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Fianchetto Subtleties


  • 5 years ago · Quote · #1

    Chessguava

    It's well understood that the purpose of the fianchetto bishop is to put pressure on the center by controlling rather than occupying the central squares (hypermodern opening theory).

    However, the kind of control seems to vary by opening considerations - sometimes control seems to mean attacking central squares that the opponent plans to control, and sometimes control seems to mean protecting your own claim to the center.

    If we are playing out of book and sheerly according to opening principles, then:

    1) In general, is the fianchettoed bishop supposed to serve its center control function by attacking or protecting the center?

    2) What principle(s) govern which bishop should be fianchettoed, or preferred?

    3) What considerations, if any, would prompt interest for fianchettoing both bishops?

    Thanks!

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #2

    contrapunctus

    1) The fianchettoed bishop is more to improve its attacking range rather than defensive, if we assume the pawns are endeavoured to be put on the same squares as the fianchettoed bishop, then the pawns usually do a good enough job in conjunction with the knights.

    2) Usually you'll see the kingside fianchetto more because it helps to protect the king.

    3) If the opposing player fianchetto's their queens bishop, then usually it is a good idea to counter fianchetto on the kingside. Sometimes if the opponent has spent the time to play moves like h3 or h6, then your bishop is sometimes better on b7 or b2.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #3

    Kupov3

    Fianchetto structures on the kingside where the king is castled can be extremely defensive.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #4

    asampedas

    But moving the bishop away from the king side fianchetto can be deadly.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #5

    MikeAP001

    In the 1830s to 1850s, Howard Staunton favored fianchettoed bishops.  He understood that bishops could become one-dimensional pieces and fianchetto structures expanded the mobility of the bishop both defensively and offensively.  However, the holes and closed positions in the pawn formation were exploitable weaknesses that caused Paul Morphy and Wilhelm Steinitz and others to shun them. Since World Champions dictate what's in and out, fianchettos fell out of favor as did a lot of Staunton's ideas. The Hypermoderns revived a lot of these ideas.  And, some players like Botvinnik, Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov revived the fianchetto... 

    The basic principle of which bishop to fianchetto depends on which side you wish to attack.  A Kingside attack usually has a queen bishop fianchetto while the king's bishop fianchetto occurs when conducting a Queenside attack.  The idea is to let the opposition occupy the center and then use those pieces as points to direct an attack.  So, you could fianchetto both king and queen side but for tactical reasons it might be better to delay the second fianchetto.

    Mike

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #6

    contrapunctus

    asampedas wrote:

    But moving the bishop away from the king side fianchetto can be deadly.


    Yep, that's the first step of counterplay against the fianchetto, to play a manoevre like Qd2+Bh6. Once the kingside bishop is gone, the squares around the king will be weak, although the centre should still remain relatively solid as the pawns were (assumingly) on the same colour as the kingside bishop.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #7

    asampedas

    So I see the principle that when you fianchettoe a bishop, you should try to keep it and prevent it from being traded.

    Is that true?

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #8

    polydiatonic

    MikeAP001 wrote:

    In the 1830s to 1850s, Howard Staunton favored fianchettoed bishops.  He understood that bishops could become one-dimensional pieces and fianchetto structures expanded the mobility of the bishop both defensively and offensively.  However, the holes and closed positions in the pawn formation were exploitable weaknesses that caused Paul Morphy and Wilhelm Steinitz and others to shun them. Since World Champions dictate what's in and out, fianchettos fell out of favor as did a lot of Staunton's ideas. The Hypermoderns revived a lot of these ideas.  And, some players like Botvinnik, Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov revived the fianchetto... 

    The basic principle of which bishop to fianchetto depends on which side you wish to attack.  A Kingside attack usually has a queen bishop fianchetto while the king's bishop fianchetto occurs when conducting a Queenside attack.  The idea is to let the opposition occupy the center and then use those pieces as points to direct an attack.  So, you could fianchetto both king and queen side but for tactical reasons it might be better to delay the second fianchetto.

    Mike


    Here's a basic thing you should be aware of. In the kings Indian Defense blacks play is virtually ALAWAYS on the king side.  True enough that the Fianchettoed KB bears down on the queen side, but Black is almost never interested in persuing play on the the Q side.  Also, in the Queens Indian defense black usually doesn't get any much in the way of king side attacks.  I think you are simply over generalizing and not taking into account how these common openings are acutally used, both at the highest level and at the amateur level. 

