Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Knight or the Bishop?

We sometimes see discussions along the line of "Which is stronger, the Knight or the Bishop?" (Of course, it depends upon the position.) In the following game, Black has to decide which of the two pieces to retreat, and, unfortunately for him he chooses the wrong one; and trouble follows apace.

stiperuzic - webbsterhh
FICS, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 

The Semi-Italian opening.

4.O-O Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

The Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.Qh5+ Ng6 

A suggestion of Houdini after 7...Ke6  is the untried 8.b4!?

8.Qxc5 N8e7 

A new move, according to The Database. Black no doubt wants to reinforce his Knight on g6, and as long as he allows his King's Knight to support a strike in the center, the text is fine.

9.f4 d6 

Possibly one more step for the pawn was better.

10.Qc4+ Be6 



Which piece should Black retreat to avoid the pawn fork?


Alas, 11...Bc8 was the correct move, as becomes quickly apparent..

12. f5 Bd7

Best from a defensive point of view, but leading to a solid White advantage, was 12... Kg8 13. fxe6 Nxe6.

13.f6 gxf6 14. Qxf6+ Kg8 15.Qf7 checkmate

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