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A computer has done it before but it cannot be done within the 50 move rule ( I think the fastest its ever been done is something like 120 moves
Straight up wrong. The longest mate with best play is 33 moves, and that's with the worst position possible.
<<<<<<Instead, if the side having the bare king runs out of time, it should be a draw on an online Chess.com game, but it is a win on an over-the-board game according to the FIDE rules, since strictly speaking it is possible (although extremely unlikely since mate cannot be forced) to come up with a legal sequence of moves to checkmate the lone king.>>>>>The fact that chess laws alter occasionally shows that they aren't set in stone. I think this is one illogical and incorrect law or interpretation that will in time be altered.
At the moment FIDE is in support of 'all possibilities' in these checkmates for a win on time ruling, rather than 'reasonable possibilities'. Perhaps this rule may change in the future, but I cannot predict the exact year.
In 40 years of competitive chess I have never had to play this ending.
Now that I think of it, I have not encountered one such game yet (or at most one or two but I would probably have forgotten already). If I had king and two pawns only, I would probably not take chances with promoting to a knight and a bishop.
I teach kids K-12 how to do it not because it can happen but it teaches the students how to make a knight and bishop work together. Think about it, those are the 4 pieces you use in the opening.
I would guess you're talking about KNNK rather than the topic of the article, but either way it's extremely easy to come up with a legal sequence of moves to mate (unless the position is already stalemate).
I would say it was preferable to change the Chess.com rules to fall in with the FIDE laws. Would the Chess.com rules declare a draw in the position below?
White to play
Yes, it would be a draw here if either player flagged.
In more than 68 years of competitive chess--i have never had to play with or against B and N and K vs a lone K.
Not everyone is aware of this endgame though, or these questions will never pop up in forums. And the question in the title heading is meant for the general players in aggregate, not to a specific player. I would say that the technique is far from simple even for intermediate-level players.
Even a small group of (probably new or inexperienced) players find it difficult to do the basic checkmate of king and rook versus a lone king, as I once observed in a tournament where one young player ran his rook around aimlessly; fortunately for him, he managed to find the checkmate eventually.
Um...if the side without the bishop and knight flagged, he/she would lose. If the side with the bishop and knight flagged, it would be a draw. In addition, the mate can indeed be forced. If you really do not know how, search up how to on YouTube. There are many videos on how to force this ending into mate.