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Arrogant-One
10-06-2006, 04:14 PM
This question has plagued chess since the days before time. Vote in my poll above.

Desmond
10-06-2006, 04:18 PM
Are bishops always better than knights? No. But they are better more often than not IMO.

Arrogant-One
10-06-2006, 04:20 PM
Are bishops always better than knights? No. But they are better more often than not IMO.

No, no, no - you don't understand Boris. The question is not 'Are 2 Bishops better than 2 Knights?'. Rather the question is more generalised than that.

Think horizontally!

Desmond
10-06-2006, 04:23 PM
No, no, no - you don't understand Boris. The question is not 'Are 2 Bishops better than 2 Knights?'. Rather the question is more generalised than that.

Think horizontally!

Oh but I do understand, and where did I mention 2 knights vs 2 bishops?

Arrogant-One
10-06-2006, 04:25 PM
Oh but I do understand, and where did I mention 2 knights vs 2 bishops?

Thats more like it Boris !!!!

Now you're thinking horizontally!

Desmond
10-06-2006, 04:27 PM
Thats more like it Boris !!!!

Now you're thinking horizontally!

Perhaps the horizontal answer would be the rook ;)

Arrogant-One
10-06-2006, 04:30 PM
Perhaps the horizontal answer would be the rook ;)

Yes, but now we're not 'generalising' anymore Boris. In order to answer this question sufficiently we need to

a.) think horizontally; and
b.) keep our answer 'generalised'.

;)

Desmond
10-06-2006, 04:37 PM
Yes, but now we're not 'generalising' anymore Boris. In order to answer this question sufficiently we need to

a.) think horizontally; and
b.) keep our answer 'generalised'.

;)

Are you suggesting I type while laying down? How could you tell anyway? :hmm:

BTW, you asked the question and I shall answer any way I choose.

antichrist
10-06-2006, 05:45 PM
Knights are more for the thinking and combination player. Also for the very long term strategy. That is to block up the board but leave one escape route for the knight to hike around the whole board maybe and attack a weakness that was created much earlier.

tritty
10-06-2006, 06:05 PM
Knights are more for the thinking and combination player. Also for the very long term strategy. That is to block up the board but leave one escape route for the knight to hike around the whole board maybe and attack a weakness that was created much earlier.


Curious as to where the Bishop fits in at all then.....

antichrist
10-06-2006, 06:24 PM
Curious as to where the Bishop fits in at all then.....

Try the nunnery.

My strategy mentioned above is when I first played and did not know muuch, but to an extent it worked. Against weak players anyway. It probably can be shot down easily enough but if it works than use it.

Denis_Jessop
10-06-2006, 08:05 PM
Try the nunnery.

<snip>

If the thread is going in this direction, the answer to the original question is "no, because knights are gentlemen while bishops are often associated with a nave".

DJ

Kevin Bonham
12-06-2006, 12:11 AM
I'm rather amused by the way some club players, frequently those of Serbian or other Yugoslav-area ethnicity, willingly surrender their bishops for knights as a matter of course. I had one such game where one gave up both bishops for knights inside the first 15 or so moves and I just exchanged stuff off and spent the rest of the game happily kicking his knights around with my bishops until he finally succumbed.

Pharoah
13-06-2006, 02:38 AM
I think Knights are better. Bishops must stay on the same colour as they begin on, therefore not being able to check the enemy King on a dif. colour.

They can really only be used to cover a flee space for the enemy King.

Arrogant-One
13-06-2006, 03:51 PM
I think Knights are better. Bishops must stay on the same colour as they begin on, therefore not being able to check the enemy King on a dif. colour.

They can really only be used to cover a flee space for the enemy King.

I think Knights tend to be better as well. In one game I played in North Bay I had an endgame where I ended up with two Knights versus my Opponent two Bishops. It was scarey and I had to fight hard for the draw.

So perhaps only if the position is closed by pawns will the Knights be better.

Pharoah
13-06-2006, 10:35 PM
What do open and closed games mean? I can't find anywhere in the books I have that talks about it.

Bereaved
14-06-2006, 01:40 AM
Hello Pharoah, and everyone else involved in the discussion,

Firstly, Closed games are usually defined as positions where the majority of pawns remain on the board in some form of fixed arrangement, and there are few lines for the line pieces, ie Queens, Rooks and Bishops to display much activity. Hence in such positions the knights are often more able to find more useful things to do, and so are valued more.

