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N vs B ending with pawns, Could White have played better here?

  • #1

    Was playing a game against a friend last night at a tavern and got into this ending with the White pieces. I saw almost immediately the move Nc5 should win as the Bishop became largely inactive and defensive but I am wondering if there was a more exact way to acheive victory even with Black playing best moves. If anyone could run this positon through Houdini and tell me if there was a faster win, I would love to know.

    The King manuevering took me forever to figure out in this game.

  • #2

    Interesting handling here as I think not only is 1. Nf4 bad (the Nc5 move is forcing to at least draw if not outrightly win), it allows Black the active Bishop, drawing as well. Great use of the piece there.

    One thing I was glad to see was that at move 5 you played 5. b3 instead of 5. Kg5? The only engine I can use is Fritz 11 (all I have installed for now) and it shows a drawing in the same time frame. I have posted the line that was presented here.

  • #3

    I suspect that endgame should be winnable for White.

  • #4

    Houdini likes Nc5 like you played, but suggests the best way to follow up is b3 and a4 for an immediate passer on the a file while the king is still far away.

    It likes 8...Bd7 (dislikes 8...e5+)

    It likes 12...Bf7 with Bd5 (looks like a draw)  So for white as an improvement suggests 11.a5 (so the king can't blockade it on b6) but even after that looks like a draw (Bf7-d5 again).

  • #5

    Ah jeez wafflle, what're you asking silicon for?

  • #6

    He asked me to Tongue out

    vengence69 wrote:

    If anyone could run this positon through Houdini and tell me if there was a faster win, I would love to know.

    But yeah, like you immediatly noticed white should have a way to win.

  • #7

    Black could have caused a lot of trouble with 17...Bxd7! 18.Kxd7 c5! 19.d5 c4

  • #8

    19 a5+

  • #9

    Thanks guys. My softwareis largely out of date and seems to suck atminor piece endings, seeming to try to steer for near impossible zugzwang moves to help V find anything of substance and for some strange reason no matter how many times I try to load Houdini or Shockfish, it still will run compatible with the OS on my computer.

    All those lines are really good as well. Vengence, was there a bit of Guiness fueling the endgame play for you to miss the immediate b3-a4 push? J/K. That was a pretty decent handling of the minor piece ending.

    Catch you at CT tonight?

  • #10

    Man that is embarrassing that I missed the fact that the King is outside the pawns sqaure from a4. Still, this is the type of minor piece positions I am finding myself steering towards in the endgames I play more often now.

    Thanks for the analysis on the lines as they show me new ways to discover wins in these positions.


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