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R+K vs B+K endgame

  • #1
    How to win?
  • #2

    As I understand it from "Pandolfini's Endgame Course," it's a draw if the defending king can get into the corner with his bishop next to him at N1. However, if the defending king is unfortunate enough to get into the wrong corner where his king cannot be shielded with his bishop at N1, but rather at B1, then by the superior side losing a tempo at the right moment by a rook shift along the back rank aimed toward the defending king, the defending king must step into the corner (R1) due to Zugzwang, whereupon mate follows on the next move with RxB (at B1) #. There are  also further nuances where the rook prevents the bishop from finding a safe spot to hide, before that ending position occurs.

  • #3
  • #4

    You're welcome. I'm surprised nobody else volunteered any more comments. Below is one page of several on this topic in Pandolfini's book.


    (p. 59)
    ENDGAME 36

    W: Kb6, Rb2 B: Kb8, Bf7
    White moves and wins

    Pin and Win







    1k6/5b2/1K6/8/8/8/1R6/8 w - -

    Black's Bishop controls the corner square closest to his King
    (a8), therefore it's the wrong Bishop. To engineer a draw, the
    Bishop must be able to occupy the square next to the corner
    (here, b8). The actual corner square (a8) is reserved for Black's
    King. If White's Rook attacks along the back row, Black's light-
    square Bishop won't be a reliable shield for his King. The White
    Rook conquers by starting with double attack, threatening the
    Bishop and mate. After the x-ray assault 1. Rf2, White stam-
    pedes the Bishop and the back-rank square immediately be-
    hind (f8). When the Rook reaches the last row, a delaying move
    forces mate.

    1. Rf2 Be6
    2. Rf8+ Bc8
    3. Rh8 Ka8
    4. Rxc8 mate

    Pandolfini, Bruce. 1988. Pandolfini's Endgame Course. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster.

  • #5

    ccohho wrote:

    How to win?

    ccohho wrote: How to win?
  • #6

    Thanks much. It's been about 40 years since I seriously studied Reuben Fine's book. I can still do the N & B mate, but had forgotten this one.

  • #7

    You're welcome. For contrast, below is what happens if the defending player has his king in the *correct* corner: stalemate!


    (p. 58)
    ENDGAME 35

    W: Kh1, Bh8 B: Kg3, Re7
    White moves and draws

    The Right-Corner Mate







    7B/4r3/8/8/8/6k1/8/7K w - -

    Black threatens mate at e1 and a Bishop-King fork at h7--a
    double attack. If White had a light-square Bishop, his cause
    would be hopeless. But White has the dark-square Bishop, the
    right Bishop for the corner his King already occupies. To draw,
    the Bishop must move on squares of different color from the
    King's corner. Then it can block the Rook's check on a square
    contiguous to the King's. After 1. Bd4 Re1+ 2. Bg1, Black has
    no way to progress, and carefully must keep White from a
    looming stalemate. In the final position, if everything were
    moved on square to the left, Black would force mate by
    making a tempo Rook move along the back rank. Such a move
    would force White's King to the corner and the Bishop (then at
    f1) would hang.

    1. Bd4 Re1+
    2. Bg1 Rd1

    Pandolfini, Bruce. 1988. Pandolfini's Endgame Course. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster.


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