Thursday, April 28, 2011

King+Bishop+Knight Vs. King endgame

Can you win the endgame in the title? Do you believe me if I tell you that very strong players could not? I am not kidding. Well, back in 2007 I saw an italian player, Carlo Gustavo Fornasir (who was rated a little below elo 2000 at the time) who won a King+Bishop+Knight Vs. King endgame very easily in a Fide rated tournament. He had about two minutes left on the clock...but he knew the winning tecnique and he won. I was very impressed by that performance. Some time later, while I was reading the first pages of "Silman's Endgame Course" I came to know that IM Silman doesn't teach how to play this kind of endgame, as it happens very rarely and it takes a little while to learn the winning tecnique. That time could be used in other useful ways. (Sorry I am not at home and I cannot quote Silman's own words). So I decided to find out if very strong players, I mean players rated > 2490 knew the winning tecnique or not. This post shows my discoveries (with the help of Chessbase + Mega Database 2009) as follows:
I found out:
GM Browne trusted his opponent's skills and resigned quickly.

GM Sturua was able to mate GM Miles

Judit Polgar did even more as she was able to mate Ljubojevic blindfold
Berelovich resigned just one move before Vallejo Pons mated him:
But at the same time the are other strong players who could not mate. (Time trouble?)

Well, at last do we want to spend some time learning this kind of endgame or not?  ;-))


  1. Other authors argue that you should study the B+K endgame because it teaches you a lot about how the B and the K can work together.

  2. Hi Farbror,
    well, IMO I have chosen not to study this endgame..and..of course.. I hope it will never materialize in my own games :-)