Playing Against The Bishop Pair: 6 Rules to Remember

Dec 14, 2015, 5:20 PM |
  • Written by WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos  
  • Bishops are strong in open positions.
  • If the position is semi-open, the bishops are better only if the knight doesn’t have any outposts or active squares.
  • The advantage of the bishop pair is given by their cooperation. The two bishops can control both light and dark squares, complementing each other.

Bearing this in mind, the defensive ideas against the bishop pair should already start shaping. Basically, what you have to do is limit their activity and turn them into a disadvantage for your opponent.

That means you should:


  • Try to keep the game as closed as possible.
  • Create outposts for your knight and turn it into a strong, uncomfortable piece for your opponent.
  • Try to trade off one of the bishops. Pay attention though at the resulting position; you should only use this idea if the exchange favors you.

Modify the pawn structure; strive for blocking the pawns