My Investigations #2: The Bishop Pair

My Investigations #2: The Bishop Pair

IM vinniethepooh

Hello friends, welcome back to the 2nd "My Investigations". Today the topic is going to be about the Bishop pair, and why it is considered so powerful.

I hope you enjoyed the first post in this series. Thanks to those who shared some feedback! Coming back to today's topic- Why actually are the bishop pair considered as strong?

They help control the whole board and all kind of squares. They are long ranged pieces and unlike the knights, it is much more easier for them to cover a whole colour complex.

 Image result for bishop pair in chess

Important points to remember when playing with the bishops:

  • We should try to preserve these bishops as they are able to control the whole board.
  • We should play with our pawns skilfully in order not to allow opponent’s minor pieces supporting squares (especially knight!). We should place pawns on the colour of opponent’s bishop!
  • One of the greatest ways to utilise the bishop pair is by transposing the game into the endgame. This is helpful in the way that the bishop pair is able to prevent activating of opponent’s king- which might mean we are playing with EXTRA KING!
  • Try to open the position as bishops are long ranged pieces!
  • One of the advantages of the bishops is that we can give it up almost any time! It is called Transformation of Advantages.
  • Knights are rather clumsy: they can participate in the fight only on one side of the board. If there is action all over the board, they have no time to come to the rescue. Therefore, it is a good idea to attack on both sides of an open board, thus obtaining superiority in forces on one flank.
  • Bishops are very strong when acting on adjacent diagonals. These are called the ‘Horwitz Bishops’.
  • Try to follow the Colour Strategy of the bishop your opponent does not have. Colour Strategy means that you should try playing on those squares as you are stronger there.
  • Two Bishops+Knight vs Two Knights+Bishop is usually better than Two Bishops vs Bishop+Knight, as we get at least one of every kind, in addition preserving the advantage of the two bishops.


  • Pawn Play

In this game, the first World Champion demonstrated brilliant positional way of playing with pawns, playing with them to restrict opponent’s minor pieces.

  • Exchange of pieces

The following game is very instructive from Exchanging of pieces point of view and we can learn a lot of ideas.

  • Colour Strategy

Learn about the Colour Strategy when playing with the bishops in this example.

Important points to remember when playing against the bishops:

  • Try to exchange one of opponent’s bishops.
  • Try to keep the position closed as knights can do skilful regrouping in such positions.
  • Try to keep at least one bishop! Two knights do not work well in tandem.
  • While playing with pawns try to create supporting squares/outposts for your pieces (especially knight!)
  • Try to exchange rooks as Queen+Knight is a great attacking combination against the opponent’s king!
  • Knights are great pieces when playing in defense!
  • We should usually assign clear duties to the knight since it is not a very quick and flexible piece.
  • Since the knight is a tricky piece, it is often hard to see it’s regrouping so it may work well in time scramble!
  • Try to follow the Colour Strategy of your bishop!


  • Exchange of pieces

Here is another interesting example of Exchange of pieces where the side playing against the two bishops makes some wrong decisions.

  • Colour Strategy

Learn about the Colour Strategy when playing against the bishops in this example.

And here is some work for you guys: For the third example: Pawn Play (playing against the bishops) you can post your examples in the comments section below! You might want to annotate it, giving a more clear picture.

If you want to know the secret to the mastering of positional play:

Have a look at My Investigations #1 here: 

If you want to improve your technique:

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