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #9

    Ricardo_Morro

    The fianchettoed bishop supporting a center pawn has restricted range but can often restrain the opponent's pawn break.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #10

    contrapunctus

    asampedas wrote:

    So I see the principle that when you fianchettoe a bishop, you should try to keep it and prevent it from being traded.

    Is that true?


    Well like always it depends on the position, but the dragon always seems to be the easiest way to explain these concepts.

     

    Hope this helps!
  • 5 years ago · Quote · #11

    asampedas

    Is that the Sicilian dragon, or the variation which arises from any KID defence?

    Yet, that was helpful, because I realised that was exactly what I did against one of my opponents!

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #12

    contrapunctus

    asampedas wrote:

    Is that the Sicilian dragon, or the variation which arises from any KID defence?

    Yet, that was helpful, because I realised that was exactly what I did against one of my opponents!


    Sicilian Dragon

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #13

    asampedas

    contrapunctus wrote:
    asampedas wrote:

    Is that the Sicilian dragon, or the variation which arises from any KID defence?

    Yet, that was helpful, because I realised that was exactly what I did against one of my opponents!


    Sicilian Dragon


    Thanks mate! T'was helpful!

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #14

    Tricklev

    The fianchetto had been revived along time before either Karpov, Kasparov or Fischer even came into the world.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #15

    AnthonyCG

    The QGD Tartakower has a fianchettoed bishop but it's purely defensive for most of the middlegame until tactics start flying.

    Mostly it supports d5. If the d-pawn moves, it can get attacks on g2. It's not a "dragon bishop." ...Bb7 doesn't seem to be as aggressive as ...Bg7 usually is.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #16

    chessoholicalien

    Tricklev wrote:

    The fianchetto had been revived along time before either Karpov, Kasparov or Fischer even came into the world.


    Yup, Réti was quite well known for playing a double fianchetto, although I believe he was not especially successful with it.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #17

    MikeAP001

    polydiatonic wrote:
    MikeAP001 wrote:

    In the 1830s to 1850s, Howard Staunton favored fianchettoed bishops.  He understood that bishops could become one-dimensional pieces and fianchetto structures expanded the mobility of the bishop both defensively and offensively.  However, the holes and closed positions in the pawn formation were exploitable weaknesses that caused Paul Morphy and Wilhelm Steinitz and others to shun them. Since World Champions dictate what's in and out, fianchettos fell out of favor as did a lot of Staunton's ideas. The Hypermoderns revived a lot of these ideas.  And, some players like Botvinnik, Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov revived the fianchetto... 

    The basic principle of which bishop to fianchetto depends on which side you wish to attack.  A Kingside attack usually has a queen bishop fianchetto while the king's bishop fianchetto occurs when conducting a Queenside attack.  The idea is to let the opposition occupy the center and then use those pieces as points to direct an attack.  So, you could fianchetto both king and queen side but for tactical reasons it might be better to delay the second fianchetto.

    Mike


    Here's a basic thing you should be aware of. In the kings Indian Defense blacks play is virtually ALAWAYS on the king side.  True enough that the Fianchettoed KB bears down on the queen side, but Black is almost never interested in persuing play on the the Q side.  Also, in the Queens Indian defense black usually doesn't get any much in the way of king side attacks.  I think you are simply over generalizing and not taking into account how these common openings are acutally used, both at the highest level and at the amateur level. 


    I disagree. 

    The strategic idea behind the fianchetto according to Staunton, Tartakower, Reti, and Nimzowitz in their writings is as I outlined above.  You might want to review some of the games by Botvinnik, Petrosian, Spasky, Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov regarding the KID and QID attacks and bishop fianchetoes in Candidate Games and World Championship Games --- that's what they wrote in their analyses and that's the strategy they tried to play against Master level players. 

    As for your statement regarding the KID you might want to see the Gruenfeld (that's how Fischer spelled it) variaton against Byrne (1956) and against Botvinnik (1962) or Kasparov's games against Karpov in their Grunfeld (that's how Kasparov spelled it) games in the 1986 WCC.  As for your QID statements, the Classic Variation demonstrates this principle to no end as seen in Beliavsky v Spasky 1980.  

