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Vladimir Grabinsky: A.

Sokolov : Sveshnikov
USSR 1985
The important bishop out of 9r+-+r+k+0
bishop pair 9+-+nwqp+p0
What is included into essential knowledge 9p+l+-snp+0
about bishop pair advantage? Apparently, 9+pzpp+-+-0
every schoolboy knows that one has to 9P+-+-zP-+0
open up center. This is declared eagerly,
but the rest is going not that easy. I came 9+PsNP+-zP-0
across the players of master level who 9-vL-+-zPLzP0
didnt know that with pair of bishops one
has to go into endgame. I like bringing 9+-tRQ+RmK-0
students into stupor by asking which of xiiiiiiiiy
bishop pair is more important. I looked up To increase the role of bishop on b2 its
the answer in the book Elements of Chess important to break its main opponent - the
Strategy written by Ukrainian chess coach c5-pawn.
Alexey Kosikov. He brought up many 18.b4!!
strong chess players in Kyiv, such as GMs: The best move with idea to bomb up the
V. Baklan, V. Malakhatko, A. Zontakh, S. dark squares. If white delayed it for a
Vysochin. Beside his trainers move, Black would strengthen the dark
achievements its remarkable that Kosikov squares with b4, Qd6 just on time.
also declared several chess rules which are 18...cb4 19.Na2!!
used by many chess players and coaches. The key move! This side knights retreat is
For example, at his lecture, which was much stronger than any other natural
published in one of Dvoretsky books, there knight jumps. 19.Nb5?! ab5 20.Rc6 ba4
was mentioned the principle of the worst and pawns on the queenside look
piece for the first time. But I like even dangerously; 19.Ne4!? de4 20.Rc6 e3!
more his rule about 2 bishops. To 21.fe3 ba4 22.f5 and the positions seem
demonstrate the advantage of bishops promising for white but still its more
pair one has to prove first of all the irrational and really less convincing than
power of that bishop which is missing the one Andrei Sokolov achieved in his
for your opponents. game.
Alexey Kosikov brings few games on this 19...Rac8
theme, among them especially impressive
looks his own victory against Agzamov. I
wanted to collect more examples, which 9-+r+r+k+0
demonstrate on praxis this important and 9+-+nwqp+p0
little known rule. So now I suggest my
positions collection on this topic. 9p+l+-snp+0
FIDE Surveys Vladimir Grabinsky 1
20.a5!! 39.Qb6 b4 40.a6 b3 1:0.
This is the quiet move which is so hard to
notice at the beginning. Thats why only Short : Zilber
few students can find the right idea of Hastings 1979
breakthrough which starts with the b4 XIIIIIIIIY
move. 9-+n+r+k+0
20...Nb8 21.Nb4?
Its haste. Andrei Sokolov in his 9+p+q+pzpp0
commentaries recommended 21.Qb3!? 9-+p+lzp-+0
hinting on capture on b4 with all comfort, 9+-+-+-+-0
but this gives chance to remove blockade 9-+PzP-+-+0
with pawn sacrifice 21...d4! 22.Bd4
(22.Qb4 Qd8!) 22...Bg2 23.Kg2 Nc6. 9+PvL-+QzP-0
Apparently we come to conclusion that the 9-+L+-zPP+0
best choice is 21.Bd4!, with possible 9tR-+-+-mK-0
variation 21...Bd7 22.Rc8 Bc8 23.Qa1! xiiiiiiiiy
Nbd7 24.Qb2 and White has total
14 year old Nigel Short successively
domination over dark squares!
implemented strategy of weakening dark
21...Qb4 22.Bf6 Nd7
squares for his bishop c3.
Again interesting was 22...d4!
23.Ba1 Qd6
At first the youngster makes pawn
The best chance was 23...Nc5. Taking
structure around the black king more
pawn would be dangerous: 23...Qa5?
friable. Impatient 20.d5 wont work:
24.Qg4! Nice geometry. White creates the
20...cd5 21.Rd1 Ne7.
threat of Rc6 and same time activates his
queen (24.Qb3 was recommended by
Even worse is 20...g6 21.d5 cd5 (21...Bf5
Andrei Sokolov, but Black could hold
22.Qd4 Bc2 23.Qf6 Kf8 24.Bd2!! not
position in the natural way 24...Qb6! with
allowing to escape from the sinking ship.)
the same idea to push d4.) 24...Qd8 25.f5.
22.Qd4 Qd8 23.cd5 Bd5 24.Rd1 Nb6
Queen turned to be aiming to go to d4.
24.Qb3 d4 25.Bc6 Rc6 26.Rc6 Qc6
21.g4 Ne7 22.Bb4!
27.Bd4 h5 28.h4 Re2 29.Qb4 Nf8 30.Re1
Pushing his opponent to do further
Qc2 31.Re2 Qe2 32.Qd6 +-
XIIIIIIIIY 22...g6 23.Bc3!
9-+-+-snk+0 The Moor has done his duty.
9+-+-+p+-0 23...f6
9p+-wQ-+p+0 XIIIIIIIIY
9zPp+-+-+p0 9-+-+r+k+0
9-+-vL-zP-zP0 9+p+qsn-+p0
9+-+P+-zP-0 9-+p+lzpp+0
9-+-+qzP-+0 9+-+-+p+-0
9+-+-+-mK-0 9-+PzP-+P+0
xiiiiiiiiy 9+PvLQ+-+-0
And after White finally coordinated his 9-+L+-zPP+0
pieces, black is really bad. The dark 9tR-+-+-mK-0
squares are too weak. xiiiiiiiiy
32...Qe6 33.Qd8 Qc6 34.Bb2! Qe6 35.Be5
24.g5! fg5
f5 36.Bd6 Qf7 37.Qc8 Kg7 38.Qa6 Ne6

