PDA

View Full Version : Which bishop better?



antichrist
17-01-2004, 04:02 PM
Generally speaking I favour my King's bishop due to helps in defense and is on same colour as opposing king (castled or otherwise) so can also attack the most important piece. Does this hold up?

chesslover
17-01-2004, 04:46 PM
Generally speaking I favour my King's bishop due to helps in defense and is on same colour as opposing king (castled or otherwise) so can also attack the most important piece. Does this hold up?

nope

Kevin Bonham
17-01-2004, 06:25 PM
Seems to be a trend towards valuing the dark-square bishop irrespective of your colour more often than not, perhaps on the basis that White is more likely to be attacking and the dark-square bishop is more useful in attacking a 0-0'd Black king than the light-square one (and in a lot of openings, but not all, is less obstructed by pawns). antichrist's comment about the B being on the same colour as the opposing king really only follows when playing a weak opponent who cannot defend threats on f7 or Greek Bishop style stuff on h7. Otherwise, look at the dark-square bishop's options - sac on h6, undermine fianchetto, help Q gang up on g7, pin Nf6 against Qd8, control long diagonal leading to opposing K-side etc.

Of course, I play the Winawer, so rules are meant to be broken. :P

Rincewind
17-01-2004, 07:40 PM
Generally speaking I favour my King's bishop due to helps in defense and is on same colour as opposing king (castled or otherwise) so can also attack the most important piece. Does this hold up?

OK, I'm assuming you are generally talking about keeping a bishop vs swapping it off for a knight.

Your preference may be due to the opening systems you employ. If you use fianchetto systems for example, your king's bishop is a highly prized defending piece and can also be a great offensive piece (like the KB in the Dragon/Yugoslav for example). Although it is not always offensive position w.r.t the opponent's king.

I'm not sure if the bishop controlling the square of the opponents king is a huge deal. The bishop rarely delivers mate itself and while annoying pins might be possible they can usually be sidestepped at the cost of a single tempo.
_________________

I would say the same is true of preserving the dark-squared bishop. In some systems this is important, in others less so. For example Nimzo players have few qualms in swapping of the KB for a knight. The same is true of white who play the mainline against the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn and gladly play Bxf6 to wreck black's kingside.

The goodness of badness of a bishop I would say is primarily determined by the structure present on the board and that is a direct result of the opening system you are employing. The value of keeping it vs swapping it off for a knight is also a factor of other compensation which is being gained in the exchange.

chesslover
18-01-2004, 10:45 AM
Your preference may be due to the opening systems you employ. If you use fianchetto systems for example, your king's bishop is a highly prized defending piece and can also be a great offensive piece (like the KB in the Dragon/Yugoslav for example). Although it is not always offensive position w.r.t the opponent's king.

I would say the same is true of preserving the dark-squared bishop. In some systems this is important, in others less so. For example Nimzo players have few qualms in swapping of the KB for a knight. The same is true of white who play the mainline against the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn and gladly play Bxf6 to wreck black's kingside.

The goodness of badness of a bishop I would say is primarily determined by the structure present on the board and that is a direct result of the opening system you are employing. The value of keeping it vs swapping it off for a knight is also a factor of other compensation which is being gained in the exchange.

I think you hit the nail on the head. The opneing that you play will determine to a large extent the desirability of the bishop, and what type. In closed games, a knight will be more prized

Kevin Bonham
18-01-2004, 07:38 PM
I didn't think antichrist was talking about bishop vs knight, I thought he was clearly talking about KB vs QB. A direct bishop swap is generally KB for QB hence the issue - however as I said above, I don't think that KB/QB is so much of an issue as square colour in particular openings.

Rincewind
18-01-2004, 09:41 PM
I didn't think antichrist was talking about bishop vs knight, I thought he was clearly talking about KB vs QB. A direct bishop swap is generally KB for QB hence the issue - however as I said above, I don't think that KB/QB is so much of an issue as square colour in particular openings.

