Good bishop, bad knight

attilaturzo
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  • Endgames

In our games we have the questions many times: Do I want to keep the bishop or the knight for the endgame. To be able to find the right answer we need to know the advantages and the disadvantages of the bishop and the knight.

The bishop is stronger than the knight, if there are pawns on both sides, because the bishop can join to the fight quicker in one side or in the other. In this case the bishop can attack the pawns easier than the knight and also it can also block the pawns easier.

This coming example shows well the advantage.

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Rubinstein showed the advantage of the bishop over the knight in the next game.


When pawns are on both sides that is an advantage for the bishop, also good for the bishop if the pawns of the player with the knight are fixed on the bishop's color. LEt us look how the great Bobby Fischer used these advantages Against Taimanov in the World Championship Candadate tournament:

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(The picture is from a book published in the Philippines, Games of Bobby Fischer)



You have a good bishop versus bad knight position,

- if the pawns are on both side

- the pawns are not fixed or at least a few pawns are fixed on the colour of the bishop in the camp of the player wit the knight

Guidelines to follow:

1. Centralize your king

2. Activate your bishop to attack the pawns

3. Advance your pawns

4. Exchange pawns to open way for your king

5. Penetrate with your king and win pawns

6. Create a passed pawn and queen it

Zugzwang may be a key concept which you can use to win the game.

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