FIDE Surveys Vladimir Grabinsky 2

Density of Blacks KS pawns is totally 20...b6!
destroyed and its time to set mate. Black continues to create successively the
25.d5! Nd5 battery on the long diagonal.
Black has to sacrifice the knight out of 21.f4 Bb7 22.f5 d4
necessity. 25...cd5 26.Qd4 and mate is XIIIIIIIIY
26.cd5 Qd5 27.Qe3! 9r+-wqr+k+0
Precise realization of advantage! White 9zpl+-vl-zpp0
doesnt want to make a bad bargain by 9-zp-+-+-+0
prematurely trading his initiative for
comfortable endgame. 9+-zp-zPP+-0
27...f4 28.Qb6 c5 29.Re1 Qc6 30.Qc6 bc6 9-+-zp-+P+0
Black finally persuaded his opponent to
trade queens, but endgame is hopeless for 9+-+-+-sNP0
him now. 9PzPQ+-+-mK0
31.Bf6 g4 32.Bg5 f3 33.gf3 gf3 34.Re3
Bf7 35.Re8 Be8 36.Be7 Bf7 37.Bc5 Bd5
38.Kh2 Kg7 39.Kg3 Kf6 40.Bd4 Kg5 xiiiiiiiiy
41.b4 h5 42.Be3 Kf6 43.Kh4 Bf7 44.Bd4 Do you see advantage of bishop pair? No!
Ke7 45.Be4 Be8 46.Bf3 Kd6 47.Kg5 Ke6 Its advantage of the bishop!
48.Be4 Kd6 49.f4 1:0. 23.Bf4 Qd5 24.g5
Possibly it was better to transfer into
Daniliuk : Odesskij endgame - 24.Qe4!?
Pardubice 1994 24...d3 25.Qd2 c4 26.Ne4 a5
XIIIIIIIIY With idea Bb4.
27.Nc3 Qc6 28.a4 Rad8 29.f6 Bb4
9r+lwqr+k+0 30.fg7?
9zpp+-vl-zpp0 After this mistake position is lost, but its
9-+p+-+-+0 hard to give for White any advice here.
30...Rd4 31.Rg1 Re4 32.Rae1 Re1 33.Re1
9+-+pzP-+-0 Re7 34.g6 Qg6 35.Rg1 Qc6 36.Qf2 Rg7
9-+-+-+P+0 37.Be3 Rg1 38.Qg1 Qg6 39.Qf2 Be7
9PzPQ+-zP-+0 9-+-+-+k+0
9tR-vL-tR-mK-0 9+l+-vl-+p0
xiiiiiiiiy 9-vL-+-+q+0
White is hinting directly on KS attack. It
seems unreal to talk about bishop pair 9zp-+-zP-+-0
advantage now looking at light square 9P+p+-+-+0
bishop of Black. But the famous chess
journalist found absolutely right strategy 9+-sNp+-+P0
by choosing unobvious counter play on 9-zP-+-wQ-mK0
light squares.
19...c5! 20.Kh2?
Too slow. It was important to develop his xiiiiiiiiy
king side attack without delay. But even in 40...Bg5!
that case computer prefers Blacks position With unstoppable threat of Bf4 0:1.
after 20.f4 b6 21.f5 Bb7.

