# Is there any hope left for Black?

``````7b/p3R3/k6r/N7/KP6/8/8/8 b - - 3 41
``````

I got into this endgame in a Alkehine Defense game against a FM. The engine evaluates it as +0.6 .

But all I can see is that any inaccuracy on Black’s part leads to a loss. Is there a way to force a draw?

• If it's Black's move, I'd try h1Q. Wait, did you accidentally post the diagram upside down?
– bof
Apr 13, 2020 at 20:42

The bad news is, there is no way for black to force a draw in this position. However, with a few precise moves, you can enter a number of simpler endgames that are theoretically a draw and not too hard to defend. Let me illustrate that with a few sample variations. 1. ... Rb6 Preventing b5. Now, white has 3 main options, apart from just waiting. 2.Nb3 (2.Rf7 would be a normal waiting move. Now, we can enter an endgame of rook vs bishop by force: 2. ... Bc3 3.Nc6 Rxc6 4.b5+ Kb6 5.bxc6 Kxc6 =; 2.Nc4 Rb8 again, we threaten Bc3 3.Re6+ Kb7 4.Na5+ Ka8 5.Nc6 Rc8 6.Kb5 Kb7 and Black can hold. Checks are always blocked from the side and white cannot make any progress; 2.Nc6 enters the bishop versus rook endgame we saw above: 2. ... Rxc6 3.b5+ Kb6 4.bxc6 Kxc6 5.Rxa7 =) 2. ... Rd6 this forces white to either enter an endgame of rook + knight vs rook or accept that black will achieve a comfortable holding position 3.Re8 the most ambitious (3.Nc5+ Kb6 4.Rb7+ Kc6 5.Rxa7 Bd4 6.Ra6+ Kd5 7.Ra5 Kc6 8.Nb3 Bb6 once black has gotten his bishop to the a7-g1 diagonal, he should be fine. If white ever tries to push the pawn, black can, in the worst case, sacrifice his bishop and liquidate into a theoretically drawn endgame of rook versus rook + knight) 3. ... Bc3 4.Rb8 Bxb4! 5.Rxb4 Rc6 6.Rh4 (6.Rb8 Rc4+ 7.Ka3 Ra4+! the rook is immune because of stalemate 8.Kb2 and black holds) 6. ... Rd6 and black holds as well

• Just to note, 1...Ra5 loses to 2.Re6#. Apr 13, 2020 at 16:07