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Eugene Aleksandrovich Znosko-Borovsky vs Jakob Adolf Seitz
"Dream of Me Two Knight" (game of the day Jul-15-2011)
Nice (1931), Nice FRA, rd 7, Mar-17
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  0-1


explore this opening
find similar games 1 more Znosko-Borovsky/J A Seitz game
sac: 43...Rxe2 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-25-10  mrbiggs: Wikipedia claims that this is the first master-level game won with two knights.

Interesting tidbit: After White's 62nd move, when there are first 6 pieces on the board, the game is a tablebase win in 33. Checkmate was on move 96, 34 moves later. That's accurate play, by both sides! Try stepping through the game with a tablebase, both sides make some small mistakes but it's pretty darn accurate and fun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: very interesting. Is there any story behind the name Znosko-Borovsky? why the hyphenation?
Dec-10-10  sevenseaman: Long time since I had a lesson in chess grammar. Very interesting if one tried to learn it and reproduce.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It almost looked like white gave up the bishop because he thought that two knights couldn't win vs a pawn.

Note:I have an old chess computer that cannot win this ending because it tries to take the pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: Forcing mate with 2 knights vs pawn is far more difficult than mating with bishop and knight. I mastered the bishop and knight checkmate over 30 years ago. Recently, I have tried to master the 2 knights vs pawn procedure--without success thus far.
Jul-15-11  Oceanlake: A present for Doctor Fine
Jul-15-11  cormier: 25...Ndc6
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Sporting of ZB to allow the mate.
Jul-15-11  JohnBoy: notable only for the mate
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: Just love it !!! Every beginner should learn the point that the stalemates are avoided if he/she has a move !!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Welcome to the TWO KNIGHT show!!

The winner needs to chase the king to the corner and trap him there (with one knight). Then he needs to release the pawn and mate with the other knight.

In the confines of the fifty move rule or anvancement of the pawn,a win may be impossible in many cases.

Jul-15-11  horseboat: The ol' Troitzky position rears its ugly head, eh? The pawn can be blockaded easily and only allowed to move when it helps Black by preventing stalemate. As long as the pawn is blockaded on or before before the line a4-b3-c4-d4-e4-f4-g3-h4, Black can convert for a win without a draw by fifty-move rule. Well done by Seitz to recognize this.
Jul-15-11  DrMAL: "Nice" to see a two-knights mate, just sayin LOL.
Jul-15-11  goodevans: <kevin86: It almost looked like white gave up the bishop because he thought that two knights couldn't win vs a pawn.>

62 ♗xf5+ was the big mistake.

If white keeps the ♗ (for now) then how is black to make progress? If black takes white's last ♙ then white can give up his ♗ for the black ♙ and a draw. What plan would black have that doesn't involve taking the ♙?

Jul-15-11  lemaire90: In the last moments of the game, it was a good decision by Black to not take the last pawn to avoid any stalemates !
Jul-15-11  goodevans: Let me answer my own question.

After <62 Be8 Nxf4> black would have a plan. It goes like this ...

1. Use the ♘s to ensure that white can only defend the ♙s advance from behind (from black's perspective), e.g. from c6 or b5 rather than, say, b2.

2. Use the ♘s to block the ♗s defence of the advance square. White cannot swap ♗ for ♘, he can only swap ♗ for ♙ to get a draw.

I don't think this plan will work, but at least it's a plan!

Jul-15-11  nolanryan: i think i finally got a friday pun. it is because she has two knights at the end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Didactic end game technique with those galloping Knights!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: I'll chime in that it was very cool to see the precise (enough) mate with two knights against king and pawn.
Jul-16-11  goodevans: The position after <62 Be8 Nxf4> has been troubling me, so I plugged it into Crafty EGT and gave it a go ...

Playing white, I went down a couple of blind alleys and got mated before finding a line that drew.

It's a tough challenge, but I'm now convinced that after 62 Be8 white can hold the draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: FWIW, I just checked this ending with a tablebase and discovered the following.

If the position arising when material was first reduced to K + P vs. K vs. 2N (after <62. Nxf5>), as follows:

click for larger view

which is a win (for Black, of course) in 32 (with White on move, as in the game) is altered by sliding the White pawn to the h-file (still on the 4th rank), it becomes a win in 89 (for Black); and if the pawn is hypothetically placed on a4, it becomes a theoretical draw (if White starts with a4-a5; all other choices lose in 91).

Among other things, this highlights the point that 2N vs. P is not always winnable, even with the P only as far advanced as the 4th rank).

Jun-08-12  reisanibal: reply to mrbiggs' tidbit:

Not necessarily accurate play. Black makes some moves that postpones the checkgame and then white makes some moves that shortens. Checkmate seems to ensue nearly in time but that's because of inaccuracies by both sides.

May-11-14  kereru: Znosko-Borovsky probably thought the position was drawn after Bxf5+. Apparently this is the first game on record where someone actually won the N+N vs P ending.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <cormier>

Znosko-Borovsky would be a clear piece up after 26. ♖xd7. At least Seitz gets a pawn for the piece with 25...♘xc2.

Jul-22-19  doash: How is the White King forced into the corner if he heads towards the a8-d5 quadrant of the board? Giddins says there is a win but he doesn't show it and I don't see how it's done.
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