Monday, December 13, 2010

The Power of Two Bishops

The Bishop Pair is one of the most powerful weapons in chess arsenal. In the hands of a master, two efficiently coordinating Bishops can create havoc along open files.

Nuremberg 1896

1. d4, d5
2. c4, dxc4
3. Nf3, c5
4. e3, cxd4
5. exd4, Bg4
6. Bxc4 ....

White threatens 7. Bxf7 Kxf7, 8. Ne5+.

6. .... e6
7. Qa4+, Nc6

White readily exploits the absence of Black's Bishop along the a4-e8 diagonal.  If Black replies 7....Nd7, there follows 8. Ne5 N8f6, 9. Bg5! Bf5, 10. Nxd7 Qxd7, 11. Bb5 winning the Queen.

8. Ne5, Qxd4
9. Nxc6, Qe4+
10. Be3, bxc6

Of course not 10....Qxc6 because of 11. Bb5 winning the Queen.

11. Nc3, Qxg2
12. Bd5!! ....

This beauty of a move drives off the Black Queen and spearheads an attack on the opponent King.  Black is obliged to take down the Bishop.

12. .... exd5
13. Qxc6+, Kd8

If 13....Ke7, then 14. Nxd5+ Kd8, 15. Qxa8 and Black can resign.

14. Qxa8+, Kd7
15. Qb7+, Ke6
16. Qc6+, Bd6
17. Bf4, Resigns

There is no way to prevent 18. Qxd6+.  If 17....Qxh1+, 18. Kd2 Qxa1, 19. Qxd6+ Kf5, 20. Qe5+ Kg6, 21. Qg5 mate.

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