FIDE Surveys Vladimir Grabinsky 3

Kramnik : Gelfand 28.Ng7!?
Belgrade 1997 It is funny to lecture Kramnik about
XIIIIIIIIY unjustified exchange of strong Knight for
poor bishop. If White won, everybody
9r+-+-trk+0 would praise Vladimir for his concrete
9zp-+-+qvl-0 approach to position, rejection of
9-snp+-snpzp0 stereotypes, etc. The square e6 is needed
for the bishop, so Whites decision of
9+-sN-zp-+-0 exchange is right.
9-+-+Pzp-+0 28...Kg7 29.Be6 Nbd7 30.Red1 Ra7
31.Bb2 Rcc7
9vL-+-+L+-0 More active way of defense was 31...Rb8!
9P+-+-zPPzP0 32.Ba1 Rb6 33.Rd6 Rab7 c5.
32.f3 Kf8?! 33.Rd6 Rab7 34.Ba3 c5
9tR-+QtR-mK-0 35.Bd7 Nd7 36.Rg6 Kf7 37.Rh6 c4
xiiiiiiiiy And Gelfand managed to hold draw after
23.Qc1!! tough defense passing through lost
Excellent maneuver with which Kramnik position:
coordinates his pieces. The bishop which 38.g3 fg3 39.hg3 c3 40.Rc2 Nf8 41.Bd6
was passive on f3 is transferred to diagonal Rb1 42.Kf2 Rb2 43.Bc7 Rc2 44.Ke3 Ra2
a2-g8, where together with his mate they 45.Be5 c2 46.Rc6 Ra3 47.Ke2 Ra2
create massive battery. The queen gives 48.Kd2 Ne6 49.f4 c1Q 50.Kc1 Ra4
way for him out of courtesy. 51.Kd2 Re4 52.Bc3 Ke7 53.Kd3 Ra4
23...Qc4 54.f5 Nd8 55.Ra6 Nf7 56.Ra7 Ke8
Its impossible to prevent setting up battery 57.Ra8 Ke7 58.Ra7 Ke8 59.Ra5 Rg4
with 23...Nc4?, because of losing 60.Be1 Ke7 61.Bf2 Ng5 62.Ra6 Kf7
exchange: 24.Bd1+-. 63.Ke2 Ne4 64.Ra5 Rg5 65.Kf3 Nf2
24.Bd1 Qc1 25.Rc1 Rfc8 26.Bb3 Kh7 66.Kf2 Kf6 .
Probably better was 27.Na6, preventing Salem : Hrabinska
counter play with a5 and thus restricting Dubai 2011
more opponents pieces. XIIIIIIIIY
Right counter play. Black tries to chase
Bb3 from strong positions and thus 9+pwq-+pzpp0
increase space for activity of his pieces. 9p+n+-sn-+0
XIIIIIIIIY 9+-zp-+l+-0
9r+r+-+-+0 9-+-zPp+-+0
9+-+-+-vlk0 9zPNzP-zP-+P0
9-snp+Nsnpzp0 9LvL-+QzPP+0
9zp-+-zp-+-0 9+-+R+RmK-0
9-+-+Pzp-+0 xiiiiiiiiy
9vLL+-+-+-0 The main problem of White is his poor
9P+-+-zPPzP0 bishop on b2. White was ready to meet any
normal move like Be6 or Nd7 with c4,
9+-tR-tR-mK-0 opening up his dark square bishop, who
xiiiiiiiiy would afterwards cause many troubles to

