Hello, dear chess friends!
We continue our examination of important endgame strategies. In this and the upcoming issue, we will analyze strategies in the common type of endgame with same-colored bishops. In this issue, our focus will be on those endgames where the weaker side is saddled with an unfavorable pawn structure (pawn chains).
The well-known Capablanca's rule says:
When you have one bishop left on the board, place your pawns on the opposite colored squares to your bishop.
In the majority of examples we will see, the defending side hardly has a choice in the choice of the pawn structure (the pawns ended up on the same color as the remaining bishop in the opening or middlegame); however they do have a choice which pieces to exchange and which not, which is another important endgame strategy.
More often than not, it is useful for the weaker side to keep more pieces on the board in order to compensate for its structural weaknesses. As we will see soon, same-colored bishop endgames that defy Capablanca's rule (i.e pawns are on the same color as defender's bishop) are difficult to hold, even if they seem drawish on the surface, so it is better for the defender to avoid them by keeping more pieces on the board, if possible.
The first example we will see is the final part of the game Sveshnikov-Kasparov, 1979., in which the young future world champion showed good (although not flawless!) technique in the typical "good vs bad bishop" scenario: