Confused Bishops And Drunk Knights

Confused Bishops And Drunk Knights

| 44 | Middlegame

Just recently I have become a bit obsessed with strange and peculiar chess moves originating from knights and bishops. In my first article for I took a look at what can be called The Nimzowitsch Knight Dance, and in this article I am going to indulge myself in some more beautiful and irregular ideas that have appeared in our beautiful game.

To start, let's take a look at the "Speelman Suicide Knight."

For me, it is bizarre and astonishing ideas like this that bring the game of chess to life. How can someone explain the pleasure of such an idea to a 'non-chessy'? From a seemingly normal middlegame position the black knight dived fearlessly into White's position. The idea was to cause confusion and uncoordination in the enemy camp.

That seems to be the key idea through the examples presented here, moves that shock and rattle the opposition. You may now be thinking, "Nice plan Simon, but when will I ever be able to use such an idea!?"

Well, the same thought occurred to me, but then one day an opportunity arose...

Yet again we see the knight becoming champion of the day. For some reason these examples remind me of an old Kung Fu film, "The Drunken Master."

Black's knight acted like a fool, diving into the position without a care in the world. Some would even say that the knights in the example above may have had a little bit to much to drink, but then all of a sudden the real purpose of the knights dance is revealed!

So far the knight has been the star of the show, but the bishop can also have its moment in the limelight.

"In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes" -- Andy Warhol.

In that game Tal used a very unique idea, the bishop sweep into b1. From b1 the bishop allowed Black access to the back rank, which was the start of a winning attack.

Tal was the master of such attacks; for me Tal was my favorite player to grace the game. In the next game I attempted to reconstruct this great game: "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

We cannot all be as good as Tal! Clearly it didn't work this time for me, but other players have been more successful.


To keep you on your toes, here is a much more difficult puzzle that could have occurred in a game. Black is in a tricky position, but he has a resource that keeps him in the game. What should Black play?

Again the bishop is the star of the show.

These are certainly not ideas that you will often come across, but for me that makes them that little bit more attractive. 

Do you have any strange and interesting maneuvers that you would like to share? Please do share and comment below!


More from GM Ginger_GM
Prophylactic Play

Prophylactic Play

The Perfect Opening For The Lazy Student

The Perfect Opening For The Lazy Student