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Anna Ushenina vs Olga Girya
Women Grand Prix Geneva (2013), Geneva SUI, rd 4, May-06
Slav Defense: Modern Line (D11)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <alkinoos> My guess is that she had looked at the ending at some time in her life, but hadn't memorized the key maneuver 82.Ne2! Kf3 83.Be6! and Black is toast, e.g. 83...Kf2 84.Bg4! Kg2 (or 84...Ke1 85.Nc3! Kf1 86.Ne4!) 85.Ke3. Her play is a bit reminiscent of R Kempinski vs Epishin, 2001, but one gets the impression that Epishin had never laid eyes on the ending before.
May-11-13  dumbgai: I gave this endgame a go, starting with the position at move 72. I played against Houdini, giving myself 1 minute for the game plus a 15 second increment per move. I messed up the first time and got it on my second try. The trick is to know how to keep the opposing king fenced in, when it eventually runs to the second rank.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <dumbgai> Bruce Pandolfini wrote a good article on how to win the ending. It appears in one of the two volumes of <The Best of Chess Life & Review>, and also in <Pandolfini's Endgame Course>. I'm told that Tarrasch also does a good job in his book <The Game of Chess>, though I haven't looked at his treatment of it.
Jul-12-13  notyetagm: A Ushenina vs O Girya, 2013

Damn, this is embarassing.

World Champion? Do you think Hou Yifan cannot mate with ♗+♘???

Jul-12-13  Nerwal: <Do you think Hou Yifan cannot mate with B+N???>

I have no idea, but I know You Yifan can lose a rook endgame with extra pawn : Xiu Deshun vs Yifan Hou, 2013

Let's not be too harsh with a particular player or a particular game. Failing a ♗+♘ mate is spectacular and embarrassing, but not so uncommon and it's a marginally useful endgame to know. The real problem is a wider one, and that's the level and culture of chess players in endgames which are rather low, even amongst GMs, and modern time controls make things just worse.

Aug-12-13  notyetagm: <FSR: ... When does she lose her world championship? It can't happen soon enough.>

In September.

The title goes back to its rightful holder, <HOU YIFAN>, who lost it in those ridiculous two-game knockout matches.

Aug-12-13  dx9293: <notyetagm> I guess you forgot that Hou GOT her title "in those ridiculous two-game knockout matches."

Anyway, I look forward to the match. It will be interesting.

Aug-12-13  Doniez: It's so embarrassing to watch this endgame...I have to re-learn several times openings and known endgames, but a World Champion should play this endgame and win in exactly 24 moves as predicted by Nalimov tb's. or in a few more moves, but anyway she should win!
Aug-12-13  notyetagm: <dx9293: <notyetagm> I guess you forgot that Hou GOT her title "in those ridiculous two-game knockout matches.">

I'm a Hou Yifan groupie. Leave me alone!


Aug-23-13  Karpova: <dehanne: Judit Polgar once pulled off this mate blind folded, IIRC.>

The game in question: Ljubojevic vs Judit Polgar, 1994

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Hi <Sequoia>. How long did it take you to learn it, and how much time do you need to take to keep the technique fresh in your mind? Is that a sensible investment for a hobby player ("any player")? As for Judit Polgar playing it blindfold, I am just dumbstruck with admiration!
Aug-23-13  Shams: <Dionysius1> You didn't ask me but I'll answer. It takes a few hours to learn it for sure, plus maybe an hour a year to refresh. Silman doesn't teach it: he's probably right that most players will never need it. But I am of the camp that says you should learn it anyway because the technique will help your game in other ways.

