Bishop and Knight Basics: Tragicomedy at the Marshall

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In Jesus de la villa’s endgame book, he gives a simple and straightforward approach to mastering the bishop and knight checkmate. But before getting down to the knitty gritty of the method, he gives a bit of stump speech about the importance of learning a method for this ending in the first place. Despite the fact that it occurs rarely in actual over the board play -because often players with an advantage will intentionally avoid entering this ending- Jesus tells us that we need to learn it anyway. While this “because I said so” explanation may not be the most motivating reason to learn a difficult ending, the embarrassment of reaching this ending and only drawing should be. Alex King recently escaped certain defeat in a game at the Marshall Chess Club by racing his king to the wrong corner and simply moving his king back and forth for 50 moves while his opponent struggled.

In order avoid the same fate, check out this youtube video that describes the proper technique. The most important thing to remember is that you must drive the king towards the correct corner: the corner that is the same color as your bishop. Whether you master the “Triangle method” or the “W” method, it’s important to sit down at some point in your career as a chess player and get the basics for this ending down cold. So you might as well take a few minutes and watch this now!