Good Knight vs. Bad Bishop ... and three Weaknesses

Jan 30, 2011, 5:39 AM |

The different value of minor pieces is a very big theme in chess. So here a simple example with a good Knight and a bad Bishop




Here Black has the typical "bad" French Bishop. He is limited through his own pawns . And even if he would get via e8 out of his "prison" he wouldn`t find targets to attack. In contrary, the Knight has an outpost on d4 an can attack the pawn e6.The white pawns are on dark-coloured squares or can move on it. So they cannot be attacked through the bishop

The verdict: The Knight is clearly better than the Bishop


But you shouldn`t think that this is an easy win for white. According to the Russian Chess School you need two weaknesses for winning. The pawn e6 is one weakness!


1) Creating a second weakness: white king dominance



White has now reached a superior position of his king and can attack the pawn on e6 with his knight. But this is not enough for winning. Black can control both weaknesses (king advance and pawn e6)


2) White creates a third weakness on king side:



Now, after creating a third weakness, it is easy to expoit it


3) Whites uses all three weaknesses and creates Zugzwang





So, as we have seen the superiority of a minor piece is no winning guarantee. At least one, sometimes two more weaknesses are needed.