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Gedeon Barcza vs Bela Soos
"A Stampede of Horses" (game of the day Jan-25-2016)
Varna ol (Men) fin-A (1962), Varna BUL, rd 6, Oct-??
King's Indian Attack: Symmetrical Defense (A05)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner

This is the game to which I referred a few days ago. It is now in the database and is the Game of the Day. The fun really starts at white's 23rd move, but horse lovers will find a lot to appreciate throughout.

Jan-05-03  Ashley: 28. Na8 is an amazing move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I've always been skeptical of the old opinion that bishops are better than knights. I think maybe Tchigorin might have been correct after all.

It has been said that "The possession of the bishop pair constitutes a tangible advantage." Fischer said that a bishop is worth three and a quarter pawns.

But I say this: "Bishop pair, schmishop pair." The Knight pair is enough to drive the best of us bonkers. There's something about bishops, rooks, and queens (the 'line pieces') that is very easy for our geomotrical minds to grasp. But those crooked knights, with their crazy twisting paths, the more you try to think about them, the more you are driven mad. Mad, I tell you, MAD!

Jan-05-03  pawntificator: <Bishop pair, schmishop pair>


Now, now... everyone knows that the value of knights and bishops vary and are dictated by the position. Although I agree, Sneaky, that the knights are extremely dangerous and unpredictable. I recall a game I played in which my queen, on an open board, was rendered powerless by a pair of well coordinated knights. It was a disgrace!

Jan-06-03  Ashley: Bishops may be slightly more valuable over the course of hundreds of games, but not to a player who handles knights as Barcza does here.
Jan-07-03  PVS: Barcza had the reputation of being a cavalry genius.
Jan-07-03  bishop: Karpov was once asked how he had beaten Barcza, and he replied that he did it by exchanging Barcza's Knights, which were his favorite pieces! This is the game G Barcza vs Karpov, 1970
Apr-25-08  lopium: This is right, this man totally controls his wild knights!
Feb-01-12  notyetagm: The Greatest Ever Chess Endgames

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: 9....a6 is the mistake Barcza needs to convert the position into a favorable endgame where he can spend 25 moves (!) single-mindedly attacking the weaknesses on b6 and c5. Instead, 9.....cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 a6 leads to a Hedgehog-type position,

A nice feature of this game is that the black bishop twice gets effectively trapped by the knight-pair on opposite sides of the board (in a relatively open position): he can't hold the e6 pawn with 35....Bc8 because of 36.Nb6 and after 46.Nc3 the bishop on d1 has no viable squares.

The maneuver 20.....Nc6-d4-f5 doesn't help black; instead he could inch his king closer to the queenside or maybe trade bishops with 20....Bc6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Let's see. I make that 9 moves for the Nb1, 14 moves for the Ng1. More than half of Whit's moves by the horsies.
Jan-25-16  FairyPromotion: <Phony Benoni: Let's see. I make that 9 moves for the Nb1, 14 moves for the Ng1. More than half of Whit's moves by the horsies.>

23/47 < 50%


Jan-25-16  erimiro1: Soos=Horse in Hebrew :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quite lively, these feisty ponies
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: not a good day for bishops, but a good knight.
Jan-25-16  KID Slayer: I believe there are still more games where a bishop pair beats a knight pair, thus disproving Chigorin's statement.

But nice game. 28.Na8 is especially aesthetically and practically pleasing for White's position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: If anyone is interested in a thorough investigation of the bishop vs. knight issue, see, although it's not worth the current price for the used book, much less the current price for a new book ($ 423.32!, they must think that chess players are both crazy and stupid!). I paid about $ 21.00 for it a year and a half ago. <hms123> told me about the book.

And <KID Slayer>, the book indicates that Chigorin's record with 2 knights against 2 bishops was +5=4-15, thus disproving his own opinion. But 2 bishops against 2 knights are a much different story than a bishop against a knight, since the 2 bishops complement each other (unless they are the same color as a result of some sort of weird underpromotion) more than the 2 knights.

And theoretically you could have 4 bishops of the same color, the original bishop and 4 underpromotions; and maybe up to 9 bishops of the same color, the original bishop, 4 underpromotions without capture, and 4 underpromotions following capture. Either might make an interesting puzzle.

And I doubt that, say, a 5 bishops of the same color vs. 5 knights problem has ever been composed. Take for example the following position that I came up with at random, the only criteria being that no piece from either side could be en prise:

click for larger view

FWIW, Stockfish 7 evaluates the resulting position at [+0.21], d=24 (I wasn't motivated to wait until it reached a deeper search depth) after 1.Kc3 Ndf1 2.Bh7 Nge6 3.Bc4 Ng5 4.Bhd3 Ne3 5.Bgd1 N1h3 6.Bdb3 Nf2 7.Kd4 Nxd3 8.Kxe3 Nb2 9.Bg2 N5e4 10.Bc6 Nxc4+ 11.Bxc4 Nf5+ 12.Kf4 Ned6 13.Bd3 Nd4 14.Bd7 Nde6+ 15.Kg4 Nc5 so perhaps 5 bishops of the same color vs. 5 knights is a theoretical draw. :-)

Jan-25-16  lemaire90: Splendid !
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