Yes, he was talking about a preference of one bishop over another. I related that to a tendency to swap the LSB off for a knight and a reluctency to do that with the DSB. Perhaps I was mistaken, but I guess he'd prefer to swap off is LSB for his opponents DSB. Possible in positions where several pieces are simulateneously en prise but not always easy to arrange. ;)

Bill Gletsos
18-01-2004, 10:23 PM
I didn't think antichrist was talking about bishop vs knight, I thought he was clearly talking about KB vs QB. A direct bishop swap is generally KB for QB hence the issue - however as I said above, I don't think that KB/QB is so much of an issue as square colour in particular openings.
Given antichrists postings on religion I would have thought he would not favour any bishops irrespective of whether they were KB's or QB's. ;)

Garvinator
18-01-2004, 10:25 PM
I didn't think antichrist was talking about bishop vs knight, I thought he was clearly talking about KB vs QB. A direct bishop swap is generally KB for QB hence the issue - however as I said above, I don't think that KB/QB is so much of an issue as square colour in particular openings.
Given antichrists postings on religion I would have thought he would not favour any bishops irrespective of whether they were KB's or QB's. ;) :o :D :D :D :D :P :P

chesslover
18-01-2004, 11:01 PM
Given antichrists postings on religion I would have thought he would not favour any bishops irrespective of whether they were KB's or QB's. ;)

spot on...very witty observation

:D :D :D :D

Kevin Bonham
18-01-2004, 11:51 PM
Anyone here ever played against the sort of player who insists that knights are better than bishops and therefore aims to give up both their bishops for knights as soon as they possibly can?

They tend to be very weak players, but I've played one in the 1700s a few times, I just let him do his thing and then make sure he doesn't close the board up too much, and gradually outplay him from there.

JGB
19-01-2004, 12:03 AM
There are a few in my club here who insist that a knight is a better piece to have than the bishop regardless of position!? These players are not usually too strong and have a liking for the knight becuase it seems to fasinate most players in theirs first few years of chess beause it can move unlike any other pieces. It probably causes more suprises at the lower levels and is therefore favoured over a bishop?

James

antichrist
19-01-2004, 11:54 AM
Fred Flatow values his knights more that most players, even over bishops. When I was a lot younger I (arrogantly) thought I was one of the best players of the knights. I was only a social player but had many good wins over some highly rated players.

In a rated game one or two years ago at endgame I had two knights against two bishops, now that I have read more I feared the twin bishops in endgame. But my opponent was forced to exchange because I played them so well.

Thanks for comments to my question, pretty much as I thought.

Bill
In the past the religions have hated chess. The RCC barred it but some bishop kept it going, he loved it so much. How many times have I suggested that we recommend to this chess-loving Pope that Ruy Lopez be made the patron saint of chess. The prodos can't match this.

The Muslims also have banned it sometimes. My opinion is because it would interfere with their five prayer sessions per day, though other reasons were given. Also chess playing may lead to individualist thinking in other quarters, not good if you want to keep the masses ignorant and obedient.

antichrist
19-01-2004, 11:55 AM
Given antichrists postings on religion I would have thought he would not favour any bishops irrespective of whether they were KB's or QB's. ;)

spot on...very witty observation

:D :D :D :D

If one was good looking you never know!

chesslover
19-01-2004, 05:27 PM
Anyone here ever played against the sort of player who insists that knights are better than bishops and therefore aims to give up both their bishops for knights as soon as they possibly can?



I have actually met players who think the opposite - that the bishops are better than knights, and swap off their knights for bishops at the earliest chance they get.

In fact am not sure if it is true, but some books promote the idea that a bishop is worth 3.25 points to a knight's 3 point

antichrist
21-01-2004, 10:36 AM
I have actually met players who think the opposite - that the bishops are better than knights, and swap off their knights for bishops at the earliest chance they get.

In fact am not sure if it is true, but some books promote the idea that a bishop is worth 3.25 points to a knight's 3 point[/quote]

I have not read this. I consider good knight-playing a benchmark that one is suitable for chess. Another is the mating with a single rook and two rooks. If one can pick it up immediately then they have a chance.

Kevin Bonham
23-01-2004, 09:46 PM
I have actually met players who think the opposite - that the bishops are better than knights,

As a general rule they are, hence the expression "the minor exchange" and the general belief that loss of it without reason is best avoided. I'd expect that at least 90% of players rated above say 1600 would agree that under most non-endgame circumstances a bishop is to be preferred.


In fact am not sure if it is true, but some books promote the idea that a bishop is worth 3.25 points to a knight's 3 point

Excepting the endgame I would say that this both underestimates the value of both pieces and understimates the difference between knight and bishop - for the human player. To me the difference would normally be say 0.4 of a pawn. However these differences may reflect the ease for the human player of handling the pieces rather than objective reality.

Nimzo 7.32 uses some piece values that come out to (counting pawn as 1), knight 3.8, bishop 3.85, rook 6.2, queen 11.25. These were developed through some kind of testing method on which values enabled the package to perform at its best, I believe.

bobby1992
23-01-2004, 10:07 PM
is it not the black bishop the all powerful .pirc,grunfeld,kindian,how about "weak on the black squares",you very seldom see "weak on the white squares" then again there is bh7 and the f7 point.

