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Old May 14th 04, 10:57 AM
Dr Tim
 
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Default Endgame: Knight and two pawns vs Rook

I reached the following position as White
(White to play):
White K on f2, N on f5, pawns on e5 and f4
Black K on g8, R on b5

I went on to win this game,
but I have some questions:
1) Should Black have drawn?
2) Do a knight and two pawns often beat a rook?
3) What about a *bishop* and two pawns?
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Old May 15th 04, 08:12 AM
Spencer R. Lower
 
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Default Endgame: Knight and two pawns vs Rook


(White to play):
White K on f2, N on f5, pawns on e5 and f4
Black K on g8, R on b5

I went on to win this game,
but I have some questions:
1) Should Black have drawn?


Yes

2) Do a knight and two pawns often beat a rook?


Not often, but chances increase with other pawns on the board.

3) What about a *bishop* and two pawns?


Much more often than the knight. A bishop handles split pawns better.


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Old May 16th 04, 10:43 AM
Dr Tim
 
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Default Endgame: Knight and two pawns vs Rook

3) What about a *bishop* and two pawns?

Much more often than the knight. A bishop handles split pawns better.


But a knight is better for connected pawns, yes?
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Old May 16th 04, 08:46 PM
Ron
 
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Default Endgame: Knight and two pawns vs Rook

In article ,
(Dr Tim) wrote:

3) What about a *bishop* and two pawns?


Much more often than the knight. A bishop handles split pawns better.


But a knight is better for connected pawns, yes?


Not neccesarily. The bishops long-range action can help it avoid pins
and double attacks from the rook. Also the bishop works well with the
pawns as they advance -- whenever the two connected pawns are on
opposite color of the bishop, the bishop can easily guard the two
squares in front of the pawns.

Whereas maintaining this blockade-busting setup is more complex with
the knight, which usually gives the player with the rook more chances to
disrupt it with long-range checks.

But it's sort of moot, because I'm pretty sure that black can still
hold with best play. Even once the black king is driven back to the
eigth rank, there's such a pleathora of sacrifice-the-rook-for-two-pawns
options, as well as stalemating posibilities, pins, and barrages of
checks that (although I could easily be missing something clever) I'm
pretty sure white can't force the win.

Intuitively I feel like the cases where there are wins are those were
the black king is in a horrible position-- although in this case
"horrible position" doesn't mean what it usually does (on his own back
rank) but instead means far advanced on the far side of the board away
from the white pawns, and probably on the same side of those pawns as
the white king. If the black king is out of play, and white gets both
his pawns to the sixth rank, white wins even without his bishop -- but
getting his pawns to the sixth without letting the black king in the
game is going to be tricky.
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