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Elementary endgames (Part 7c)
Outside passed Pawn with Bishop vs. Knight.

Here we'll look at two equivalent positions. In the first position White starts with a Bishop against a Knight. In the second White starts with a Knight against a Bishop, both minor pieces on the same squares as in the first position.

Bishop plus extra Pawn vs. Knight

With Pawns on both sides of the board, the long-range Bishops are superior to the short-range Knights.

Speelman 133a

1...Kb5 2.b3 Nc7 3.a4+ Kc6 4.Kc4 Nd5 5.b4 Nc7 6.Bf4 Ne6

After 7.b5+ axb5+ 8.axb5+ Kd7 9.Kd5 Nd8, White can aim for the following position, perhaps with a different Kingside Pawn structure.

White wins easily with 1...Kc8 2.Kc6 Na5+ 3.Kd6.

Knight plus extra Pawn vs. Bishop

Of our instructional positions this is the hardest to win. The Knight ultimately triumphs because it can attack both light and dark squares, while the Bishop is restricted to half of the board.

Speelman 133b


1.b4+ is a mistake because Black can block the Queenside with 1...Kb5 2.Nd1 Ka4 3.Kb2 Kb5.

1...Bd7 2.b3 Bc6 (2...a5? 3.Nc4) 3.f4

The White Pawns are best placed on squares which can't be attacked by the Bishop.

3...Be8 4.b4+ Kd6 5.a5 Bb5 6.Kd4 Be2 7.Nc4+


If 7...Ke6, White wins with 8.Kc5 Kf5 9.b5 axb5 10.Nd6+ Kg4 11.a6.


The Knight working alone can force weaknesses in the Black Pawns.

8...Kb5 9.Kc3 f5

To be protected from attack by the Knight, the Black Pawn has to stay on a square of the same color as its Bishop. This has the disadvantage that it limits the mobility of the Bishop.

10.Nd7 Bc4

If 10...Kc6 11.Nf8 Kd5 12.Nxh7 Ke4 13.Nf8 and if 13...Bh5 14.b5.

11.Nf6 h6 12.Nd7 g5

If 12...Bf7 13.Ne5 Be8 14.h4 Ka4 (14...h5 15.Kb3 is Zugzwang.) 15.Kc4.


13...Bd5 14.Nb3 Be4 15.Nd4+ Ka4 16.Kc4

Even better is 16.Ne6 gxf4 17.Nc5+ Kb5 18.Nxe4.

16...gxf4 17.gxf4 Bb1 18.Kc5 Be4 19.h4

19...h5 20.Ne6 Bf3 21.Nc7 Be2 22.b5 and White wins.

 More of this Feature
• Part 7 : Introduction
• Part 7a : Knights
• Part 7b : Bishops
• Part 7c : Minor pieces
• Part 7d : Major pieces
 Related Resources
• Part 6 - Rook's Pawn