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An instructive technique to draw

The first position shown was reached in the game Leko-Anand in the ongoing rapid match between them. Although the material is equal, with the two bishops there could be some tricks. Anand took a very instructive and simple route to draw the game. The technique may be obvious to many, but it was new to me and hence I post it here and hope it will be useful. Anand took on b3. ...Nxb3 and after Bxb3 the second position is a critical one.
Here I think an instructive move Be4! occupying the longest diagnol of your bishop. After this, black sacrificies his other pawn as well and marches his king towards a corner of that long diagnol (in this case a8) and we reach the final drawn position.

Why its draw?
  • King stays on a8 for ever
  • Bishop remain on long diagnol for ever going back and forth
  • Hence, white has no checks !!
  • Any opportunity to exchange the one bishop is known drawn position
  • Among six squares remaining on long diagnol, the bishop can always find a safe square on it, away from opponent king and light squared bishop
** All images are black on bottom since this is blacks perspective.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I thought exactly the same thing. The final point is that this was a Rapid game in its final blitz stagees. With just increment-seconds per move, Black made his game extremely easy to play.