Secondly, open games are those where some or all of the central pawns have vanished early in the game and the number of lines available to the line pieces is more plentiful than the number of support points that a fixed structure of a closed position offers to knights, which have a great liking for such support points.

Another viewpoint is that all games that start as 1.e4 and are of the family of openings that occur distinctly with that move, are to be considered as open games. By contrast all games that start with 1.d4, or in some terminologies any non 1.e4 game, are termed closed. Generally, these seem to be games where the structure of the middle pawns is less likely to bring about the rapid exchange of them, one for the other. By this I mean that to achieve a later d2-d4/d7-d5 is much easier with a queen at the base of that file to support the move , than achieveing a later e2-e4/e7-e5 with the king at the base of the file. Hence, when a game starts with 1.d4 d5, then the achieving of e2-e4 may be put off in favour of ideas involving c2-c4/ c7-c5, a large group of these is the Queen's Gambit family of openings, the most typical start of which is 1.d4 d5 2.c4. Hope that this is of some help.

As a wide digression, something about this discussion reminded me of the following passage of text. It is from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, and is the fifth book in his Chronicles of Narnia Series.


We pick up the action in Chapter Five, paragraph 3:
She ( Lucy ) spent a good deal of time sitting on thre bench in the stern playing chess with Reepicheep. It was amusing to see him lifting the pieces, which were too big for him, with both paws and standing on tiptoe if he made a move near the centre of the board. He was a good player and when he remembered what he was doing he usually won. But every now and then Lucy won because the Mouse did something quite ridiculous like sending a knight into the danger of a queen and castle combined. This happened because he had momentarily forgotten that it was a game of chess and was thinking of a real battle and making the knight do what he would certainly have done in its place. For his mind was full of forlorn hopes, death or glory charges, and last stands.

Anyway, don't quite remember why this was relevant, probably more to do with a different manner of perception of the ways that pieces work or something like that.

Take care and God Bless, Macavity

qpawn
14-06-2006, 01:39 PM
What Macavity said there about open and closed games was excellent. Another way of describing it is that after 1.e4 white has put an exposed pawn in the centre whereas 1.d4 puts a protected pawn in the centre.

To my knowledge the terminology of "open games" and "closed games" was coined by Emanuel Lasker who was of course world champion in the late 19th/earlly 20th century. There is another term he used: "half open" games such as the French defence. I guess that another layer of "open" and "closed" games is that certain openings can have this dichotomy. For instance there is the open siciliian and the closed sicillian, or the open catalan and the closed catalan.

The hypermodern school of chess that began in the 1920s with Nimzowitsch, Breyer etc, was basically a development of the closed game. The theory of the open game had been well understood by Morphy etc. But up till the 1920s only Steinitz had come to any understanding of the closed game and how to play it. He gave a classical treatment to it such as the queenside pawn majority often beating the kingside majority in an endgame. But it was Nimzowitsch who developed the idea that in closed games there is much more time to put pieces on the potent squares. For instance in the Nimzo indian defence [ a defence that was known for decades vefore Nimzowitsch played but only really deveoped by him] black has time to strike at white's doubled queenside pawns. Ultimately, black would like to plonk his knight in the hole left by them. In an open game the number of hops around the board to achieve this end would be self-indulgent. But in a closed game the strategy of plonking your knight in the pawn weakness is a good plan. So we had the "hypermodern" idea that a "tempo" in chess, meaning a turn to move, isn't as important in a closed game. So plans in chess came to be accepted that were once considered silly. For instance the Breyer line of the Spanish game where black hops around with the knight to put it on a better square. Actually that is an interesting example because it follows 1.e4 e5 which is usually an open game. Perhaps it is a generalisation to some extent to say that 1.e4 e5 and 1.d4 d5 lead to open and closed games respectively.

A good book on all of the above and the history of open/closed and classical/modern/hypermodern chess ideas is "Chess" [I think that's the title. ] by the late British chess master C.H.O.D Alexander . One of his initials was a C for colonel.

D Dragicevic
14-06-2006, 04:02 PM
Well, it all depends on the position. Personally, I like bishops more than the knights, no specific reason. I guess when you have bishops on an open diagonal, you are looking good for some possible sacrifices, Bh7, Bh6, Bf7... Someone told me that they think that I don't play well with the knights so that would also show that I prefer the bishops and think they are better. But in general, it depends on the position.

Rincewind
14-06-2006, 04:14 PM
The few things which I'd like to add...

