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  1. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    14 May '13 13:36
    (This game ended some time ago)

    Black to move in the position. Assuming I am black, should I

    1) Accept a draw if offered?

    2) Play on and attempt to draw?

    3) Play on and win?

    4) Resign?


  2. 14 May '13 15:48 / 1 edit
    I'm not qualified to answer, but I can ask. Is there any way black can make progress? I don't see one, which of course doesn't mean it doesn't exist. On the other hand, the white king seems to be able to attack the black doubled pawns. (White can exchange the bishop for the knight, removing the sole defender of the first pawn.) Isn't it a decisive advantage? I don't see how black could defend against it.

    Sorry to intrude with these simple questions, but if there's a discussion, I'd like to take advantage too.
  3. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    14 May '13 18:59
    I would play safe and pick 1) Accept a draw if offered?
  4. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    14 May '13 20:17
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    (This game ended some time ago)

    Black to move in the position. Assuming I am black, should I

    1) Accept a draw if offered?

    2) Play on and attempt to draw?

    3) Play on and win?

    4) Resign?


    [fen]2n5/1p2n3/1p4k1/3p2Bp/P2P3P/2K2B2/8/8 b - - 0 57[/fen]
    I suspect there's a win for black and the thread is an educational experience. BUT to me black has scattered pawns, pieces tied down to cover them, white has better chances, I'd accept or offer up in a heart beat, but then I'm a patzer.
  5. 14 May '13 20:54
    I think Black is going to lose a pawn in the next move (its a bit of a zugzwang). However, I tend to fight on in these positions. Offered a draw, I would definitely accept.
  6. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    14 May '13 21:22
    Black is very nearly in zugzwang here, whereas White has a clear plan of attack: namely, advance the king to b5, wait for a knight move (or exchange B for N if necessary), capture the doubled pawns, then advance the White a-pawn. So long as there are pawns distributed across the board (both flanks and center), bishops are theoretically stronger than knights (due to telepower). Therefore, strategic planning suggests that Black's position might be held by liquidating pawns and reducing the pawn structure to a single front.

    For example: ... Ne7-f5; Bxd5, Nc8-d6; Bf3, b5; axb (if a4-a5, then Nc4), Nxb5+; Kd3, Nf5xd4; Bxb7 Nf5; Bc6 (threatening Be8+ and Bxh5), Nd6; is still unclear but offers fewer winning chances for White, and the knights are no longer at a distance disadvantage compared to the bishop pair.

    Any other continuation for Black from the given position appears to lead to immediate loss of material with no compensation.

    2) Play on, avoid getting into zugzwang, don't allow check by the B on e8, hope for a draw.
  7. 14 May '13 21:28 / 1 edit
    I'd resign as Black and then have people me telling for
    years afterwards I should have played on.

    I'll PM you Paul.
  8. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    15 May '13 04:01
    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    I'm not qualified to answer, but I can ask. Is there any way black can make progress? I don't see one, which of course doesn't mean it doesn't exist. On the other hand, the white king seems to be able to attack the black doubled pawns. (White can exchange the bishop for the knight, removing the sole defender of the first pawn.) Isn't it a decisive adva ...[text shortened]... these simple questions, but if there's a discussion, I'd like to take advantage too.
    If you have thoughts on the position, you are qualified. The idea is to generate a discussion, and hopefully we'll all learn something.
  9. 15 May '13 09:26
    pawn to b5 putting white into some sort of zugzwang?
  10. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    15 May '13 11:23
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    (This game ended some time ago)

    Black to move in the position. Assuming I am black, should I

    1) Accept a draw if offered?

    2) Play on and attempt to draw?

    3) Play on and win?

    4) Resign?


    [fen]2n5/1p2n3/1p4k1/3p2Bp/P2P3P/2K2B2/8/8 b - - 0 57[/fen]
    I've looked at this on and off since you posted it yesterday. At first I thought it was just lost. If he moves anything he loses a pawn and the two bishops sweep up. Given that a pawn has to be lost I wondered if there was a best one to give up. Playing b5 invites axb5 when b6 might keep the white king out of the q side but black still looks in the same mess as he was originally. If there is any hope of forcing a draw then the knights have to get active because together they can attack pawns which white can only defend with one bishop and king. As knights are less good pushing or defending pawns on the edge of the board it makes sense to offer the d pawn on the grounds the knights might be able to hold back a middle pawn better than either the h or a pawns.

    So


    To answer the OP I would accept draw if offered. I can't believe there is a win for black here.
  11. 15 May '13 15:42 / 3 edits
    Accept draw if offered, if not resign. Looks as though any move for black is zugswang. If the knight moves, the white-squared bishop takes the d pawn, if the king moves the white squared bishop takes the h pawn. It is then a won endgame
  12. 15 May '13 21:24
    I'm with Morgski. I would jump at the draw.
  13. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    16 May '13 23:15
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    (This game ended some time ago)

    Black to move in the position. Assuming I am black, should I

    1) Accept a draw if offered?

    2) Play on and attempt to draw?

    3) Play on and win?

    4) Resign?


    [fen]2n5/1p2n3/1p4k1/3p2Bp/P2P3P/2K2B2/8/8 b - - 0 57[/fen]
    The ending is from the 23rd game of the Botvinnik-Bronstein World Championship match in 1951.

    After 40 minutes or so of thought, Bronstein (black) resigned.

    There has been a tremendous amount of analysis and debate over the merits of that decision. Here is a link that details the story and gives an awesome overview of the evolution and current thinking on the position and the story:

    http://www.chesscafe.com/text/mueller91.pdf
  14. 17 May '13 01:49
    A wee bit more more background before you check out Paul's link.

    Bronstein was a point ahead in the 23rd game.
    By resigninng this game the score was level and Botvinnik drew the
    last and 24th game thus retaining the title.

    Bronstein was asked for years afterwards why did he resign? Hence my.

    "I'd resign as Black and then have people me telling for years afterwards
    I should have played on. " post.

    Now read the link Paul gave.
  15. 17 May '13 15:37
    What lines do the various chess engines give for the position?