Tuesday 24 April 2018

Is the Bishop pair worth a pawn?

Having just bagged out the 2018 Gashimov Memorial, I've return to the tournament to discover some interesting games. Topalov broke the run of draws in round 4 beating Mamedyarov, and followed it up with a win in round 5 over Navara. Carlsen then got into the act, beating Wojtaszek in the same round.
Topalov's win over Navara contained a lot of interesting ideas and tactics. One thing that struck me was what was happening around move 20, where Navara won a pawn but conceded the Bishop pair. Obviously 2B v BN favours the Bishops, but is it worth a full pawn. Based on subsequent play, Navara may well have thought so, as Topalov offered an exchange of queens on move 25, which Navara declined. To my mind, if Navara thought he could cope with the Bishop's he would have swapped off, otherwise he wanted to keep as many pieces on the board as possible.
In the end Topalov got the ending he was looking for, and with all the major pieces off the board, was able to win back the pawn, and convert the ending.

Navara,David (2745) - Topalov,Veselin (2749) [A07]
Vugar Gashimov Mem 2018 Shamkir AZE (5.1), 23.04.2018

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the current US Championship, Caruana gave up a pawn for the bishop pair against Robson and won a nice game.