[Title "White to move"]
[fen "8/p3k3/1p2b2p/2pBPpp1/7P/P1P1K1P1/2P5/8 w - - 0 1"]

Computer played 1.c4?after which I played 1...Bxd5!and the pawn endgame was lost for White. I wonder if there was a way for Black to win this game, with best play from both sides?

  • 1
    My first impression is that white is in big trouble after 1. Bb7 Kd7! 2. Kd3 Ba2 3. c4 Ke6 4. Kc3 Kxe5. Nov 21, 2014 at 22:33
  • @DagOskarMadsen: 5.a4! f4 6.gxf4 gxf4 ( ...Kxf4 is pretty much the same ) 7.Bd5! and White will get the Black bishop, with a draw... Still, I think you are right, ...Kd7! seems to win, I missed that. I will post my analysis as an answer... Nov 23, 2014 at 16:07
  • My immediate impression was that White would have to work like a dog for the half-point.
    – Tony Ennis
    Nov 23, 2014 at 17:03
  • @TonyEnnis: I have missed Dag's ...Kd7!, which seems to win. I am analyzing now to see if White can somehow sacrifice everything to reach the famous drawn endgame with bishop of wrong color. I doubt it can be done but I must be 100% sure :) Nov 23, 2014 at 17:06
  • @TonyEnnis: Couldn't find anything for White. After Dag's suggestion Black wins... Nov 24, 2014 at 5:06

1 Answer 1


It seems that member Dag Oskar Madsen was right, ...Kd7!, cutting off the White bishop's access to c8, is the winning idea. The only trap Black must evade is to lose the bishop after ...Ba2. Below is my analysis:

[Title "White to move"]
[fen "8/p3k3/1p2b2p/2pBPpp1/7P/P1P1K1P1/2P5/8 w - - 0 1"]

1.Bb7 $8 { Every other move lose the pawn on e5. } ( 1.c4? Bxd5 2.cxd5 b5!-+ ) 1...Kd7! { As member Dag Oskar Madsen pointed out, this move offers best winning chances because it cuts of bishop's access to c8 square. Now when Black bishop moves White will not be able to stop Black king to reach e6 and the e5 pawn will fall. } 2.Kd3 b5! ( 2...Ba2 3.hxg5 hxg5 4.c4 Ke6 5.a4! Kxe5 6.Kc3 f4 7.gxf4+ Kxf4 8.Bd5 $8 g4 9.Kb2 Bxc4 10.Bxc4 Ke4 11.Kc3 g3= ) 3.Ke3 $8 { Otherwise Black plays Bc4+ and gets time to play Ke6, winning the e5 pawn and with it the game. } Bc4 4.Ba6 Ke6 5.hxg5 hxg5 6.a4 Kxe5 7.Kf2 { There is no need to fear axb5 because White can not keep that pawn in the long run because his bishop is badly placed. White will need to reposition the bishop in order to fight Black passed pawn, after which Black bishop takes the b5 pawn. } Ke4 8.axb5 Ke5 9.Kf3 Bd5+ 10.Ke2 Be4 11.Ke3 Bxc2 $17
  • I can't pretend to follow this upon a quick reading, but are we saying with White's 2nd and 3rd moves that he has nothing better than to shuttle his K back and forth?
    – Tony Ennis
    Nov 23, 2014 at 17:19
  • @TonyEnnis: Yes, that is correct. Thanks to Dag's excellent ...Kd7! White has no counterplay against f5 pawn and can't control e6 square anymore. No matter what he does, Black creates a passed pawn, gobbles at least one White pawn on the queenside and wins in the classical manner: using the passer to distract White pieces and then break decisively on the queenside. So simple after Dag's wonderful ...Kd7!... Nov 23, 2014 at 18:30

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