Sunday, September 07, 2008

King + Knight versus King + Knight = win, lose or draw?

In endings with with King+Knight versus King+knight, the results is normaly a draw. However there's 1/100000000.... chance that someone ( probably beginner) will made a blunder and fall into a checkmate position. Diagram Below are one of the possible checkmate .

One incident happen recently in a game between Monika Socko against Sabina Foisor in the 2008 Women World Championship in Nalchik, Russia recently where in the final position, both players had a king and a knight each but Foisor had to lost that particular game because of his time drop !

An example position of King+knight checkmate a king + knight !

This thing can also happen in other equal material position such as King + Bishop vs. King + Bishop (opposite squared) and King + knight vs. King + Bishop. You can get mated if you are a beginner or..... you were...drunk.

At first, the chief arbiter declare the game were drawn but after protest made by Socko, the Appeals Committee decide based on Article 9.6 of the Laws of Chess - the game is won by Socko on time .

This decision made a new debate whether it's fair to play an "almost" dead drawn endgame and to win it on time. In longer time control, there's always the 50 move rule to save the player who were behind on time . However in blitz time control, players doesn't have to write the moves it's hard to prove it. What do you think about it?

See the video below starting from 1 minutes 15 seconds.

Socko,M (2473) - Foisor,S (2337) [A00]
WCh-Women Nalchik RUS (1.7), 31.08.2008

Both players is in deep time trouble. 1...Bf5 2.Ke5 Bxh3 3.Ng1 Bg2 4.Nxe2 h5 5.Ng3 Nb4 6.Nxh5 Bf3 7.Nf4 Bd1 8.Kd4 Bxb3 9.Kc5 Bxa4 10.Kb6 Na2 11.Kxa5 Nxc3 12.Kb4 Kd6 13.Nd3 Nd5+ 14.Kxa4 ok, now the "almost" dead drawn endgame appear. If both player have sufficient time, they could play on for another 50 moves and claim a draw based on 50 move rule , but in this game, they are playing a sudden death time control! 14...Ke6 15.Nc5+ Kf5 16.Nd3 Ke4 17.Nb4 Kd4?? The question mark is actualy refering to the actual incident. Foisor should claim an undisputed draw by playing 17...Nxb4! She must kick herself after replaying this game/video ! 18.Nc6+ Kc5 19.Ne5 Kd6 20.Nd3 Nf6 21.Nf4 Nd5 1–0 Foisor time drop and Socko claim a win with 1 second left !!

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