Isn't it marvelous how Bishop and Knight cooperate to take away so many squares from the enemy King?

click for larger view

Personally I find the methodical "three triangles" method easier to remember:

...but the old 'W' method (the one Ushenina blows in this game) is also instructive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Hi and thanks <Shams>. That's not too long, given its additional value. And sometimes as a hobbyist, it's nice to visit what might be a by way as far as more focussed tournament players are concerned. I think I'll have a go at learning this. I've joined a chess club in a nearby town - it might be fun to be able to demonstrate this some time (and give them a temporarily excessive assessment of my abilities ;-) )
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: I watched the three triangles instructional video. I use the the big W method as Tarrasch teaches in "The Game of Chess". I find that easier since both K ( always on the 6th rank ) and N ( the big W except final mate preparation ) moves are predetermined and only the B maneuvers have to be learned and a little bit flexible depending on the opponent's moves. However, the triangle method is useful to illustrate the incredible blocking power of just a B and N properly placed.

Obviously the technique to drive the opposing K from the wrong corner across to the necessary B color corner has to learned, but one must also pay attention to working out the technique to drive the enemy K from the center to the corner in the first place. I practice about 3 to 4 times a week against the computer from random positions to make sure I can do the whole process within the 50 move rule, which easily can be a factor if you accidentally let the K escape and have to start the process over. Usually I mate in about in 30 to 32 moves, where the absolutely efficient table bases might do it in 26 or 27.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: The more I hear, the more I want to learn this. Darn, are there tournaments where one can show off this kind of thing - like dressage events for horses?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Dionysius1: The more I hear, the more I want to learn this. Darn, are there tournaments where one can show off this kind of thing - like dressage events for horses?>

I don't know about tournaments, but you can practice the endgame here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It's under a big W, I tells ya. An it's been there for fifteen years! An it's all yours; you've just gotta go down there and dig it up!
Sep-19-13  dehanne: Someone was cruel enough to make a video of the checkmate fail:
Sep-19-13  BobbieM: She's about to lose the championship
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: She could have made it just in time:

click for larger view

107.Ng4 Kg2 108.Bc4 Kf3 109.Bd3 Kg3 110.Be4 Kh3 111.Kf4 Kh4 112.Bg6 Kh3 113.Ne3 Kh4 114.Ng2+ Kh3 115.Kf3 Kh2 116.Kf2 Kh3 117.Bf5+ Kh2 118.Ne3 Kh1 119.Bg4 Kh2 120.Nf1+ Kh1 121.Bf3#

49 moves. Now that would have been a "buzzer-beater" of sorts.

Sep-19-13  DrAttitude: Practice. Practice. Practice. Once daily (until one has mastered the technique). Then once weekly.

Excellent sites already posted :

< >

< >

The bishop + knight mate is among one of the most difficult endgames to play.

Queen versus rook is another.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: I have a question concerning this situation. Let's say you are faced with this endgame and in your attempts at getting the king in the appropriate corner you mess up and the lone king escapes.. Now you have to start all over again... Can you give a spite check to re-set the 50-move counter or do you only get 50 moves from the moment there are no more pawns/other pieces on the board?

Thanks in advance!

Sep-20-14  dx9293: You get 50 consecutive moves without a pawn move or capture: checks do not reset the count, only a pawn move or capture. Of course, with KBNvK there are no pawns and the capture of one of the pieces would result in an immediate draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: Thanks <dx9293>, much appreciated!

I've just been practising this one and it's fun!

Oct-06-14  bigmell: for what its worth fritz showed a mate in 12 on move 85 Anna Ushenina - Olga Girya, Women Grand Prix Geneva 2013

click for larger view

Analysis by Fritz 13:

1. (#19): 85...Ke1 86.Ke3 Kd1 87.Bf5 Ke1 88.Nc3 Kf1 89.Ne4 Ke1 90.Bg4 Kf1 91.Ng3+ Kg1 92.Bd7 Kh2 93.Ne2 Kg2 94.Bg4 Kh2 95.Bc8 Kg2 96.Be6 Kf1 97.Nf4 Ke1 98.Nd3+ Kf1 99.Bh3+ Kg1 100.Kf3 2. (#12): 85...Kf1 86.Ke3 Kg2 87.Be6 Kf1 88.Nf4 Ke1 89.Nd3+ Kf1 90.Bh3+ Kg1 91.Kf3 Kh2 92.Nf4 Kg1 93.Kg3 Kh1 94.Bg2+ Kg1 95.Ne2#

(, 06.10.2014)

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