    But, there are times for TACTICAL reasons that strategy might be DELAYED but eventually it gets played.   AND that's what White tries to avoid with anti-KID and anti-QID lines; however, the fundamental strategic principle remains the same because if BLACK can execute the strategy then BLACK usually wins unless White can throw in enough tactics to weaken Black's position (an instructive game is Capablanca v Tartakower New York 1924 where White wins against Black's fianchettoed bishop.)

    Mike

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #18

    MikeAP001

    chessoholicalien wrote:
    Tricklev wrote:

    The fianchetto had been revived along time before either Karpov, Kasparov or Fischer even came into the world.


    Yup, Réti was quite well known for playing a double fianchetto, although I believe he was not especially successful with it.


    As I noted, Staunton was playing these positions in the 1830-1850s long before Botvinnik, Fischer, etc.  But, the fiancheto lost popularity among chess players at all levels due to the practical play of Morphy and the teachings of Steinitz and Tarrasch. 

    In the 1920s, Tartakower, Nimzowitz and Reti founded the Hypermodern Movement which gained interest among some Masters with the publication of Modern Ideas in Chess in 1922 by Reti, of My System by Nimzowitz and of Hypermodern Chess by Tatakower in 1924 (Sorry, I only read these in their English Translations).  The ideas  while played in some over the board games remained novelties until the NY Tournament of 1924 when these ideas were tested and Reti beat Capablanca.  Alechin (that's how Capablanca spelled it) gave extensive analyses of all the games in his Book of the NY Tournament 1924 which was highly recommended by Master players of the time including Capablanca (though his endorsement might have represented the First edition.  In later revisions, Alekhine made some interesting side comments about the great Cuban player whom Alechin was to play later for the World Championship and the tournament in general.  In his papers for the revised editons of this Book published AFTER Capablanca lost the title, the tone is different.  If you can get the first edition read that then compare it to subsequent comments made by Alekhine after he became the champ--- it's interesting to read Alekhine's before and after comments...) 

    Anyway, it wasn't until Botvinnik's success and the rise of the Russian school that fianchettoed positions became popular again among chess players at all levels. 

    Mike

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #19

    polydiatonic

    MikeAP001 wrote:
    polydiatonic wrote:
    MikeAP001 wrote:

    In the 1830s to 1850s, Howard Staunton favored fianchettoed bishops.  He understood that bishops could become one-dimensional pieces and fianchetto structures expanded the mobility of the bishop both defensively and offensively.  However, the holes and closed positions in the pawn formation were exploitable weaknesses that caused Paul Morphy and Wilhelm Steinitz and others to shun them. Since World Champions dictate what's in and out, fianchettos fell out of favor as did a lot of Staunton's ideas. The Hypermoderns revived a lot of these ideas.  And, some players like Botvinnik, Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov revived the fianchetto... 

    The basic principle of which bishop to fianchetto depends on which side you wish to attack.  A Kingside attack usually has a queen bishop fianchetto while the king's bishop fianchetto occurs when conducting a Queenside attack.  The idea is to let the opposition occupy the center and then use those pieces as points to direct an attack.  So, you could fianchetto both king and queen side but for tactical reasons it might be better to delay the second fianchetto.

    Mike


    Here's a basic thing you should be aware of. In the kings Indian Defense blacks play is virtually ALAWAYS on the king side.  True enough that the Fianchettoed KB bears down on the queen side, but Black is almost never interested in persuing play on the the Q side.  Also, in the Queens Indian defense black usually doesn't get any much in the way of king side attacks.  I think you are simply over generalizing and not taking into account how these common openings are acutally used, both at the highest level and at the amateur level. 


    I disagree. 

    The strategic idea behind the fianchetto according to Staunton, Tartakower, Reti, and Nimzowitz in their writings is as I outlined above.  You might want to review some of the games by Botvinnik, Petrosian, Spasky, Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov regarding the KID and QID attacks and bishop fianchetoes in Candidate Games and World Championship Games --- that's what they wrote in their analyses and that's the strategy they tried to play against Master level players. 

