Me vs. Houdini 2.0 - Queen vs. 2 Knights Endgame!!

Jan 16, 2012, 5:51 PM |

Yes that's right, I've been practising another theoretical endgame position with the mighty Houdini! This time it's the Q v 2N scenario which is, with best play a sure win for the queen. Apparently it is a forced win in 43 moves according to the endgame tablebases.

As this endgame is pretty rare, I didn't have 15-20 games against Houdini like in the Q v R endgame, I've had exactly 6 attempts playing the position below, 3 as white with the queen and 3 as black with the 2 knights.

I'll be honest, every single game when I played with the knights I got slaughtered, my best attempt is shown below, in other words the attempt where it took Houdini the most moves to checkmate me!

It seems the technique for white is to keep the enemy king as close to the back rank as possible by keeping the queen on the 6th or 7th rank, keep the knights mutually protecting eachother and not allowing them activity to keep manoevering a makeshift fortress, then the king infiltrates the squares between the knights, forces the enemy king away from his knights and the queen helps deliver checkmate. Sounds easy right!? Below is my best effort, which was a draw by repetition.

Well as you can see, after 16 moves I have achieved absolutely nothing. Now watch Houdini rip me to shreds! Funnily enough I could have resigned on move 16...

Yeah embaressing isn't it, but I can't deny it's a lot of fun trying... I am going to practice this again as I managed a victory with the Q v R scenario after some 6 hours of playing, this whole project has only had 2h dedicated to it so there's definately going to be room for improvement on my part!

My next endgame installment is going to be the Queen vs. 2 Bishops!! Smile