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Arthur Bisguier vs Aleksandar Matanovic
Bled (1961), Bled YUG, rd 18, Sep-30
Bogo-Indian Defense: Grünfeld Variation (E11)  ·  0-1



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find similar games 4 more A Bisguier/A Matanovic games
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-07-17  agb2002: Black has two knights for a pawn.

Black can deliver mate with 85... Nf5:

A) 86.h6 Nc3 87.h7 Nd4 88.h8=Q Nb3#.

B) 86.Ka2 Nd4 87.h6 (87.Ka1 Nc3 as above) 87... Nb5 88.h7 Nc3+ 89.Ka1 Nd4 90.h8=Q Nb3#.

Jan-07-17  morfishine: Another solution is the maneuver Nd2-f1-g3 followed by Nxh5; White would then be free to execute the 2N mate in 379 moves subsequent to the obligatory opponent's blunder


Jan-07-17  thegoodanarchist: This is great - I can replay a game from 55 years ago whenever I want.

Can I replay any and every pro soccer or football or basketball (or baseball or whatever) game from 1955, whenever I want?

I might get lucky and find it on youtube, or most likely no. But with chess? Close to 90% or more of them, and this one is a treat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson:

click for larger view

Just one of the great attractions of Chess. With the pawn on h5 it is a win. With no pawn on h5 it is a draw.

Won a pint once in Sandy Bells by saying I could mate with two Knights v a bare King. The lad was positive no such position could be set up unless it was in the corner of the board.

click for larger view

1.Nb6+ Kc8 2.Ne6 mate.

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Not forced but it is checkmate. Which brings us on nicely to Kotov vs Najdorf, 1953

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Kotov wanted to play on explaining to the perplexed Najdorf that a Siberian amateur had worked out a forced mate with the two Knights. (see thread)

Jan-07-17  YouRang: It looks like black could have unleashed his Nh6 a couple moves earlier, when he faced this position.

click for larger view

The N that prevents the king from escaping via a3 does that job just as well here at c4 as it would at b1. He could now play <83...Nf6> and proceed with the same technique described by <An Englishman> above.

This is not a criticism though. Black played this difficult ending excellently since the final capture back on move 68. I assume he moved his N to b1 because the technique he was familiar with concluded with this mating pattern.

Most GMs play a whole career without needing this ending technique, so it's impressive that he knew it so well.


Looking at endgame explorer, I see that there are 55 game in the database with this ending.

Of these, 30 finished a draw:
Endgame Explorer: NN vs P

And 25 in which the 2N side won:
Endgame Explorer: NN vs P

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: The text after 85...Nf5, below. ( white gets mated in 5 moves)

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The same position as above but with the pawn on h6.

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White to play and draw.

Jan-07-17  YouRang: One of the interesting drawn P vs NN games featured Anand failing to find the right technique. I just put some comments about it there:

Wang Yue vs Anand, 2009 (kibitz #13)

Jan-07-17  1 2 3 4: Unbelievably easy for a Saturday
Jan-07-17  YouRang: <Jimfromprovidence><White to play and draw.>

An interesting "White to play a draw" problem because it's really *black* who must find the right technique. ;-)

Jan-07-17  ChessHigherCat: Two knights is the night (everlasting)
Premium Chessgames Member
  varishnakov: 85...Nf5 86.Ka2 Nd4 87.h6 Nb5 88.h7 N5c3+ 89.Ka1 Nd2 90.h8=Q Nb3#
Jan-07-17  Marmot PFL: If WK is on a2 black mates with Ns on b1 and c1, if the K stays on a1 than the mate happens with Ns on b3 and c3. The Nf5-Nd4-Nb3 path isn't too hard to find.
Jan-07-17  petemccabe: When I was maybe 10, Bisguier played a simultaneous exhibition in my home town (Scarsdale, NY). This is the first time I've seen a game on Chessgames featuring a player I've played against!

Meanwhile, being a casual (1500 or so) player, I always thought K+NN v K was a draw. I had no idea that an extra pawn could make things worse for the King.

Jan-07-17  Kasparov Fan: a very interesting position indeed
Jan-07-17  Absentee: <1 2 3 4: Unbelievably easy for a Saturday>

Yeah, I'd like to think I'm good, but this was easier than most Saturdays.

Jan-08-17  schachfuchs: Nobody likes my final moves 89.Ka1 Nc3 90.h8=Q Nb3# ? ;-)
Jan-08-17  N0B0DY: <schachfuchs> That's exactly right!
Jun-18-18  Omnipotent00001: 64. Kb2 and black wins 90 moves later
Aug-18-18  imsighked2: I would never have believed one could win with just two knights.
Aug-19-18  Howard: That h-pawn makes all the difference--pure and simple.
Jul-22-19  doash: Can K+N always force a lone K into a corner?
Oct-04-22  jerseybob: 47.c5?! seems to assume 47..bxc 48.Nc4+ but 47..b5! refutes. But black's dominant king position is a big plus in any case.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The tablebases say this ending is a forced win for Black, but that White could have dragged it out well beyond 50 moves with correct play. 68.Nxh6 seems strange to me. I wouldn't have sacked the knight until such time as Black forced me to do so.

But the blunder 69.Ka2? is White's worst move, and the only one that gives Black a position that can be won within the 50-move rule. 69.Ka4!, 69.Kb2, and 69.Kc2! were equally good, when Black can't mate within 50 moves. But I can see how Bisguier could have assumed that Black wouldn't be able to mate him in the a1 corner, the furthest corner from the pawn.

Matanovic's response, 69...Ke3?, is similarly the worst move other than moving the knight on h6. 69...Kc3! was obvious and best. But I guess it's unrealistic to expect either side to find the right moves in this ending. I would have no clue how to win it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: It is very interesting using the tablebase to figure out how to herd the opposing king with your king and free knight. Maybe it is possible for me to learn this ending after all. I'll probably never get it, of course. My friend William Brock got it, I believe in a blitz game, and actually won it easily after his opponent inexplicably immediately ran his king to a losing corner.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Seemed like a draw after 30 moves. Maybe Artie shouldn't have advanced his pawns so quickly. They became weak, after more exchanges.
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