Sunday, June 15, 2014

Queen and Bishop

Here is a trio of queen and bishop combinations that I have encountered recently. The first is from a 2013 master game. The next four are from games I have played within the last 45 days.

White to move

White missed the crushing continuation 33.Rxh7+ Kxh7 34.Bd3+. If 34...Kg8, then 35.Bc4 pins queen to king. If 34...Kg7, then 35.h6+! and now if 35...Kxh6 36.Qf6+ Kh5 37.Be2+ Qf3 38.Bxf3#. If 34...Kh8 35.Qf6+ Kg8 36.Qg7#. If 34...Kg8 35.Qf6, Black has to sac his queen for the h-pawn to stop Qg7#. The game continued 33.Qf6+ Kg8 34.Bf3?. White again missed that 34.Rxh7 was crushing 34...Kxh7 35.Qg6+ Kh8 36.Bd3 and Black has to play 36...Qxd3 37.Qxd3 to stave off mate. The game fizzled to a draw.

White to move

I saw the continuation 35.Qd6! but thought that 35...Rhd8 36.Bxd8 Rxd8 was still too much material for my opponent. I didn't realize that I had a better move that collapses Black's house of cards. 35.Qd6! Rhd8? 36.Bc3! Either the knight or the bishop goes with check. Black's best continuation is 35.Qd6! Rhg8! where White has to content himself with 36.d8=Q Raxd8 37.Bxd8 Rxg2+ 38.Kf1 Rg6 36.Ke2! when both kings are on the run.

Black to move

I chose a winning line of 29...Qh6+ 30.Kg1 Bd6 31.Rf2? (31.g5! Qxg5 32.Nf3 makes it difficult for Black to cash in because 32...Qg6! is the only move that maintains a win) 31...Bg3 32.e4 Bxf2+ 33.Kxf2 Qf4+ 34.Kg1, but the computer likes 29...Bg5 better by 1.5 pawns because it avoids the 31.g5 line and removes Black's e-pawn: 30.Rf2 Qh6+ 31.Kg1 Bxe3 32.Nf1. After the game's 34.Kg1, I was able to calculate thirteen plies toward a mate and know that White was probably losing another minor piece. 34...Rc8 35.Qf3 Qxd2 36.Qxf7+ Kh8 37.Qxb7 Rc1+ 38.Kh2 Qf4+ 39.g3 Qf2+ 40.Kh3 Rh1#

White to move

20.Nxf7 prompted immediate resignation.

White to move

14.Qe4! also prompted immediate resignation. Coincidentally, in these last two games, both of my opponents had just played b6.

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