I played a game that ended with a draw and this is the end position:

[FEN ""]
[startply "119"]

1. e4 f6 2. d4 d6 3. c4 b6 4. Nc3 Bb7 5. f4 Nd7 6. Nf3 c5 7. d5 Qc7 8. Bd3 a6 9. a3 O-O-O 10. Be3 Re8 11. Qa4 e5 12. f5 Kd8 13. O-O-O Ke7 14. g4 a5 15. Qc2 Kd8 16. a4 Kc8 17. b3 Kb8 18. h4 g6 19. h5 g5 20. Be2 h6 21. Kb2 Ka7 22. Nb5+ Kb8 23. Nxc7 Kxc7 24. Ka3 Nb8 25. Nd2 Na6 26. Nb1 Nb4 27. Qb2 Ba6 28. Bd2 Ne7 29. Bxb4 cxb4+ 30. Ka2 Bb7 31. Nd2 Rc8 32. Nf3 Kb8 33. Rc1 Rc5 34. Qd2 Nc8 35. Ne1 Na7 36. Nd3 Be7 37. Nxc5 bxc5 38. Qe3 Ba6 39. Rc2 Bb7 40. Kb2 Kc8 41. Kc1 Kd8 42. Kd2 Ke8 43. Ke1 Kf8 44. Kf2 Kg7 45. Qc1 Kh7 46. Kg3 Kg7 47. Rf1 Kf7 48. Bd3 Ke8 49. Rcf2 Kd7 50. Rg2 Ke8 51. Rh2 Kf7 52. Kf2 Kg7 53. Ke3 Nc8 54. Ke2 Nb6 55. Kd2 Nd7 56. Qb2 Nf8 57. Kc1 Nd7 58. Kd2 Nf8 59. Kd1 Nd7 60. Kd2 1/2-1/2

I am unsure if White could convert their material advantage. On chess.com, the engine gives White +10.1, which is usually more than enough to win, but I am not sure of a winning plan.

  • This looks like draw. White can't use a Rook or Bishop sacrifice to break open the structure. The only way White can break the structure is by sacrificing the Queen, so it would take some concrete analysis to convince me that such a plan would lead to a White victory. Aug 19 at 2:01
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    Whoa! Was there overt cooperation in achieving this (sort-of-implausible) position? :) Aug 19 at 2:07
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    @paulgarrett, no. I will edit my question to include the moves. It was a bullet game and both sides did not play accurately.
    – Zuriel
    Aug 19 at 2:09
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    @Zuriel, wow! Interesting. :) Yes, adding the moves would be very interesting... :) Thanks! Aug 19 at 2:13
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    Stockfish, even in 2022, isn't always great at evaluating positions where the side with way more material has no way to turn it into a win. Try giving one side K + twenty bishops of the same colour versus the other side's lone K and see what the evaluation is, even though mate is impossible.
    – JDL
    Aug 19 at 10:35

1 Answer 1


As SecretAgentMan already said in his comment, whites only attempt is to sacrifice the queen. This can be done on g5, e5, c5, or b4.

  • On Qxe5 or Qxc5 the knight takes, which keeps the blockade.
  • Qxb4 can be prevented with Rb8xb4.
  • So, lets try Qxg5 hxg5 h6+ Kh7 Rh5, idea Rxg5, but then, simplest, Rg8xg5 and everything is blocked again.

Black doesn't even need the bishops to set up this fortress.

Such a huge space advantage as you had in the game - opening part well played! - usually wins, but make sure you have one, ideally two (on different wings!) open files, for example, play 12.dxe6! or 16.b4! or 19.g5!. Alternatively or additionally, make sure that you can sacrifice a piece against two pawns. For example, play 24.Qd2! with the idea Nxg5 and Bxg5 or play 37.Nxb4!.

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    A suggestion, which I don't think changes your conclusion, but complicates the solution is for White to get the Queen to d2. From there it threatens a sac on both b4 and g5, making it harder for Black to rely on his lone rook for the solution in both cases. Still, if Back keeps the back rank open the draw should hold.
    – Arlen
    Aug 20 at 20:46
  • Yes, because after Qxg5 hxg5 h6+ Kh7 white still needs one move for Rh5, and that gives black the time to play Rb8-g8. Aug 21 at 1:07

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