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Three Fools, Part 2

Three Fools, Part 2

Apr 15, 2012, 12:00 AM 20 Tactics

In the first part of this article we discussed the cases where two Bishops are a very powerful weapon.  We also analyzed Steinitz's games where the first World Champion showed the correct way to take advantage of the Bishop pair. In the next game Emanuel Lasker proved that he studied the games of his great  predecessor.  Just like Steinitz, he uses his pawns to slowly, but surely restrict the White Knights, preparing the decisive break:

The following modern masterpiece shows the same strategy of pushing the pawns on both wings to grab space and restrict the opponent's Knights:

So far we saw ideal positions for the two Bishops: open center and lack of good squares for the Knights where they could be supported by pawns. But if the position is semi-closed and especially if the Knights can get good outposts in the center, then the outcome of such a game could be totally different.  Here is another classical game that proves the point:

The fact that it was a very dramatic game where both opponents made a number of instructive mistakes only proves that it is not an easy concept to master.  But it really helps to remember the basic idea that when you have Bishops you want to keep the position as open as possible, meanwhile when you have Knights you are trying to achieve the opposite by blocking the game.

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