    As for your statement regarding the KID you might want to see the Gruenfeld (that's how Fischer spelled it) variaton against Byrne (1956) and against Botvinnik (1962) or Kasparov's games against Karpov in their Grunfeld (that's how Kasparov spelled it) games in the 1986 WCC.  As for your QID statements, the Classic Variation demonstrates this principle to no end as seen in Beliavsky v Spasky 1980.  

    But, there are times for TACTICAL reasons that strategy might be DELAYED but eventually it gets played.   AND that's what White tries to avoid with anti-KID and anti-QID lines; however, the fundamental strategic principle remains the same because if BLACK can execute the strategy then BLACK usually wins unless White can throw in enough tactics to weaken Black's position (an instructive game is Capablanca v Tartakower New York 1924 where White wins against Black's fianchettoed bishop.)

    Mike


    Well Mike, what can I say, other than you are wrong. You've set up a strawman so that you can knock it down.  I didn't say most of what you're inferring that I did.  One of the basic tenents of "attacking chess" is that you expand in the direction of your pawn chainl  KID that pawn chain points at the king side.  I'm not saying nor did I ever say that the black KB is not striking at or towards the king side, but that the attack is directed, almost universally at the king side.  In fact there are countless games, many fischer one included that involve posting that KB at k5 or q6 in order to strike directly at the king side. 

     

    If you wan to puff out your chess by naming, while not actually referencing any real sources, go right ahead.  I too have been playing a long time and to tell beginners that the point of KB in the KID is to strike at the queen side is stupid and wrong.  Ever notice that black almost always ends up with a pawn on his own k4 in the kid or kia? duh. 

    Gruenfeld is a different matter. But, I never said a word about the gruenfeld.  And, to quote Staunton is just strange.  When did you start playing in 1840's?

    Btw, I hope your playing strength is greater than the 1200 listed on your profile...maybe not.  I never claimed to be a chess god or anything, but I've broken the expert barrier (2000) as a uscf player in my day and have take a few master scalps a long the way.  I'm not a GM, but I know what the hell I'm talking about. 

    How often does that "queenside stratedgy" get delayed when white has been mated on the king side?  

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #20

    Estragon

    There is nothing particularly special about a fianchettoed Bishop.  It can play offense and defense like any other Bishop.  The peculiarities surrounding the fianchetto are at least as important as they reference the change to the pawn structure as the Bishop. 

    The Q-side fianchetto is not so common.  Of course it is a mainstay of the Queen's Indian and Tarkatower Defense to the QGD, and makes appearances in some Nimzoindian lines, but the incidence is fewer than the King's fianchetto, and the Q's occurs mostly with Black.

    The King's fianchetto occurs with both colors with some regularity, and in different sorts of positions.  Just from the White side, it is seen in the Catalan, the QID, the KID, the NID, the Slav, the Benoni, the English, the Reti, and of course the KIA.  Black often plays it in the KID, GID, Benoni, Modern, Pirc, Sicilian, Alehkine, English, etc.  Not only does it occur in more openings, but these are more popular openings (in terms of # of games played) than those seeing Q's fianchetti.

    On the K-side, the pawn weakness created by P-N3 cannot be understated, especially as the King usually finds himself behind this formation.  In the case of Black, h6 and f6 are weakened and may become targets.  The tactic described above of Qd2 & Bh6 works much of the time, weakening the dark squares around the Black King permanently.

    But the formation has some defensive advantages as well as these disadvantages.  The Bishop covers the weakened squares, and provides a second piece covering the King on the g-file.  Combined with the usual Nf6, the King has two minor pieces on guard duty, but who can quickly switch to offense.  And the Bishop is on the longest diagonal of his color, bisecting the center and having chances to immediately enter the fray on his own as well as keeping a watch on the opponent's advances in that sector.

    As with any pawn move, ... g6 weakens the squares it leaves behind but controls new squares.  In this case, the near-center square f5 comes under control, and h5 is covered (which becomes important for the N in the KID and some Benoni lines, and enables the response ... h5 to blunt a brute pawn storm in the KI Saemisch and some Dragon lines).  It's a trade-off which provides for very interesting strategies for both sides.

    The double fianchetto is rarely seen.  There is nothing intrinsically wrong with it, it just doesn't seem to work out well in practice.


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