George Costanza Ending

Jun 29, 2008, 9:56 PM |

Firstly, the title deserves an explanation. I see frequently enough people abbreviating Bishops of opposite colors, BOOC. This post is about the opposite, Bishops Of the Same COlor, BOSCO. Bosco is also George Constanza's favorite chocolate sauce and ATM code.


BOOC endings are notorious for being drawn, even when one side has an extra pawn or two (strictly speaking the bisops are the only pieces left, the scenario can change dramatically with a pair of rooks on board). I don't hear the same generalizations about BOSCO endings, so I wanted to take some time to think about them.


One immediate question is whether to put your pawns on the color of the bishops or not. Let's have a look at a game and think about it a bit.

 After playing the above game, I still don't know the proper way to handle that ending. I think if the queenside situation had been reversed, with black having pawns are dark squares and white on light squares that black could have had an easy victory.


Here is a second example that might appease the blood thirsty.


In the first game, the side with the advantage only managed a draw because some of the pawns on the color of the bishops became targets. In the second game, the side with the advantage (passed pawn) managed a win by shielding the opposing king away from the pawn. I still feel a bit lost for a general strategy in these endgames, but hopefully each example will help me come up with ideas in future games.