Letter #23 - 2003
The Bishop case
6/15/2003 9:58:35 PM MDT
Is there any position where the rule that a Pawn could become a Bishop, is in fact useful? i.e. I'm looking for a position where white will mate black in a few moves, and should do so with as few moves as possible.
The mating process involves leading a Pawn into the last rank.
That does not necessarily have to be the next move.
If white chooses to turn the Pawn into a Bishop, he will mate in FEWER moves than if it was turned into a Queen, Rook or a Knight.
That's the kind of position I'm looking for, but I suspect it's impossible.
We found the following game (Tomic /
Winzbeck, Dortmund 1993) which may illustrate an example of a Bishop case position you are looking for:
White to move
By moving white the Rook to 1. d8, the only good move for black is 1... RxR (1... Rxc7 2. RxB ++). 2. c7xR=Bishop.
If white chooses a Queen or Rook is a stalemate since any move left to black puts his King in check and if a Knight is chosen, the black King will have a chance to flee. Black resigned.
In another example of a favorable Bishop under promotion, the following diagram shows another case which leads to a draw for a lost game for white:
White to move
If white moves 1. g8=Rook (or Knight), 1...Qe5 mates. If 1. g8=Q+ Kc3 2. Qxb8 Qxb8 and black wins easily.
So, the only good move for white is to under promote g8 to a Bishop giving check to the black King. Now, any move for the black King to move out of check is a stalemate for white.
Or, if the black Rook takes the white Bishop, then h7xR=Q+, QxQ+, KxQ and the white Pawn on g2 will promote.
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