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Knight versus Bishop (Part 2)

Dejan Bojkov Avg Rating: 1700 Endgames

In this course we shall see when the knight can overtake the other minor piece- the bishop; when the knight is better than its colleague; and why. I tried again to use mainly fresh samples from modern practice, although some old interesting positions were also taken into account. Enjoy the course.

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  • Fork

    Thanks to the ability to switch the colours of its attack, the knight is very suitable for sudden double attacks.
  • Blockade

    Blockade. Thanks to the "colour-blindness" of the bishop, the knight can organize a successful blockade on the opposite colour and defend even against two connected passed pawns.
  • Barrier

    Thanks to his ability to change the colours of its attack the knight is able to build barriers, and prevent the opponent's king from reaching our pawns, or helping his own pawns.
  • Domination

    If the bishop is on a short diagonal it can be dominated by a kngiht and a king and the stronger side can force zugzwang.
  • Domination on the Long Diagonal

    A knight can dominate the bishop on the long diagonal only if it has support of its own king, and a passed pawn. It is a common theme in the study composition.
  • Extra Pawn.

    The outcome in the endgames with only one pawn left on the board depends on if the stronnger side can limit the bishop or cover it's diagonal with the knight.
  • Knight and Corner Pawns

    Knights are not afraid of corner pawns. They can cooperate with them in perfect harmony.
  • Outside Passed Pawn

    Outside passed pawn is used as in the other endgames to deflect the opponent's pieces for fight with the passer thus leaving the other flank exposed.
  • Central Outpost

    Knights adore the central outposts. From their protected position they can attack on both flanks, and easily reach almost any square. The presense of many pawns on the board helps them dominate the bishop.
  • Pawns on One Flank

    Even if there are pawns left only on one side of the board, the defender is in great danger for the various zugzwangs that can arise, and the lack of space. The bishop also is not much of a help in the defense.
  • Wrong Pawns

    Under certain circumstainses bishop's own pawns can cause limitation of it's own mobility, thus making the kngiht the superiour piece.
  • Thinking in Schemes

    When we owe the knight the most effective way to use it is to imagine where exactly is the best place for it. The same principle can be applied for the rest of the pieces, too. Thus with small improvements seemingly slight edge can easily transform into a decisive one.
  • Pawns on the Colour of the Bishop

    Pawns on the colour of the bishop are extremely good news for the knight. They obstruct the bishop mobility, while at the same time the knight can show superiority by both attacking them, and which is more usual- playing on the squares with the opposite colour.
  • Preventing the Counterplay

    We have mentioned it before. The method called barrier can be used to prevent the couterplay on one of the flanks. The knight cooperates with its' own pawns to stop the enemy pieces from breaking in, thus letting the king a free hand.
  • French Endgame

    One of the most unpleasant games for the bishop is the so called French one. If Black is left with his light-squared bishop his task in achieving a draw is extremely difficult. The bishop is usally limited by it's pawns, and as in the French the c5 black pawn is usually exchanged for the white d4 there are additional routes and squares for the white pieces to be occupied.
  • The Berlin/Exchanged Ruy Lopez Endgame

    This is another extremely favourable endgame for the kngiht. The position is usually closed, the knight feels much comfortable here. In addition three white pawns on the queen's flank stop four black, which means that White is practically a pawn ahead.

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