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Bishop v Knight
The Triumph of the Knight

Point Count Chess, NO. 140, p201-203
Mitchell v. Van Sheltinga, 1937

In the Triumph of the Bishop, the side with the Bishop could only triumph over the Knight with a little extra help from the King and a few Pawns.

It's similar situation, in the Triumph of the Knight. H&M-S state that the Knight is able to triumph when "supported by very marked collateral advantage, usually two points under out system."

By "two points," they mean two countable advantages, as listed in the Positional Point Count Table.

In this example, we see Black how manages to triumph with the Knight. In the starting position (before 1...g4), he already has two of those collateral advantages: a Better King Position, plus a Qualitative Pawn Majority on the Kingside ...

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.202, No. 140, before 1...g4
  2. Result of the Triumph of the Knight.
  3. PGN

The Triumph of the Knight
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.202, No. 140, before 1...g4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 140 - Page 202
Before: 1...g4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 140 - Bishop v. Knight, Triumph of the Knight, Before 1...g4
Triumph of the Knight,
Before 1...g4
Before 1...g4, we can see Black's two advantages ...

First, the Better King Position: Black, with the Knight, already has his King in touching distance of the Center -- Black has virtually won the race to get his King to occupy the Center, where it will have a greater advantage over White's King, which will be forced to navigate a path around the edge of the Expanded Center.

Second, the Qualitative Pawn Majority: All of Black's three Kingside Pawns are on adjacent files -- they're connected. By contrast, White has two Pawn Islands (e3,f3; and, h2), with the h2-Pawn being Isolated, which is a countable weakness in itself.

Black takes advantage of White's weaknesses, which is a key part of his Knight triumphing over White's faster-moving Bishop.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 140 - Bishop v. Knight, Triumph of the Knight, After 1...g4
Triumph of the Knight,
After 1...g4
After 1...g4, Black's attack on White's f3-Pawn seeks to increase the weakness of White's Kingside Pawn structure.

However, it's also worth noting this move as it takes another Black Pawn off dark-squares, and onto light squares ...

Because White's Bishop is on dark-squares, Black begins the careful process of moving his Pawns onto light-squares. This will take any sting out of the potential threat from White's dark-Bishop.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 140 - Bishop v. Knight, Triumph of the Knight, After 2.fxg4 fxg4
Triumph of the Knight,
After 2.fxg4 fxg4
After 2.fxg4 fxg4, Black has succeeded in Isolating ALL of White's remaining Pawns, which makes them less of a threat to Black's Knight and King.

Note also that Black still has the Qualitative Pawn Majority, on the Kingside -- his g- and h-Pawns are connected on adjacent files ...

Black is able to use them to gang up on White's Isolated h-Pawn, and force through a Passed Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 140 - Bishop v. Knight, Triumph of the Knight, After 5...c5 and 6...c4
Triumph of the Knight,
After 5...c5 → 6...c4
After 5...c5 → 6...c4, Black is quick to advance his c-Pawn down the board, to block any potential for White's c-Pawn to advance up the board.

This will enable Black to relocate his Knight, to help convert and protect the potential Passed Pawn on the Kingside.

Note that Black had to make sure his Pawn finished on the light c4-square, else it'd either have to remain in its own territory (on c6, at best), or it'd become a target for White's dark-Bishop (on either c7 or c5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 140 - Bishop v. Knight, Triumph of the Knight, After 7...Kf5 and 8...Nf3
Triumph of the Knight,
After 7...Kf5 → 8...Nf3
After 7...Kf5 → 8...Nf3, Black mobilizes his King and Knight, so they're in position to help create their Passed Pawn, on the Kingside.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 140 - Bishop v. Knight, Triumph of the Knight, After 9.h3 h5
Triumph of the Knight,
After 9.h3 h5
After 9.h3 h5, Black's h-Pawn gives its support to the g4-Pawn, following the advance of White's h-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 140 - Bishop v. Knight, Triumph of the Knight, After 10.hxg4+ hxg4
Triumph of the Knight,
After 10.hxg4+ hxg4
After 10.hxg4+ hxg4, Black gains his Passed Pawn, and it's instantly defended by its King. White's King certainly cannot capture.

Being on light squares, White's Bishop is also incapable of doing anything about it -- it's what's often called the "Wrong-color Bishop."
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 140 - Bishop v. Knight, Triumph of the Knight, After 11...Ng5 and 12...Ne4+
Triumph of the Knight,
After 11...Ng5 → 12...Ne4+
After 11...Ng5 → 12...Ne4+, Black's Knight repositions itself -- it's not being used to help guide Black's g4-Pawn to Promotion, but to create Outside Passed Pawns, on the Queenside, by taking-out White's two Isolated Pawns (a2 & c3).

That will leave White too stretched to prevent Black from Queening at least one of his two Queenside Passers, which will more-or-less seal victory for Black.

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

The Result of the Triumph of the Knight...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 140 - Bishop v. Knight, Triumph of the Knight, After 22...Nax3
(RESULT) Bishop v. Knight,
Triumph of the Knight,
After 22...Nax3
After 22...Nax3, Black has his two Passed Pawn, on the Queenside. But note how it needed help from its King, else White's Bishop would have captured it.

Like the Triumph of the Bishop, this goes to prove that, in order for the Knight to triumph, it must have help from the King and a few of the Pawns.

In this game, factors that led to the Knight's triumph are as follows:

H&M-S also note that a side usually needs two clear, countable advantages over their opponent, in order to triumph with the Knight ...

At the start of this sequence, White's two advantages were:

  1. Better King Position (before 1...g4)
  2. Qualitative Pawn Majority (before 1...g4, and after 2...fxg4)

Toward the end of this sequence, White's two advantages were:

  1. Better King Position (after 13.Kh4)
  2. Outside Passed Pawns (after 22...Nxa3)

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

PGN

[Event "PCC, p202 Diagram NO. 140"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1937.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Mitchell"]
[Black "Van Sheltinga"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5B2/2p4p/p3k3/4npp1/8/2P1PP2/P3K2P/8 b - - 0 0"]
[PlyCount "51"]

{PCC, PCC, p202 Diagram NO. 140} 1... g4 2. fxg4 fxg4 3. Bh6 Kd5 4. Kf2 Ke4 5. Kg3 c5 6. Bf8 c4 7. Bc5 Kf5 8. Bd4 Nf3 9. h3 h5 10. hxg4+ hxg4 11. Bb6 Ng5 12. Bd4 Ne4+ 13. Kh4 Nf2 14. Kg3 Nd1 15. a3 Ke4 16. Kxg4 Nxe3+ 17. Kg5 Nc2 18. Bc5 Kd3 19. Kf5 Kxc3 20. Ke4 Kb3 21. Kd5 c3 22. Ke4 Nxa3 23. Kd3 Nc4 24. Bf8 a5 25. Bg7 Nb2+ 26. Ke2 a4 27. {Resigns} *

End.

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