15 Apr 2012

Endgame : Checkmate with bishop pair

Checkmate with bishop pair

There can be two checkmate positions with the two bishops on board that can occur at any corner of the board. There can be a checkmate in the corner. The second checkmate can occur at the side square, just next to the corner square. With the bishops moving freely on the side, the checkmate can occur in nineteen moves. Two bishops can result in a checkmate with the help of two kings. The bishops are the most useful when they are at the center of the board. The king has to be used frequently with the bishops.

1. Ke2 Ke4 (Black tries to keep his king near the center)
2. Be3 Ke5 (forcing the king back, which is done often)
3. Kd3 Kd5
4. Bd4 Ke6
5. Ke4 Kd6 (Black tries a different approach to stay near the center)
6. Bc4 (White has a fine position. The bishops are centralized and the king is active.)
6... Kc6 (Black avoids going toward the side)
7. Ke5 Kd7 (Black is trying to avoid the a8 corner)
8. Bd5 (keeping the black king off c6)
8... Kc7
9. Bc5 Kd7
10. Bd6! (an important move that forces the king to the edge of the board)
10... Ke8 (Black is still avoiding the corner)
11. Ke6 (now the black king cannot get off the edge of the board)
11... Kd8
12. Bc6 (forcing the king toward the corner)
12... Kc8 (Black's king is confined to c8 and d8. The white king must cover a7 and b7)
13. Kd5 (13. Ke7? is stalemate)
14. Kc5 Kc8
15. Kb6 Kd8 (Now White must allow the king to move into the corner)
16. Bc5 Kc8
17. Be7! (an important move that forces the king toward the corner)
17... Kb8
18. Bd7! (the same principle as the previous move)
18... Ka8
19. Bd8 (White must make a move that gives up a tempo. This move is such a move, along with Bc5, Bf8, Be6, or Ka6.)
19... Kb8
20. Bc7+ Ka8
21. Bc6#

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