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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.

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