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Opposite-Colored Bishops

GM Dejan Bojkov Avg Rating: 2020 Endgames

Bishops of opposite colors have always been considered rather peaceful opponents. Indeed, the drawing tendencies in these endgames are very high but if the conditions are right (there are good passed pawns, one of the bishops is much stronger than the other, or one of the sides has a more active king) we can successfully play for a win. This course is designed to confirm your knowledge from my video series on opposite-colored bishops, and to further expand your understanding of these tricky endgames. Good luck!

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  • Good Defense

    Two connected passers do not necessary win in opposite-colored bishop endgames. In fact most of these are equal if the defender knows what to do.
  • Bad Bishop

    The situations in which one of the two opposite-colored bishops is stuck, provides good winning chances for the better side. One good idea is to trap the clumsy piece.
  • Bad Bishop: Mating Threats

    Mating attacks are more common in opposite-colored bishop positions in which both sides have heavy pieces on the board. However, the poor position of the defender's bishop can often provide a nice winning tool for the stronger side.
  • Weak Squares

    The main weakness of the bishop is that it controls only the squares of it's own color. This can be used by the opponent's pieces to create play along the opposite-colored squares. The bishop and the king can form a nice partnership in order to exploit the weaknesses and break into the enemy camp.
  • Breakthrough 1

    The "breakthrough" is one of the main winning ideas in the opposite-colored bishop endgames. It serves to create a passed pawn which is unstoppable, or an additional passer on the second flank.
  • Breakthrough 2

    The breakthroughs are magical moments which occur and disappear rapidly. One needs not only to catch the moment but also to execute them with maximum precision.
  • One More Time (with Feeling)!

    In the two previous examples we were sacrificing the pawns in order to win the bishop (in some of the lines) or to promote the pawn. In this one we shall see a sacrifice dedicated on the pawn promotion purely.
  • Room for the King!

    The most effective way in converting a material advantage is to make use of the king. It is the only piece to fight the opponent's bishop and we need to give it enough working space!
  • Frozen Pieces

    If one of the sides manages to block the opponent's bishop for good, the resulting positions can be treated like pawn endgames.
  • The Move of the Century

    It is all about small details in these opposite-colored bishop endgames, as Alexei Shirov convincingly proves in this amazing (and famous) example!

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