FIDE Surveys Vladimir Grabinsky 4

Black. She could have traded on d4, but 25.f5! Bf7 26.Rf4!! (26.Be4? Nd5)
the woman I love reasonable sacrificed 26...Nd5 27.Re4! Re4 28.Be4.
pawn for blockade. 25...Nd5 26.ab5 Qb5 27.Ba2 Rc7 28.Ra1
17...c4! 18.Nc5?! Bf7 29.Qd2
If sacrifice is accepted (18.Qc4), then after XIIIIIIIIY
18...Be6 19.Qe2 b5 Black has enough
compensation for the pawn because of 9-+-+r+k+0
squares c4 and d5 and the awful bishop on 9+-tr-+lzpp0
b2. 9-+-+-zp-+0
Myroslava sacrifices pawn with her second 9+q+n+-+-0
consecutive move, but this time she had 9-+pzPpzPP+0
even better opportunity. Though it doesnt
look human - 18...Na5!, but computer 9+-zP-zP-+P0
insists that its very strong, as after it 9LvL-wQ-+-+0
protects pawn a6 with Bc8 and prepares
very unpleasant for the knight move b6
which brings good advantage for Black: xiiiiiiiiy
19.a4 Bc8. The talented Emirati GM is giving away
19.Na6 Qb6 his pawn not out of want but out of
Again its human move but not the necessity. Its little pleasure to struggle
strongest one. Black could obtain after 29.Rfb1 Qc6 and its an amazing bo
advantage after 19...Qc8! with the idea of white pieces in the corner 30.Qd2 f5!
after 20.Nc5 to play 20...Rd5! and now 31.gf5 Ne7.
Black pieces are looking in the direction of 29...Ne3 30.Qe3 Qb2 31.Rfb1 Qc2
whites king, with unambiguous threat to 32.Re1
take on h3. Threatening Bb1.
20.Nc5 Nd7 21.Nd7 Rd7 22.Bb1 Ne7 32...Qb2
Its quite clear where Knight is aiming. More precise was the prophylactic
XIIIIIIIIY 32...Qa4! and White still has to fight for
9-+-+r+k+0 33.Reb1 Qc2 34.Re1 Qb2 .
9-wq-+-+-+0 Nikolic P. : Short
Belgrade 1987
9+p+-+l+-0 XIIIIIIIIY
9-+pzPp+-+0 9r+-+-trk+0
9zP-zP-zP-+P0 9+p+lwqnzpp0
9-vL-+QzPP+0 9n+-+p+-+0
9+L+R+RmK-0 9zp-zp-zPp+-0
xiiiiiiiiy 9-+P+-sN-+0
It was the high time to reanimate bishops 9zPP+-vLPzP-0
23.a4! ba4 24.Ba3! 9-wQ-+-+LzP0
Black passively defends against g4 threat.
Better was 23...Qg6 with idea h5 24.g4 h5. xiiiiiiiiy
24.g4 Bg6 25.a4 Predrag Nikolic found an unexpected way

FIDE Surveys Vladimir Grabinsky 5

how to transform his bishop e3 to the main up of white pieces.
piece in the position. 34.Rd6 Nc7 35.Rfd1 Ne8 36.Rc6! + bc6
24.Qd2!! 37.Bf5 Nef6 38.Be6 Rb8 39.Be5!
This double attack doesnt seem dangerous The pair of bishops is all their best!
at first sight. After all taking the rook pawn 39...Re8
on a5 and trading it for own central pawn Its not good to take 39...Rb3, because
on e5, which improves Blacks knight on 40.Bf6 gf6 41.Rd7.
f7 and also opens his rook on a8, doesnt 40.Rd6 Kf8 41.Bf7 Kf7 42.Rc6 Ne5
look like advantageous for White. 43.fe5 Re5 44.a4 Nd7 45.a5 Re8 46.a6
24...Bc6 25.Qa5 Ne5 26.Qc3 Qf6 Ra8 47.Nd5 Ne5 48.Rb6 e3 49.Ne3 1:0.
Melkumyan : Caruana
9r+-+-trk+0 Moscow 2008
9+p+-+-zpp0 XIIIIIIIIY
9n+l+pwq-+0 9-vl-tr-trk+0
9+-zp-snp+-0 9zpp+n+pzpp0
9-+P+-sN-+0 9-+-wq-sn-+0
9zPPwQ-vLPzP-0 9+-+pzpL+-0
9-+-+-+LzP0 9-zP-zP-+-+0
9+-+R+RmK-0 9zP-sN-zPQzPP0
xiiiiiiiiy 9-+-vL-zP-+0
27.Bc1! 9+-tR-+RmK-0
Here is the main point. It turns out that
pawn e5 was on the way of own bishop, so xiiiiiiiiy
the darksquare bishop is going to dominate 17.h4!
now. With his next move Black wanted to chase
27...Nd7 28.Qf6 Rf6 29.Bb2 e5 30.Nd5 the bishop away after move g6. So white
Rf7 31.f4 e4 plays prophylactic h4 to vacate the square
XIIIIIIIIY h3 for his bishop from which he keeps
controlling important square c8.Conceptual
9r+-+-+k+0 opening center with pair of bishops (17.e4)
9+p+n+rzpp0 wouldnt bring any advantage.
9n+l+-+-+0 17...Rfe8
On the first sight it seems that Black can
9+-zpN+p+-0 occupy the outpost c4 with 17...e4 18.Qe2
9-+P+pzP-+0 g6 19.Bh3 Nb6, but knight cant reach c4
because of permanent threat of Nd5. 20.a4
9zPP+-+-zP-0 Kg7 (20...Nc4? 21.Nd5!) 21.a5 Nc4
9-vL-+-+LzP0 22.Be1, with threat Nd5 again.
18.Rc2 a6?!
9+-+R+RmK-0 Multifunctional but not the strongest move.
xiiiiiiiiy Fabiano Caruana planned to attack d4 with
32.Bh3 the bishop from a7, also he covered the b5
Also possible was the immediate 32.g4 fg4 square from knight intrusion. It would be
33.Be4. better to move knight to e6: 18...e4 19.Qe2
32...Re8 33.Ne3 Ref8 Nf8 20.a4 Ne6 and restrict the whites
33...g6 34.g4. A nice picture with ideal set bishop in this way.

FIDE Surveys Vladimir Grabinsky 6

19.Na4! e4
19...Ba7 20.Nc5.
20.Qe2 Nb6?
After this exchange theres nobody left to
oppose the whites light-square bishop.
21.Nb6 Qb6
White easily develops his initiative on the
queenside now.
22...Re7 23.a5 Qd6 24.b5 Rc7 25.Rb2!?
ab5 26.Rfb1 Ne8 27.Rb5 Qc6 28.Bb4
Qa6 29.Bc5 g6 30.Bh3 Nd6 31.Bd6 Rd6
32.Qa2 Kg7 33.Bf1! Qc6 34.Qb3
With the winning position for Hrant
34...Rd8 35.Rb7 Rb7 36.Qb7 Qc3 37.a6
Qa3 38.Rb5 Qa2 39.Qe7 Rf8 40.Rb8 1:0.

FIDE Surveys Vladimir Grabinsky 7