I always gave up when I have exactly a king, one knight, and one bishop, while my opponent had a king, one rook, one/two knights, and two/one bishops (respectively). Is my decision correct, because I felt I cannot do anything with those 3 pieces, while my opponent had those 5 pieces.

  • If I have additional pawns, that would also not useful, because my opponent can easily disturb my pawns.
    Aug 20 '15 at 17:00
  • You always give up when that happens? Just out of curiosity, how often do you find yourself in an 8-man ending where you have K+N+B against K+R+3 minor pieces? Dozens? Hundreds? I don't think I've ever had that happen to me in my whole life.
    – bof
    Aug 21 '15 at 19:30

If you feel that if you could change seats with your opponent and play his side and win then your decision was correct. He was good enough to get such a big advantage. If you could win from his position then, likely, so can he.

If, on the other hand, you don't know how you would win if you could swap positions, then don't resign. It could be that he doesn't know how to win either. Instead try and work out how to make his task as difficult as possible. It may be that you can get a draw.


Imagine the position

[fen "5K1k/8/8/3BN3/8/6n1/6nb/5b1r b - - 0 59"]

and you (=white) to move. There is a simple win for white in two moves.....

But of course in 99.9% of all such positions you are lost...

So never give up using generic principles but on the result of analysis of the concrete position...


I recommend that you keep playing until you see an inevitable loss. There is always a possibility that your opponent could make a mistake that could win you the game or at least draw.


Don't think like you just have knight and bishop only. You still have knight and bishop. There are many possibilities that you can make a pin using bishop or make a fork using knight. Fork is the best thing to find in this situations. There are many chances to win the match. Also as always there are chances that your opponent make blunder. The key is to be alert for blunders and find pins and fork.


Accepting that you don't have a trick that saves you they should be 'technically' lost, but in my experience even master-level players can (rarely) make mistakes in these kind of positions because as mentioned these positions without pawns don't arise often. Maybe you will lose 95% of 'regular' positions like this, probably even more, but that small percentage of saves seems worth a fight in my opinion.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.