Which is better, R+P or B+N? A tough question which one of my students asked me last Friday. I tried to explain that in the middle game the pieces were usually better, but in an endgame with open files and play on both sides of the board the rook would do OK.  Strangely that night I was watching a live game in the Box Hill Grades in which White put both his knights on the side of the board.  I tell my students that this is usually bad, but not everyone agrees with me.  The game then came down to the material imbalance of R+P v B+N.  Later that night I had the following conversation with one of my internet friends about the game (which was still in progress):

RJ: “You’ll be pleased to know that Max Chew Lee has his Ns on a3 and h3 tonight.”
Reply: “OK, good, seems to have done well for him.”
RJ: “The game is still in the balance.”
Reply: “Hardly, surely White is winning.”
RJ: “But will he win?”
Reply: “Hardly in the balance –  2 pieces much better than R+P.”
RJ” “Don’t see why.”

So, what happened?  Did the B+N triumph or did the R+P hang on for a draw?  And what of the knights on the side of the board? How did they go?  I’m afraid that to find out the answer to these intriguing questions you will have to play through the whole game.  But I can guarantee you one thing …. it’s a real knightmare!

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