Mate with Knight & Bishop

During the chess club's first season (1972-3) Liverpool was then part of Lancashire (Merseyside was only formed in 1974) and Cliff Hilton then the president of the Lancashire Chess Association offered to come and do a free simul at each new club. There were several new clubs in the wake of the Fischer-Spassky match.

I was doing well in my game having bishop,knight and pawn against a lone bishop. As I was about to queen the pawn he took it with his bishop leaving 'that ending'. To my great surprise he then resigned and congratulated me. I had no idea how to mate with the material left or even if it was possible!.

After the game I found out how to do it and tried to remember it.

Years went by, 40 in fact, and it never occurred again in one of my games until this season in the semifinal of the NCCU cup against Rochdale. I was a piece for a couple of pawns up but the pawns were slowly getting exchanged and I realised the very real possibility that we would end up with 'That ending'. I sat there trying to remember from all those years ago and decided I probably could not do it.

I then set about trying to find another way to win the game i.e where I kept my last pawn. But my opponent was more awake than me (or just lucky?) and I ended up with bishop and wrong coloured rooks pawn against a lone king, so drawn anyway!

Perhaps it was payback for that game 40 years ago

Article by Dave Pearcey