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Jul 21, 2009, 1:07 PM 0


If we study or look carefully the defeat or victory of most players we would see the role played by the good and the bad bishop. If we look at Diagram 1 we see a position in which the material is exactly equal; nevertheless, White has a considerable advantage and in fact he managed to win the game with proper planning in a further ten moves. The explanation of white’s advantage is the difference in the Bishops. Whereas the Bishop on d3 is not hemmed in by its own pawns and can attack both on the King’s and Queen’s wing, its adversary is condemned to inactivity by the Black pawn chain.

The value of a Bishop can usually be assessed by the following rule; the Bishop has good working power if its own pawns are posted on squares of the opposite colour. This of course applies only where the pawn formation cannot easily be altered, as Diagram 2 will make clear. There, White has three pawns on squares of the same colour as his Bishop and only two on squares of opposite colour, while the position is reversed with Black. But White’s three Queen-side pawns can easily change their positions. What determines whether the Bishops are good or bad are the immobile King-side pawns; so it is White’s Bishop which should be considered the good one.

The differing value of Bishops is an important strategic factor. As a rule, each side will endeavour to place his pawns on a colour opposite to that his Bishop; this makes it easier to block the opponent’s pawns on squares accessible to the Bishop. When the position has become simplified and the pawn formation fairly rigid, both sides will try to rid themselves of a bad Bishop and keep a good one. In the middle-game, it is sometimes possible to initiate a series of exchanges leading to a favourable end-game of good versus bad Bishop.

The rule given above for determining whether the Bishop is good or bad must be modified in certain circumstances.



                   Diagram 1                                     Diagra
m 2



For further study, study the Bronstein and Najdorf game in that game, Bronstein employed this idea against Najdorf, also study Botvinnik-Trifunovi(Moscow 1945)       




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