A master-level player recently said: “I probably shouldn’t admit this but I don’t want to have to mate somebody with bishop and knight!” He wasn’t sure he could do it.
I replied that I also don’t want to play either side of R+B v. R , or R+N v. R . The most likely result is that I’m going to embarass myself.
Now the interesting thing about this is the “I shouldn’t admit this” part. Checkmate with B+N – so elementary! Shouldn’t any decent player be able to do this “by hand” as blogger DK Transformation would say? (p.s. where are ya, DK?!)
You’d think so. But
A) I wonder if there are actually more people like this master and me – self-taught players who never bothered with some allegedly important fundamentals. And
B) I started playing in 1982 and in tens of thousands of tournament and blitz games since, I don’t recall EVER having to mate with B+N. EVER. So even if it arises once or twice before I kick the bucket, would it be worth the time investment to study?