Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bishops of the same colour

Often we encounter beautiful technical endgames of opposite bishops. However interesting endgames with bishops of the same colour are much rarer. That doesn't sound abnormal to me as the bishops of the same colour fight eventually for the control of the same squares which implies an exchange happens more quickly. Often such endgame is rather easy to play correctly. It is no surprise that chessplayers often don't feel the danger in the exceptional cases.

I will show a few of those unique endgames in this article which at the same time proof people very regularly play too superficially endgames while instead accurate calculations are necessary. I start with an endgame from my practice of 2001 against the Frenchmen Guillaumat.

Afterwards being very satisfied about my play, I presented the endgame at the tournament-organisation so they would consider it for the beauty-prize. That was too optimistic as I never heard any feedback. Beauty-prizes are almost exclusively given to attacking-games while technical endgames are much less appealing.

The second example is from my interclub-practice. I wasted a big advantage in the middle-game but I continued to play for a win in the endgame which my opponent couldn't appreciate at all.

My opponent was convinced it was already several dozens of moves a dead-draw but my analysis show much was hidden under the surface.

It isn't seldom that only the analysis reveal the hidden possibilities. Recently I was very amused by analyzing the extraordinary bishop-endgame which could've appeared in my game against Christophe Gregoir (a fragment already popped up in the article password).

I am well aware about long analysis, wrong analysis but I challenge the reader to refute above analysis. In any case I admit never would I discover the lines without a strong computer. The one finding this at the board with a ticking clock, must be an absolute endgame-magician. The task appears to me completely impossible if you have to play solely on an increment of 30 seconds per move.

Now even in much simpler positions happen already serious blunders. In the chapter of bishops of the same colour in Dvoretsky's endgame manual there are some nice examples of tragic-comedies.

Both players were maybe confused by the famous endgame-composition of Heuacker in 1930.

Each of above examples are unique so I admit very little or nothing of the analysis will be reusable in the future. Regarding reusable knowledge I also want again to criticize Chessbase. Chessbase regularly badly informs their readers (as mentioned before in my article desinformation by chessbase). In the advertisement for the endgame turbo is stated that this new product is a necessity to train. Nonsense of course as not only the diversity in the endgame-positions is too large but also in many solutions there is no logic to detect. Above there is also the price of the product. There are free alternatives: Knowledge4IT or Finalgen. The last one can handle even more than the 6 pieces of the endgame turbo. Besides why would you spend 60 euro for tablebases till maximally 6 pieces while there exists a rather cheap alternative for tablebases till maximally 7 pieces on chessok.

If you want to become a better player then you better buy a good book of endgames instead of analyzing unique endgames or buying tablebases. However today becoming a stronger player is no priority for me. On the other hand enjoying a rich endgame by spending time at researching small details is something which I don't want to miss.


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