index 2003
Letter #23 -  2003

Sub:    The Bishop case
Date:   6/15/2003 9:58:35 PM MDT
From:  an13on

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.

Dear viewer,

We found the following game (Tomic / Winzbeck, Dortmund 1993) which may illustrate an example of a Bishop case position you are looking for:

Bishop case #1
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:

Bishop case #2
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.

Thank you for visiting us,

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