Incredible Bishop Endgame Played In Computer Chess Championship
Is this the greatest bishop endgame ever played?

Incredible Bishop Endgame Played In Computer Chess Championship

| 64 | Endgames

The ongoing Computer Championship saw a fascinating endgame between Stockfish and Komodo played on April 3. GM Dejan Bojkov and IM Daniel Rensch take a closer look at the main theme: zugzwang.

In the absence of major chess events, the interest in computer tournaments is growing again. Currently, chess fans can follow both the TCEC and our very own championship, which is currently seeing its 13th edition.

The tournament has reached the semifinals stage, played among the engines Leela Chess Zero, Stockfish, Leelenstein, and Komodo. Here are some of the rules that apply:

  • In these semifinals, the openings are a combination of gambits and popular openings.
  • Full 6-man and Syzygy 7-man tablebases are used.
  • Games will be played until mate or draw by threefold repetition, stalemate, 50-move rule, or adjudication.
  • Tied matches will continue until one engine wins a set of two games with a score of 1.5/2.0 or 2.0/2.0.
  • Tiebreaks will reuse match openings, restarting from the first opening.

One of the clashes between Stockfish and Komodo last Friday saw an absolutely stunning endgame that deserves a closer look. Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:

We'll give the microphone to IM Daniel Rensch, who analyzed this endgame exhaustively, trying to determine if Komodo could have saved it at any point.

GM Dejan Bojkov also annotated the full game, providing annotations to the opening and middlegame before he dove into this fascinating endgame. The main ideas are zugzwang and the fact that the white pawn on d5 is more of a liability than an asset!

Zugzwang is an amazing concept. To learn more about it, see the following:

Currently, Leela Zero is leading the semifinals stage of the Computer Chess Championship, which you can follow here with lots of analysis features

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

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