 12. a3 Nbd7 13. b4 a6 14. Qb3 Qb6 15. Na4 Qc7 16. Nc5 Nxc5 17. bxc5 Be6 18. Rb1 Rab8 19. a4 Nd7 20. Bxe7 Rxe7 21. Qb4 f6 22. Rb2 Nf8 23. a5 Kf7 24. Rfb1 Bc8 25. Qb6 Qxb6 26. Rxb6 Nd7 27. R6b2 g5 28. Bxa6 bxa6 29. Rxb8 Nxb8 30. Rxb8 Rb7 31. Rxb7+ Bxb7 32. Ne1 Ke6 33. Nd3 Kf5 34. f3 h5 35. Nb4 g4 36. Kf2 gxf3 37. gxf3 Kg5 38. Kg3 f5 39. h4+ Kf6 40. Kf4 {Black resigns} 1-0

chessart said...

Yet another good N vs. bad B situation. Black is MartyBailey2007.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 Be7 6. Rc1 c6 7. Nf3 O-O 8. Bd3 a6 9. O-O dxc4 10. Bxc4 b5 11. Bd3 c5 12. dxc5 Nxc5 13. Bb1 Qxd1 14. Rfxd1 Bb7 15. Ne5 Rfd8 16. Nd3 Nxd3 17. Rxd3 Rxd3 18. Bxd3 Rd8 19. Rd1 h6 20. Bh4 Kf8 21. f3 Nd5 22. Bxe7+ Kxe7 23. Be4 Bc6 24. Bxd5 Bxd5 25. e4 Bc6 26. Rxd8 Kxd8 27. b4 Kd7 28. a3 Kd6 29. Kf2 Ke5 30. Ke3 g5 31. g3 f5 32. f4+ Kf6 33. e5+ Ke7 34. Kd4 Kd7 35. Kc5 Kc7 36. Ne2 Bf3 37. Nd4 Bd5 38. Nc2 Bb3 39. Nd4 Bd5 40. Nc2 Bb3 41. Ne3 g4 42. Nf1 h5 43. Nd2 Bd5 44. Nb1 Ba2 45. Nc3 Bc4 46. a4 bxa4 47. Kxc4 {Black resigns} 1-0

chessart said...

In a game played yesterday vs. Moilofer, I go into the N vs. B ending even though I'm a Pawn down, and I still win it!

1. e4 e6 2. c4 c5 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Qd1 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. f3 O-O 8. Bd2 d5 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Nxd5 Nxd5 11. exd5 Qxd5 12. Bxb4 Qxd1+ 13. Rxd1 Nxb4 14. Bd3 Nxa2 15. Ne2 Nb4 16. O-O Nxd3 17. Rxd3 Bf5 18. Rb3 b6 19. Ng3 Be6 20. Rc3 Rac8 21. Rfc1 Rxc3 22. Rxc3 Rc8 23. Rxc8+ Bxc8 24. Ne4 f5 25. Nd6 Be6 26. Nb5 a6 27. Nc7 Bc4 28. Kf2 a5 29. Ke3 a4 30. Kd4 b5 31. Kc5 Bf1 32. g3 g5 33. f4 gxf4 34. gxf4 Kg7 35. Nxb5 Bxb5 36. Kxb5 Kg6 37. Kxa4 Kh5 38. b4 Kg4 39. b5 Kxf4 40. b6 Ke5 41. b7 Kd6 42. b8=Q+ {Black resigns} 1-0