B+Ps vs Ps Basic Motifs E-book: Basic Endings E-book: Bishop Endgames


4.3. Bishop and Pawns versus Pawns

Owing to its long-range action, bishop in conjunction with one or more pawns generally wins much more easily against one or more pawns than knight. But there are many exceptional situations whereby the weaker side may exploit the specific situation and avoid defeat. The curious positions 480 and 481, where the win is not possible despite the superior side being a bishop and a pawn up, also testify to this. The most frequent drawing motif in endings with a rook’s pawn is the bishop of the “wrong” corner i.e. the weaker side saves the game by sheltering the king in the corner of the opposite colour of the bishop. In endings involving a rook’s pawn and a “wrong” bishop we should know the minimal distance of the king necessary to prevent the run of the enemy king to the corner allowing the win after all.




White is preventing the black king to go into corner:


After this introductory example we shall examine basic endings of bishop and one or more pawns against one pawn or more pawns. Considering the essentially different strategies employed in different positions, these endings may be divided into four basic groups:
Bishop and one pawn vs one pawn
Bishop and one pawn vs two pawns
Bishop and one pawn vs three pawns
Bishop and two or more pawns vs more pawns

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GM Vlatko Kovacevic

Vlado Kovacevic is a chess grandmaster and an endgame expert. He very successfully competed on the national team. From 2000 – 2004, he acted as selector of the Croatian Men’s national team. He is also a well-known chess author.