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The bishops, the complete guide.

  • FM kevin9512
  • | Jun 14, 2013
  • | 8350 views
  • | 24 comments

I have seen many articles and books that talk about the bishop pair. We all know the basic rules "knights are better in closed games, and bishops are better in open games", but why are bishops generally preffered? First, it is easier to open a position that it is to completely blockade it. Even in semi-closed positions, bishops can do well.

In this series of articles I will try to explain the following topics

1. Bad bishops and why sometimes they are not bad: I will show you why they are necessary and why they are better in their starting position. This is speciallly true for black's light square bishop. Sometimes we develop this bishop instead of leaving it "doing nothing", but why do grandmasters leave this bishop undeveloped? Is it really a "bad" bishop?

2. bishop vs knight: I will show examples about this legendary fight. Although there are many articles about this, I will try to add depth to this subject.

3. Bishop pair: Why the bishop pair is good and how to use it.

4. Opposite color bishop endings: What you didn't know about this endings. Most of the time we just assume they are a draw and we forget about the strategy behind all this endgame.

In this first intruduction I will start with a game maybe most of you know, the famous Carlsen vs Topalov game:



The commentary in this game is rather simple and dull. I am working on getting good examples that are not well known, and focus analysing them. I am sure you can find great in depth analysis of this game.

If you have any game you think would add relevance to this topic, dont hesitate to send me a message! I will be more than happy to analyze those games, help on the mistakes, and publish them on my series of articles!

FM Kevin Trujillo

Comments


  • 13 months ago

    EgortriesChess

    i didnt understand the idia behind this article

  • 13 months ago

    yucca

    Hi.  Interesting stuff.  I would appreciate though maybe a bit of an indication as to the recommended level this is is for - I suspect worrying too much about bad bishops etc is a bit academic for my level when I don't always get tactical motifs, but it would be helpful if posters could make this clear.  Maybe even a "tag"/category or something for articles would be an idea - so we could say choose to view all articles aimed at our kind of level or on a particular theme, as I know there is a wealth of knowledge on the site, but I'm not always sure it's easy to access it in the best way.  Cheers

  • 13 months ago

    magiking333

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 13 months ago

    csmith1281

    @eduh the pawn was pinned in move 18. And in 28, black's bishop was guarding c4. Capturing would have eventually put White's queen in danger and on the run.

  • 13 months ago

    tpe09222012

    gosh. nvm. I didn't see that black will just be down a piece after 19. ... Nxb3.

    @JamesColeman: Thanks for the tip. I found the game on chessgames.

  • 13 months ago

    tpe09222012

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 13 months ago

    FM kevin9512

    19. Nxb3 ...20 Nxd7 winning a piece

    Sorry for the weak analysis of the game,my next article will be more detailed and will be really instructive

  • 13 months ago

    Eebster

    Any thoughts on 19... Nxb3 ? I am probably missing something more important, but it would destroy the bishop pair.

  • 13 months ago

    captious

    @marshherrm Nc4 is hanging too, if 31. ...Bf5 then 32. Nf5 Ne5 33. Nh6+, black loses material

  • 13 months ago

    CM JamesColeman

    B moves away just allows e5-e6 - everything is undermined and W crashes in on g6.

  • 13 months ago

    captain-beefheart

    what article?

  • 13 months ago

    marshherrm

  • 13 months ago

    CM JamesColeman

    @tpe09222012 - Englisch v Steinitz, London 1883 (you can look it up) is a classic ending on this theme where the B pair harmonise to take away useful squares from the opponent who had B and N. There are many other games also, of course. Often a very small advantage is enough as the opponent has a very small margin for error.

    Nice game Kevin :) Topalov's 8...Rb8 was suspicious for sure - the normal...Bd7 was better, as he soon put the rook back on a8 again anyway! Anwyay, it's always nice to see Carlsen winning a tactical game :)

  • 13 months ago

    eduh

    So much incomprehension in that game. In move 4 pawn is unprotected and he makes castling? In move 18 white puts the knight in front of a pawn? Why? And why black doesn't react? In 28, white seizes the black knight, why he procastrinates the kill so much? Etc...........

  • 13 months ago

    hmazloomian

     I am sure there is a good reson for  Qa529. Kh2 but I can see the tactic can someone expain why white does not take the Knight and moves his King instead?

  • 13 months ago

    Justified08

  • 13 months ago

    Ricardoruben

    The real reasons behind the bishop pair:

    First, the bishop pair is good because only one bishop is not enough for a good mass (priest+deacon). Then it is said that two heads think better than one, so there you are again. On the other hand we all like better any even number that those strange obtuse odd numbers (except maybe, the french and the number three, but that is only an interesting exception), like the name points out, these numbers are odd. Then, we men appreciate a good pair of ... eyes in a woman, so looking at those pointy fellows always makes me try to have them both close to my fingertips, and look in horror and dismay at the sight of only one of them.

    I know I have just scratched the surface of the amount of reasons there are to prefer a good pair of bishops, I count on your knowledge, dear player, to add as many as you know of.

    Now seriously, Kevin, I enjoyed the article, thank you for posting! :)

  • 13 months ago

    sephirothsenju

    uh wheres the article?

  • 13 months ago

    FM kevin9512

    I just want people to know that I am reading all the comments. I will see your concern and try to help you. tpe09222012 , I will show you one interesting concept capablanca gave that will help you with your concern. If I am lucky, I will be able to publish the next part tomorrow.

  • 13 months ago

    tpe09222012

    One thing I don't understand very well is the value of the bishop pair in the endgame. I think everybody has seen the classic games where a bishop pair pointed at the kingside in the middlegame was enough to guarantee a successful mating attack. But it's not immediately obvious to me how the control of an adjacent dark square and light square complex could matter in pseudo-endgame situations, where the rooks are still on the board.

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