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Evgeny Alekseev vs Ivan Cheparinov
"Knight of the Bishop" (game of the day Aug-18-2009)
FIDE Jermuk Grand Prix (2009), Jermuk ARM, rd 6, Aug-15
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Beginning with move 77, Alekseev proves that he knows the technique for herding the Black King from one of the unfavorable corners to the correct one. Know the technique and someday you'll salvage an extra half-point when you'll really need it.
Aug-18-09  openingspecialist: 89. ... Kg8 90. Be7 Kh8 91. Nf7+ Kg8 92. Nh6+ Kh8 93. Bf6#
Aug-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  halito27: One thing I like learning about the B+N mate (even though it occurs rarely in practice) is that it really teaches you how to coordinate minor pieces. While I've never employed the mate in a tournament game, I have used my minor pieces to create similar "webs of control," for lack of a better term, over networks of squares. I think it's worth the practice.
Aug-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <halito27> wrote: [snip] I have used my minor pieces to create similar "webs of control," for lack of a better term, over networks of squares. >

The term used in the Euwe and Hooper endgame book is "barrier". It is indeed a useful concept, providing a unifying mnemonic for endgame techniques against Ks with diverse pieces.

Aug-18-09  Dr. Funkenstein: What if 79. ...Ke8?
Aug-18-09  tibone: <Dr. Funkenstein: What if 79. ...Ke8?> 80.Kd6 Kf7 81.Ne7! Kf6 82.Be3 and together knight and bishop have built a "wall" (g5,g6,f5). the king can not break out.
Aug-18-09  Manic: 79...Ke8 80.Kd6 and now:

i) 80...Kf7 81.Ne7 Kf6 82.Be3 boxes the king in

ii) 80....Kf8 81.Ke6 Kg7 82.Nf6 Kg6 (82...Kh7 83.Ne7) 83.Be3 Kg7 84.Ne4 Kg6 85.Ng3 Kg7 86.Bg5 Kg6 87.Bf6 Kh7 88.Kf7 Kh6 89.Bh4 with 90.Bg5

Aug-18-09  charms: I learned that the essential thing is that the Knight moves need to describe a w in order to be correct: c7-d5-e7-f5; the rest is "easy" according to the endgame books I read.
Aug-18-09  dumbgai: KBN vs. K is my favorite endgame. I managed to swindle a draw once against a strong club player who couldn't mate.
Aug-18-09  SuperPatzer77: 86. Nd6+ is a little bit slower - Faster is 86. Ng7+!

86. Ng7+! Kf8, 87. Kf6 Kg8, 88. Kg6 Kf8, 89. Bb4+ Kg8, 90. Nf5 Kh8, 91. Ba3 (waiting move) - (91. Nh6??? stalemate) Kg8, 92. Nh6+ Kh8, 93. Bb2# 1-0

SuperPatzer77

Aug-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A typical mate with horse and clergy-if one such can be typical...
Aug-18-09  shakespeare: Try it with youtube:
"chess endgames knight bishop"

and then play against Fritz till desperation - or solution :-)

Aug-18-09  SuperPatzer77: <tibone> You're absolutely right about making a wall with a king, a knight and a bishop because the enemy king cannot break out. Also, the bishop can make a waiting move so, the waiting move helps prevent the stalemate and forces checkmate.

<dumbgai> Yeah, it is my KBN vs K favorite endgame, too.

SuperPatzer77

Aug-18-09  daladno: That's so funny when ~2700 players check one another for KBN vs K endings or, say, Lucena position...)) hope they enjoy both doing that))
Aug-18-09  dzechiel: I would have played 86 Ng7+, but either seems good enough to win.
Aug-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: The way I was taught the ♘♗ mate there are basically four stages:

1. Get the enemy king against one of the edges of the board. It's sort of hard to explain how to do this, but it's really easy to actually do it.

2. Remember you can only mate him on the corner which your bishop can attack, so for example in this game the "right corners" are a1 and h8, and the "wrong corners" are a8 and h1.

Therefore if your opponent is smart he'll be at the edge of the board close to the "wrong corner". Then comes stage #2 where you force him to shift the king towards the corner where checkmate awaits.

3. Again this all depends on the specific defense your opponent picks, but whenever I try to play this usually I reach a kind of an impasse. It seems impossible to keep shoving the king over to the right corner.

That's when I learned a technique in which you actually let the king off of the edge of the board, but only temporarily, you rustle him back!

The first move which lets the king escape the edge of the board I call "A Bridge Too Far", and later when he is forced back I call it "A Bridge Too Near" (lol). But this is my personal nomenclature only. ;-)

4. Finally you have the king in the proper corner and you checkmate him. It's possible to memorize a dozen mating patterns, but I say just use that computer brain of yours to figure out how to get the job done.

TIP: Oh yeah, and don't forget: you can always "tempo with the bishop". E.g., if you think "I wish it was his move AGAIN and not my move right now" then just nudge your bishop one square in an irrelevant direction--voila, it's his move again.