Bishops (especially in endgames) are good if you keep the pair. For example B+B v B+N or N+N, the bishop pair can be worth pawn. However, if the pair is broken as in a B+N v B+N ending swapping of a B for a N can work out to your advantage if it allows you to penetrate with your king on the opposite colour.

The other things is pawns on both sides of the board tends to favour the bishops too as it can take a few moves for knights to move across the board and if a knight is busy blockading a pawn on one side of the board, it exerts little influence on the other side. However bishops are long range pieces and don't suffer these problems.

Finally, knights are notoriously bad at stopping passed rook pawns due to their somewhat akward manouvering around the edge of the board. So this should be taken into account when considering piece exchanges.

Igor_Goldenberg
14-06-2006, 04:17 PM
Well, it all depends on the position. Personally, I like bishops more than the knights, no specific reason. I guess when you have bishops on an open diagonal, you are looking good for some possible sacrifices, Bh7, Bh6, Bf7... Someone told me that they think that I don't play well with the knights so that would also show that I prefer the bishops and think they are better. But in general, it depends on the position.

Next time we play I'll try to exchange bishops first (preferably for my knights!)

Igor_Goldenberg
14-06-2006, 04:24 PM
Short classification

1. Closed position - immobile pawn chains.
2. Open position - absence of pawns.
3. Semi open - mobile pawn chains.

More elaborated (but by no means better) classification:

1. Closed position - fixed pawn chains running in each other (like white c4, d5, e4 against c5,d6,e5).
2. Open position - relatively open centre with open lines for rooks and bishops.
3. Semi open - linked pawns on each side not blocking each others (e.g white b4,c3,d3,e4 against black b5, c6, d6, e5, often happening in Rui Lopez, etc.).

D Dragicevic
14-06-2006, 04:52 PM
Next time we play I'll try to exchange bishops first (preferably for my knights!)

Good luck with that

Arrogant-One
15-06-2006, 02:22 PM
Short classification

1. Closed position - immobile pawn chains.
2. Open position - absence of pawns.
3. Semi open - mobile pawn chains.

More elaborated (but by no means better) classification:

1. Closed position - fixed pawn chains running in each other (like white c4, d5, e4 against c5,d6,e5).
2. Open position - relatively open centre with open lines for rooks and bishops.
3. Semi open - linked pawns on each side not blocking each others (e.g white b4,c3,d3,e4 against black b5, c6, d6, e5, often happening in Rui Lopez, etc.).

Not bad Igor!

I take it you must have at least an 1800 ACF rating.

Mephistopheles
15-06-2006, 05:46 PM
Time controls are also a factor to be considered. In a 5 minute (or quicker) game, a knight is almost certainly more likely to cause one's opponent to pause and think about the possibilities more than a bishop. Move it somewhere on the 4th or 5th rank (even in an ending) and watch your opponent waste precious seconds ensuring that there is no knight fork in the offing.

Priceless.

Rincewind
15-06-2006, 05:52 PM
Time controls are also a factor to be considered. In a 5 minute (or quicker) game, a knight is almost certainly more likely to cause one's opponent to pause and think about the possibilities more than a bishop. Move it somewhere on the 4th or 5th rank (even in an ending) and watch your opponent waste precious seconds ensuring that there is no knight fork in the offing.

Hey, that is a good tip.

Denis_Jessop
15-06-2006, 10:59 PM
<snip>A good book on all of the above and the history of open/closed and classical/modern/hypermodern chess ideas is "Chess" [I think that's the title. ] by the late British chess master C.H.O.D Alexander . One of his initials was a C for colonel.

It must have been one of those you didn't quote. Alexander's full name was Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander. With a name like that he was obviously an Irishman though he settled in England while a boy. He held a senior Foreign Office post (a spook, I think) and was one of the chess players (with Milner-Barry and Golombek) used in code-breaking at Bletchley Park during the war. His book "Chess" was my favourite when I was at school (ie about 1950) because it was so clearly written. He later wrote an expanded version that may still be in print. He was an IM and a correspondence IM whose crowning achievement in some eyes was to beat Botvinnik in 41 moves in the Anglo-Soviet Radio Chess Match in 1947. He also beat Bronstein at Hastings in 120 moves in 1954.

DJ

antichrist
15-06-2006, 11:27 PM
Is this thread any better than "are pianos better than violins?" or "bangos are better than bagpipes" or "piano accordians better than mouth organs".

Desmond
16-06-2006, 09:04 AM
Is this thread any better than "are pianos better than violins?" or "bangos are better than bagpipes" or "piano accordians better than mouth organs".

Please refer to post # 2 :)