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Is the knight worth more than the bishop?

  • #1

    I've played many games and I have noticed in most of my games I try to trash my bishop and use my knights. I have won many games using the knight with forks. So, Is the knight worth more than the bishop?

  • #2

    No it's just the opposite the bishop is worth a bit more than the knight in most cases, but when the game is more closed the knight can be worth slightly more.

  • #3

    It depends on the game situation. It general, knights are preferable in a closed game and bishops for open.

    Also, consider the pros and cons in the endgame with no heavy pieces. A knight can, attack and occupy every square on the chess board but has limited range (making catching runaway pawns difficult at times), while bishops can torpedo across the board but can only occupy/control 32 squares.

    So the answer is, I believe, it depends on the situation.


  • #4

    It is a very heated agument on this wedsite. I would say that the bishop is better.

  • #5

    I go with depends on the situation.  I'm getting  better with using the N, and I used to really hate when a better player just trashed me with the N.  I still try to be extra careful when dealing with them.

  • #6

    They are BOTH worth 3 a piece...


  • #7

    In most positions, a bishop is worth slightly more than a knight because of its longer range of movement. As a game progresses, pawns get traded down, removing support points from the knight and opening up lines for the bishop. This generally leads to the bishop's advantage increasing over time.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


  • #8

    they both can cause a lot of harm if used correctly!  & thet both are the first pieces to give away or sacrifice if needed...

  • #9

    i'd say the knight is more useable in most situations;except when the board is wide open.

  • #10

    The Camel is even better!

    But it not fit on the board as well, as the Bishop on the Knight!

  • #11

    The Queen is clearly better than both the Bishop and the Knight.

  • #12

    Stats_Man was right. It all depends on the position. In a closed position, the Knight is better. In an open one, the Bishop is better. You also have to take into consideration a few other things, i.e., if your Bishop is bad or not.

  • #13

    the bishop should be better in almost every scenario

  • #14
    Grakovsky wrote:

    This generally leads to the bishop's advantage increasing over time.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    From my understanding it is not the bishop's advantage which increases over time, but the knight's disadvantage as the game becomes more open.

  • #15

    They are so close in value that you can try to steer the game into a balance that favors your bishop over your opponent's knight or your knight over your opponent's bishop. But you can't make this decision before the game starts! Here is an example of a game where the knight is made better than the bishop:


    And don't forget about the forking power of the knight. A knight fork in an open position can help make a killer combination:


  • #16

    Got to back the bishop...

  • #17

    normally bishops are better because of there long range. But in closed games so some similar circumstances, knights are better. I am talking about end game in general. In middle games, both are roughly equal.

  • #18

    SIlman talks about this very issue in his book the amateurs mind. There's a whole chapter on it. His 2cents is that neither is more valuable than the other. Its how there played is what determines which of them is more valuable that game.

  • #19


    For the sole reason that you can checkmate with two bishops, but you cannot checkmate with two Knights.

    I've read books that actually put the point value of a bishop at 3.25, and knights at 3.

  • #20

    Ok a few things/facts that need to be kept in mind:

    1)Every game is different. This means, different contexts and space (closed/open), different material availability (e.g. # of each piece), and different dynamic (the time situation for each position - tempo issues).

    2)What makes a piece of value or not is primarily whether or not it is being used properly and/or is well situated. A bishop, even if one were to value it higher than a knight, is worthless on its original square when all the action is happening elsewhere... Therefore knowledge of how to use each piece and where to place it (like the general strategy of placing knights outposted on the 5th rank) will make the difference.

    3)Bishop pairs are of great importance. You'll see in many analyses that when one loses their bishop pair (only have 1 left) compared to another oponent with both bishops and other material being equal in 'points', then the bishop pair player usually has the advantage barring some great positional dsicrepancy. The reason for this, as was mentioned early when it comes to the # of squares accessed by knights vs bishops, is that with both bishops around, the dissadvantage of the bishops compared to knights is basically cancelled out. Indeed, if we are to survive the midgame, the board will inevitably open up so having both bishops in the endgame is a clear advantage.

    4)Mating possibilities must be considered. Should we have a choice between 2 knights , 1 knight and 1 bishop, or 2 bishops for an endgame against a lone king, every player knowledgeable in the basic mates knows that the possibility of mating increases proportionally to the presence of bishops (that is to say they have been listed here from least to most possible). As such, the mating difficulty decreases according to the above order. Indeed, 2 knights is impossible without a deliberate blunder by the oponent, knight and bishop is the hardest of the basic mates to accomplish in the 50 move period, and 2 bishops is much easier, though still a mild challenge. This is important in considering the value of the pieces.

    5) Knights are known to be of great use in blocading in the endgame. So as a defensive tool they are great for blocking off  pawns that would otherwise march to promotion or to remotely secure the queening square. Because of the knights unique attack pattern, it is great for harassing the oponents king. Few other pieces can consistently target the king like the knights, as often the availalble squares to a king are limited by the attacked squares of the knight, and those that aren't can be directly attacked by the knight on the next move. This unique attack pattern also makes it hard for the king to both protect the queening square and to attack the knight in many situations. For a bishop, the king need only stay on the opposite colour. So even in the endgame, depending on the situational needs, the knights may be more valuable.

    6)The bishop can form a battery with the queen, whereas the knight can not, nor can the knight 'connect' with any other piece strongly except for itself. As such. Though once again, this is more relevant when the board is open enough for batteries to be of greater value.

    7)Lastly, the knight is the most common choice for underpromostion because of its unique abilities.


    -If you are relying on minor pieces for mating, or if it seems that it may come down to that in the endgame, then clearly the bishop is of greater value.

    -If you have a choice between having a pair of knights and a pair of bishops then choose the bishop pair. If you have already lost 1 bishop, the relevance is far less, and indeed more often than not, you should elect to keep the knight.

    -It matters which pieces your oponent has left as well - also do you want a balanced or imbalanced situation? If imbalance is sought, usually I choose piece diversity over strength in numbers of one kind. More possibilities that way..

    -Overall there is far more potential with the knight. If you need to keep your options open, or are the kind of player who delays castling until the last possible second (to keep the oponent guessing at which side you'll castle) then choose the knight over the bishop.

    -If the game will be a very open one, and/or you are racing towards the endgame (and especially if any or many major pieces have already been exchanged) choose to keep the bishops, i.e. they will be of greater value.

    -If you still have you queen, then the bishop can be sacrificed well before the knight - no one else moves like the knight does!

    -Knights can get in and out of the action/melee better than any other piece. When the situation calls for up-close-and personal - definitely stick to the knight like as the game approaches the midgame and things are more closed off. In otherwords, if you are aiming to mate in the midgame the knight is stronger usually. If you are trying to mate in the endgame, the bishop will be of greater value more times than not.


    Hope these points clear up some of the issues, and have helped out. I welcome and debate/banter :)

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