COMMENT: Seeing this example mate above, the king never leaves the back rank. I am confused. Was the method that I was taught (Bridge Too Far / Bridge Too Near) an overly complex method? Is there some easier way to get he job done that I never learned? I am starting to wonder if that's the case because it sure looks like it here. Or maybe the defender didn't put up the same level of stubbornness that Fritz puts up.

Aug-18-09  dzechiel: <sneaky: COMMENT: Seeing this example mate above, the king never leaves the back rank. I am confused. Was the method that I was taught (Bridge Too Far / Bridge Too Near) an overly complex method? Is there some easier way to get he job done that I never learned? I am starting to wonder if that's the case because it sure looks like it here. Or maybe the defender didn't put up the same level of stubbornness that Fritz puts up.>

No, you were taught correctly. Once cornered where the bishop cannot deliver mate (the bishop controls the other long diagonal), the lone king has two options: 1) Try to stay in the corner, or 2) Try to make a run for it. Both ways fail, but the "run for it" has better chances of staying alive IF the player with knight and bishop hasn't studied this checkmate.

I recall learning this mate (from Fine's BCE) with my future brother-in-law sometime in the early '70's. I have applied it about three times in the intervening years (the last was about two years ago on FICS in a blitz game, no way would I have been able to find that over the board).

Aug-18-09  WhiteRook48: bishops and knights
Aug-18-09  SuperPatzer77: <dzechiel> <...Both ways fail, but the "run for it" has better chances of staying alive IF the player with knight and bishop hasn't studied this checkmate....>

That's very true - if the KBN vs K endgame goes into the 50-move rule. Most of the players know how to do this so, they can checkmate the lone king in less than 50 moves - (50-move rule).

SuperPatzer77

Aug-18-09  areknames: I've never had the opportunity to enforce the B+N mate in tournament play, but I've practised it enough times to feel confident. It is a bit remarkable that Cheparinov played on almost all the way, but then again nobody ever drew a game by resigning. Sometimes even super GMs can lose the plot, didn't Korchnoi once ask the arbiter if he was allowed to castle even though his rook was under attack (1974 Candidates Final iirc)?
Aug-19-09  Manic: <SuperPatzer77> Don't both Nd6+ and Ng7+ take the same amount of moves? (see Buttinsky's post?)

In regards to checkmating with KBN, looking at this game and the analysis has given me confidence that I can push the king from the wrong corner to the right corner. Hopefully it is easy to push the king to the edge as <Sneaky> says.

I have found the pattern <euripides> points out with the knight to be pretty helpful to know where to place it.

Aug-19-09  SuperPatzer77: Instead of 88...Kf8, 88...Kh8, 89. Nf7+ Kg8, 90. Bd8! (not 90. Bb4?? = (stalemate)) Kf8, 91. Nd6 (preventing the Black King from escaping) Kg8, 92. Be7 (setting up the mating net) Kh8, 93. Nf7+ Kg8, 94. Nh6+ Kh8, 95. Bf6# 1-0

SuperPatzer77

Aug-19-09  SuperPatzer77: <Manic> The other players including me would have played 86. Ng7+ instead of 86. Nd6+

I thought 86. Nd6+ would be slower but it is also good.

Take a look at <dzechiel>'s comment - "I would have played 86. Ng7+ but either seems good enough to win".

Of course, both 86. Nd6+ and 86. Ng7+ are good.

SuperPatzer77

Aug-28-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <dzechie> <No, you were taught correctly. ... the lone king has two options: 1) Try to stay in the corner, or 2) Try to make a run for it. Both ways fail, but the "run for it" has better chances of staying alive IF the player with knight and bishop hasn't studied this checkmate.> OK, gotcha. I never studied the (1) suicide defense, but something tells me that if it ever comes up in a standard length game I can figure it out as I go. ;-) The (2) "run for it" method is the defense that everybody plays ... because once you get pushed against the edge of the board, it seems like such a coup to be able to break free again. Who can resist running away? It seems like the superior side has screwed up somehow.

Personally, I dread the idea of this position coming up in a real game, because I know for a fact: if I was playing the ♘+♗ mate at a tournament, 50 people would be crowded around my table. For some reason, spectators LOVE this stuff. The board would become a magnet to every kibitzer in a 5 mile radius. With every move there would be murmuring and whispering. And God forbid that I draw this ending with 50 people watching... I might as well show up for the next round with a paper bag over my head!

Aug-28-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <halito27: One thing I like learning about the B+N mate ... is that it really teaches you how to coordinate minor pieces. >

<<Johnlspouge> The term used in the Euwe and Hooper endgame book is "barrier".>

I have always loved this position:


click for larger view

The black king is trapped in a little cell of seven squares! If Black is allowed to take 1000 moves in a row, he still cannot move his king to the middle of the board.

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