This position comes from Koivisto-Rubichess, TCEC Season 22 League 1, after 33...Qc2-Qc6.

[FEN "6k1/4b1p1/2q2p1p/r2n4/8/5QB1/5PPP/4RBK1 w - - 2 34"]
  • Material is equal
  • White has the bishop pair in an open position, but all the pawns are on the same flank, so the long-range ability of bishops should be less important
  • Both kings look reasonably safe
  • It's true that Black just moved into a self-pin, but 32...Qc6 was not forced; if the pin is actually an issue Black could simply not have moved the queen there

Yet Koivisto signaled a +2.4 advantage for White in this position, Rubichess was almost as pessimistic (+1.7), and so is Stockfish (Lichess Stockfish is +1.7 at d=31).

Where is White's advantage coming from?

  • 1
    What is Leela's evaluation? Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 3:56
  • 1
    @SecretAgentMan no idea. If someone with access to Leela can check, I'd be interested. Still, I'd expect Leela to see a large White advantage as well, since White does seem to have a large advantage, with Koivisto converting smoothly.
    – Allure
    Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 4:56

1 Answer 1


You already said it: white bishop pair, black king can count holes. Nd5 pinned, has to protect Be7. Ra5 stands silly. All rather small stuff, but it adds up. I'd play Bd3 without thinking (the white squares are atrociously weak), with the intent of Qf5/Qe4 or Be4. Have fun keeping your house of cards together...

  • Seems like the white squares are a big part of it. Move the f6-pawn to f7, and White's advantage almost disappears.
    – Allure
    Commented Mar 2, 2022 at 15:21

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