Knight versus Bishop

The top diagram shows the position after White's 70th move when the 7-man endgame with Knight and two pawns against Bishop and pawn commences. The correct result should be a draw.

Black could handle the position in various ways; for example, 70...h4 is playable. Instead Black chose to leave the pawn on h5 and manoeuvre with his Bishop. Eventually he did play the pawn to h4.

After playing correctly for some time, Black began to go wrong, making his choices harder.

Then, as so often happens in such pressure situations, he made a fatal mistake. Th second diagram position arose after White's 83rd move. Here there is only one satisfactory move, which Black failed to find. Instead he allowed White to improve the relative king positions which won the game.

Carlos Garcia Palermo - Ernesto Julia
World Senior Championship 50+, 2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.0-0 d6 6.a4 Na6 7.Nc3 c5 8.a5 Rb8 9.e4 Bg4 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Nd7 12.Be3 Nb4 13.d5 Na6 14.Be2 Nc7 15.Ra2 a6 16.Qd2 b5 17.axb6 Rxb6 18.Nd1 Re8 19.f4 e6 20.dxe6 Rxe6 21.Nf2 Re8 22.c3 Qe7 23.Bc4 Nf6 24.e5 dxe5 25.fxe5 Qxe5 26.Bf4 Qe7 27.Raa1 Ne6 28.Rxa6 Rxa6 29.Bxa6 Rd8 30.Qe2 Nh5 31.Bc4 Nhxf4 32.gxf4 Re8 33.Nd3 Qh4 34.Qg4 Qe7 35.f5 gxf5 36.Rxf5 Kh8 37.Kf1 Rg8 38.Qh5 Rf8 39.Qe2 Qh4 40.Qg4 Qe7 41.Qe4 Qd8 42.Bxe6 fxe6 43.Rxf8+ Bxf8 44.Ke2 Qf6 45.Nf4 e5 46.Nd5 Qe6 47.Nf4 Qf6 48.Nd3 Bd6 49.Qg4 Qe7 50.Qc8+ Kg7 51.Nf2 Qf7 52.Qg4+ Kf8 53.Ne4 Be7 54.Nd2 Qf6 55.Nc4 h6 56.Qe4 Qa6 57.Kd3 Qa1 58.Qf3+ Kg7 59.Nxe5 Qa6+ 60.Kc2 Qe6 61.Ng4 Qg6+ 62.Qd3 Qxd3+ 63.Kxd3 Kg6 64.Ke4 Kg5 65.Ne5 h5 66.Nf3+ Kf6 67.b3 Bd6 68.Ne1 Be5 69.Nd3 Bxc3 70.Nxc5

70...Kg5 Several other moves draw, including 70...h4. 71.Kf3 Kh4 72.Kg2 Bb4 Black must maintain his B anywhere on the short diagonal or else play it to f6 to hold the draw. 73.Nd3 Bd6 Also 72...Bc3 or 72... Be7 maintain the draw. 74.b4 Kg5 75.b5 Bc7 76.Kf3 Kf5 77.Nc5 h4 78.Nd3 Bb6 79.Nb2 Ke6 80.Nc4 Bg1 81.Ke4 Bh2 82.b6 Bg3 The defence is becoming harder; everything else loses. 83.Ne3 83...Kd7?? It is fatal to give ground with the king here. [83...Bh2 and now if 84.Kd4 Kd6 85.Nd5 Kc6 86.Kc4 is an easy draw because White cannot move the knight and Black needs only to wait with his bishop.] 84.Kd5 The obvious reply. Now White mates in 34. 84...Bf2 85.Nc4 Bg1? Accelerates the defeat by five moves. [85...Bg3 lasts longest, controlling the queening square for the time being. 86.Kc5 Bh2 87.Nd2 Bg3 88.Nf3 Bd6+ 89.Kb5 Bg3 90.b7 Kc7 91.Ka6 Now the pawn and king are unassailable. White just needs to manoeuvre his knight. 91...Kb8 92.Nd4 Kc7 93.Ka7 Kd7 94.Nf5 Of course promotion also wins, with care, but this wins a second pawn. 94...Bh2 95.Nxh4 ] 86.Ne5+ White mates in 26 even against the best reply 86...Ke7 [86...Kc8 87.Kc6 Bh2 88.Nd7 (Best but not the only move) 88...Bg3 89.b7+ and Black loses his B for the pawn.] 87.b7 There is a knight fork on c6. 1-0

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