Pawns, an able ally for Bishops

Pawns, an able ally for Bishops

A bishop pair most often scores over the knights in open positions and hence it is necessary to carefully calculate and exchange a few pawns and position the bishops on open diagonals.

In the game which follows, White has a bishop pair advantage but misses a good continuation where his bishops could have opened the gates for an earlier victory. However an extra pawn on the queen side, prompts White to exchange pieces and clinch victory.

White : Christian Bauer (2480) – Black: Jean Pierre Boudre (2397)

English Opening

1.c4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Be7 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bd3 0–0 9.0–0
Completing their development in accordance with theory
9. ..Nc6 10.Re1 Re8 11.a3 Bd7
If 11...g6 12.Bh6 (12.Bc4 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Bf6) 12...Nxc3 13.bxc3 Bf6
If 12.Bc2 Rc8 13.Ne4 h6 14.Ng3 Bf8 15.Qd3 g6
12...Nxc3 13.bxc3 Bf6 14.Qb1
A good move targeting both the King and the Queen side
14. ..g6 15.Bf4
A rather surprising decision? White could have grabbed the pawn with 15.Qxb7 Rb8 16.Qa6 Rb6 17.Qc4 Na5 18.Qa2 which would have given advantage to White
15...b6 16.Qb2 Na5
If 16...Rc8 17.Ba6 And if 16...Bg7 17.Rad1 and White is better in both cases
17.Ne5 Bxe5
Once again Black could have been better off after 17...Bc6 18.Nxc6 Nxc6
18.Bxe5 Bc6 19.c4 f6 20.Bg3 Rc8

Diagram 1
White has the bishop pair advantage and it would be to his benefit if he can operate though the open diagonals. Perhaps a active continuation like 21.d5 exd5 22.Rxe8+ Bxe8 23.cxd5 Qxd5 24.Qxf6 Bc6 25.Bf1 would have given White an edge
If 21...Ba4 22.c5 (22.d5 Nxc4 23.Bxc4 Rxc4 24.dxe6 Qd4) 22...Nb3 23.Bb5 Bxb5 24.Qxb3 Qd7 25.cxb6 axb6 26.Rab1 Bc4 27.Qxb6 Bd5
22.Rac1 Ba6 23.c5 Bxf1 24.Rxf1 Qd5
Black sacrifices the pawn. If 24...Nc6 25.Bd6 Ne7 gives a slight advantage to White
25.cxb6 axb6 26.Qxb6 Nc4 27.Qb4 Rc6
If 27...Qxd4 28.Rfd1 Qe4 29.a4 which is good for White
28.Rfd1 Rec8 29.Rb1 Qd7 30.h3
Taking time out to make an escape square for the King
30. ..Nb6 31.Kh2 h5 32.Qb5 g5
Black decides to target the King side
33.h4 Nd5 34.hxg5 fxg5
White looks better now!
An extra pawn and White invites Black to trade queens
35. ..Qxb7 36.Rxb7 Rc2
Invading the seventh rank but already things are looking difficult for Black
37.Re1 h4
If 37...Nf6 38.Rxe6 And if 37...Re8 38.Re5 where White is distinctly better
38.Be5 Rxf2 39.Rg7+ Kf8 40.Rxg5 Rcc2
Doubling on the seventh rank but there is no respite
41.Re4 Rf5 42.Rg6 h3 43.Kxh3 Rc3+ 44.g3 Ke7 45.Rh4 Rf7 46.Rhh6 Rc6
Black is totally on the back foot and is forced to defend his weak links.
Diagram 2White’s rooks are enjoying full mobility
47. ..Rc1 48.Rb8 Rh7+ 49.Kg4 1–0. Black resigned as he has run out of checks and his King is slowly and surely getting cornered.
Diagram 2
White to play and win
 1.Rxa6 Rxa6 2.Qxa6 Qxd2 3.Rc8 Qg5 4.Qa8  and White wins.

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