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Arthur Bisguier vs Aleksandar Matanovic
Bled (1961), Bled YUG, rd 18, Sep-30
Bogo-Indian Defense: Grünfeld Variation (E11)  ·  0-1


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find similar games 2 more Bisguier/A Matanovic games
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-07-17  NBZ: The obvious move is 85. ... Nf5 hoping for h6. (1) After 85. ... Nf5 86. h6? Nxh6 is a draw after 87. Ka2 Nf5 88. Ka1 Nd4 89. Ka2 with a mutual zugzwang. With two knights on the board, White has no way to lose a tempo. (2) But after 85. ... Nf5 86. h6? Nc3! 87. h7 Nd4 and mate on b3.

However, White can meet 85. ... Nf5 by 86. Ka2! Now there does not seem to be a win: for example 86. ... Nd4 h6 and Black only has a perpetual with 87. Nb3 h7 88. Nc1+ Ka1 89. Nb3+.

Let's do first things first: Black can use the restricted position of the White king to improve the position of his knight. So let's play 85. ... Nd2! 86. Ka2 Nc4 87. Ka1 Nd6 88. Ka2 Nb5 89. Ka1

click for larger view

Almost the same as the starting position, except the White knight on b5 does everything it did on b1 in addition to having the option of swivelling over to the d4 square.

Now we will try Nf5 again. 89. ... Nf5 90. Ka2! (90. h6 loses just as before) Ne3! 91. h6 Nd1 92. h7 Ndc3+ 93. Ka1 Nd4 94. h8=Q Nb3#.

Very pretty line if it works. The knight on b1 gives mate from b3: hardly what I expected when I first looked at the position.

Jan-07-17  NBZ: I see that I mucked up the obvious line, and found a way to delay the mate by 4 moves. At least it's still well within the 50 moves rule :)
Jan-07-17  AlicesKnight: I was a little surprised that 86.h6 was not tried, but <YouRang> seems to have it right.
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: Got that right away
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: This was far to easy for a <Saturday>.

A forced mate in six moves is hardly rocket science!

All you have to work out is that once the king is on a2, the best checking square for the "mobile" knight is c1. From there you simply have to find a path to reach c1 and then count the number of moves. If the h pawn promotes before the check on c1, then its a draw if it doesn't then its a win...

85 ... Nf5
86 Ka2 Nd4
87 h6 Nb3/Ne2
88 h7 Nc1+
89 Ka1 Nd2
90 h8=Q Nb3#

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has two knights for a pawn.

Black can deliver mate with 85... Nf5:

A) 86.h6 Nc3 87.h7 Nd4 88.h8=Q Nb3#.

B) 86.Ka2 Nd4 87.h6 (87.Ka1 Nc3 as above) 87... Nb5 88.h7 Nc3+ 89.Ka1 Nd4 90.h8=Q Nb3#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Another solution is the maneuver Nd2-f1-g3 followed by Nxh5; White would then be free to execute the 2N mate in 379 moves subsequent to the obligatory opponent's blunder


Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: This is great - I can replay a game from 55 years ago whenever I want.

Can I replay any and every pro soccer or football or basketball (or baseball or whatever) game from 1955, whenever I want?

I might get lucky and find it on youtube, or most likely no. But with chess? Close to 90% or more of them, and this one is a treat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson:

click for larger view

Just one of the great attractions of Chess. With the pawn on h5 it is a win. With no pawn on h5 it is a draw.

Won a pint once in Sandy Bells by saying I could mate with two Knights v a bare King. The lad was positive no such position could be set up unless it was in the corner of the board.

click for larger view

1.Nb6+ Kc8 2.Ne6 mate.

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Not forced but it is checkmate. Which brings us on nicely to Kotov vs Najdorf, 1953

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Kotov wanted to play on explaining to the perplexed Najdorf that a Siberian amateur had worked out a forced mate with the two Knights. (see thread)

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: It looks like black could have unleashed his Nh6 a couple moves earlier, when he faced this position.

click for larger view

The N that prevents the king from escaping via a3 does that job just as well here at c4 as it would at b1. He could now play <83...Nf6> and proceed with the same technique described by <An Englishman> above.

This is not a criticism though. Black played this difficult ending excellently since the final capture back on move 68. I assume he moved his N to b1 because the technique he was familiar with concluded with this mating pattern.

Most GMs play a whole career without needing this ending technique, so it's impressive that he knew it so well.


Looking at endgame explorer, I see that there are 55 game in the database with this ending.

Of these, 30 finished a draw:
Endgame Explorer: NN vs P

And 25 in which the 2N side won:
Endgame Explorer: NN vs P

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: The text after 85...Nf5, below. ( white gets mated in 5 moves)

click for larger view

The same position as above but with the pawn on h6.

click for larger view

White to play and draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: One of the interesting drawn P vs NN games featured Anand failing to find the right technique. I just put some comments about it there:

Wang Yue vs Anand, 2009 (kibitz #13)

Jan-07-17  1 2 3 4: Unbelievably easy for a Saturday
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <Jimfromprovidence><White to play and draw.>

An interesting "White to play a draw" problem because it's really *black* who must find the right technique. ;-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Two knights is the night (everlasting)
Jan-07-17  varishnakov: 85...Nf5 86.Ka2 Nd4 87.h6 Nb5 88.h7 N5c3+ 89.Ka1 Nd2 90.h8=Q Nb3#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: If WK is on a2 black mates with Ns on b1 and c1, if the K stays on a1 than the mate happens with Ns on b3 and c3. The Nf5-Nd4-Nb3 path isn't too hard to find.
Jan-07-17  petemccabe: When I was maybe 10, Bisguier played a simultaneous exhibition in my home town (Scarsdale, NY). This is the first time I've seen a game on Chessgames featuring a player I've played against!

Meanwhile, being a casual (1500 or so) player, I always thought K+NN v K was a draw. I had no idea that an extra pawn could make things worse for the King.

Jan-07-17  Kasparov Fan: a very interesting position indeed
Jan-07-17  Absentee: <1 2 3 4: Unbelievably easy for a Saturday>

Yeah, I'd like to think I'm good, but this was easier than most Saturdays.

Jan-08-17  schachfuchs: Nobody likes my final moves 89.Ka1 Nc3 90.h8=Q Nb3# ? ;-)
Jan-08-17  N0B0DY: <schachfuchs> That's exactly right!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Omnipotent00001: 64. Kb2 and black wins 90 moves later
Premium Chessgames Member
  imsighked2: I would never have believed one could win with just two knights.
Aug-19-18  Howard: That h-pawn makes all the difference--pure and simple.
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