Bishop vs. Knight


While it says Bishop = 3, Knight = 3 at the beginning of this guide, the actual value can vary greatly in any given position.
Generally speaking, knights are better in closed positions or positions in which they can blockade an important pawn
effectively, or in which they can be posted to an advanced post. Bishops are generally terrible in closed positions, or
positions in which they are blocked in by their own color pawns.

Knights


Here is a position in which a knight has taken up an advanced post, and cannot be ousted from it. Notice the knight takes
command of many squares right in the heart of black's position, and prevents black from putting his rooks on the open files,
therefore giving white great opportunities to mount an attacking position. Notice in this situation white can easily win a pawn
by moving his rook to b7, which shows standard strategy for using rooks: Maneuver them to the 7th file, and start gobbling up
pawns and or kings.



 abcdefgh
 8  8 
 7  7 
 6  6 
 5  5 
 4  4 
 3  3 
 2  2 
 1  1 
 abcdefgh


In the following positions we see one of the key weaknesses of the bishop, it is confined to only 1 color. Should there be
friendly pawns on that color, it can be rendered virtually useless. While black may not be able to force a win in the following
diagram, it shows how a knight can completely dominate a bishop when the conditions are right. Notice that the bishop
has 2 things going bad for it (#1 the position is completely closed (Bad for bishops) and #2 it is on the same color
as it's own pawns, and NOT outside of the pawn chain. (Even when a bishop is "outside" of the pawn chain, it is
still usually not a very strong piece (with some very strong exceptions.)


 abcdefgh
 8  8 
 7  7 
 6  6 
 5  5 
 4  4 
 3  3 
 2  2 
 1  1 
 abcdefgh


Knights are also the best piece for blockading pawns. The knight can prevent the advance of a pawn, while losing
none of its effectiveness. It can blockade a pawn, discourage the enemy from moving to several squares, jump away
from the pawn momentarily, and STILL control the square in front of the pawn. This is why blockading a pawn
that wishes to advance with a knight is much better than doing it with a rook, queen, bishop, etc.

Bishop


The bishop loves long open diagonals, open boards, lots of pawn trades. The following diagram is a text-book example of how the long-range nature of a bishop allows it to dominate a knight. Here the bishop corrals the knight, protects its own pawn, and prevents the enemy pawn from queening. Due to the long-range nature of the bishop, it can be beneficial to have a bishop in a race by both sides to queen pawns on the opposite side of the board, as the bishop can support it's own pawns and defend at the same time. "Coralling" Is the situation when a bishop restricts every single square a knight can move to.
This usually leads to a win of the coralled piece. Note that a knight can also "corral" a bishop, tho it is
fairly rare.



 abcdefgh
 8  8 
 7  7 
 6  6 
 5  5 
 4  4 
 3  3 
 2  2 
 1  1 
 abcdefgh


The 2 bishops


One huge deterrent to trading a bishop for a knight is fear that the enemy will be able to use "The 2 bishops" a deadly weapon. 2 bishops can dominate side by side diagonals, threaten an amazing amount of squares, and work together in coordination to win pawns or complexes of squares. The following diagram is a nasty example of how having 'the 2 bishops' can be extremely deadly, ESPECIALLY if the opponent only has 2 knights. Note that 'the 2 bishops' are almost completely useless in a closed position. While it may not look like a win for white in the following diagram, black will be under extreme pressure as he tries to defend his pawns against white's enemy bishops, and will constantly be under the threat of a bishop for knight trade leading to a win of a pawn. White will of course bring his king up to aid in the attack.



 abcdefgh
 8  8 
 7  7 
 6  6 
 5  5 
 4  4 
 3  3 
 2  2 
 1  1 
 abcdefgh




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