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Understanding Opposite Colored Bishop middlegames

linlaoda
Jan 5, 2015, 10:55 AM 3

Hi, this is the first issue of Move by Move Chess Improvement in 2015

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I would like to thank TheEinari for this submission:


Let us stop and discuss why this middlegame is better for Black.

Besides the extra pawn (which is more than just a little!), White's pawns on d4 and f4 obstruct the White dark bishop. Black's light bishop on the otherhand is unobstructed by Black pawns. Thus Black has the better games.


useful tip: When assessing positions containing opposite colored bishops, the most important factor is the activity of these bishops.


Moving on with the game:

 

Find a strong move for Black (think about what is Black's future plan)


Were you able to find the solution? It is clear in this position that Black is the only player who can win. Unfortunately in this game Black does not realize this and hurries to steer the game toward a draw:

 

We learned in this game that opposite colored bishop middlegames are far from drawish, and even the drawish endgames may still become winning at any moment!

 

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