Friday, September 21, 2012

Not all opposite-color bishop endings are drawn

Boris Gelfand just won a textbook ending against Hikaru Nakamura in the first round of the Grand Prix event in London:

On the queenside, Black's bishop and two pawns paralyze White's four pawns with a dark square blockade. On the kingside, Black's two connected passers are mobile, and the Black king, bishop, and pawns coordinate with each other.. (Nakamura was even up a meaningless pawn for several moves.)  So the final position is an easy win, even for you and me.  Opposite-color bishop endings are funny that way: you can be two pawns up and it's a dead draw, or material is equal and somebody's completely winning.

I should add that I followed this game live from the new website of The Week in Chess.

P.S. Alejandro Ramirez annotates this game on ChessBase.

Chess Life Online covered yesterday's opening ceremonies.

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