Kevin Bonham
23-01-2004, 10:59 PM
I did a Google search on this - white/light square/d bishop/s vs black/dark square/d bishop/s (8 different combinations for each all up). I got 7% more references to the latter than the former (it was about 1920 to 1780), however the difference wasn't statistically significant. :( If you could prune out all the fairy chess references and other references not relevant to the power of the different bishops, I suspect you would find evidence that chessplayers the world over prefer a dark squared bishop. :D

antichrist
25-01-2004, 10:42 AM
The overriding consideration is who is losing or gaining tempo and position by exchanging. If the exchange does not take place I think that the better knight player will dominate the game?

arosar
28-01-2004, 09:46 AM
Is Chess the Devil's Game?

Well, chaps, we can rest easy. A Russian Orthodox archbishop has found the answer. For more, see here: http://www.inq7.net/spo/2004/jan/28/spo_9-1.htm

AR

Desmond
11-04-2007, 10:58 AM
Anyone here ever played against the sort of player who insists that knights are better than bishops and therefore aims to give up both their bishops for knights as soon as they possibly can? Ahem, how bout Duggan?

Seriously though, I think the King's Bishop is usually the more dangerous of the two.

Rincewind
11-04-2007, 05:16 PM
Ahem, how bout Duggan?

Seriously though, I think the King's Bishop is usually the more dangerous of the two.

To my mind it is a matter of horses for courses.

The answer depends on the opening adopted and primarily which squares the pawns end up on. I would think in the Possom, for example, and any opening where White plays with and e4, f3 style of opening, then the activity of the queen's bishop is generally better than that of the king's. In other openings like the queen's gambit and Nimzoindian the activity of the queen's bishop can become problematic for white.

To answer Kevin's question, yes there is player like that at my club and I'd guess that the same is true of most clubs.

Basil
11-04-2007, 05:18 PM
Question: What's a Queen's Bishop? There's no reference to it in any Tromp literature that I can discern. I did however find reference to c1 and canon fodder.

Rincewind
11-04-2007, 10:43 PM
I did however find reference to c1 and canon fodder.

Some say J. S. Bach was canon fodder. Although not a bishop, he probably did see one or two in his time as capelmeister.

Capablanca-Fan
11-04-2007, 11:46 PM
There are a few in my club here who insist that a knight is a better piece to have than the bishop regardless of position!? These players are not usually too strong and have a liking for the knight becuase it seems to fasinate most players in theirs first few years of chess beause it can move unlike any other pieces. It probably causes more suprises at the lower levels and is therefore favoured over a bishop?

I think it's the N's trickery that makes weaker players like and fear Ns. But the Bs, esp. with a pair of them, tend to be better in more situations. There are players were I come from as well who like to swap their Bs for their Ns without any doubling of pawns, and without any outposts or big lead in development. But they will lose if the player with the Bs can bide his time and open at the right moment, or gradually march forward.

Capablanca-Fan
11-04-2007, 11:50 PM
is it not the black bishop the all powerful .pirc,grunfeld,kindian,how about "weak on the black squares",you very seldom see "weak on the white squares" then again there is bh7 and the f7 point.

Well, in a Sveshnikov Sicilian gone wrong, Black can be severely weak on the light squares. And White can have serious light square weaknesses in the Marshall Attack.

Capablanca-Fan
12-04-2007, 01:16 AM
In a rated game one or two years ago at endgame I had two knights against two bishops, now that I have read more I feared the twin bishops in endgame.

For one thing, compare ease of checkmating with K + 2 minors v K.


In the past the religions have hated chess.

Any reference for this?


The RCC barred it but some bishop kept it going, he loved it so much.

Another ipse dixit. An encyclical would help, for example.


How many times have I suggested that we recommend to this chess-loving Pope that Ruy Lopez be made the patron saint of chess.

Ruy Lopez was a priest after all, with no suggestion that he was in danger of being defrocked. And Pope Leo XIII was quite a strong player — see this win (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1242887).


The prodos can't match this.

There were a number of reasonably strong chess-playing reverends in 19th century Britain, e.g. John Owen (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10365) and George Alcock MacDonnell (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10361)


The Muslims also have banned it sometimes.

This much is true, but Iran under Khomeini was not necessarily the norm, and now Nigel Short is coaching there. After all, the first real scholarship of chess, albeit the old form shatranj, was sponsored by the Caliphs of Baghdad, in the heart of the Islamic world. Under this patronage, Arab experts like al-Adli, al-Lajlaj and the best of them all, as-Suli, flourished and advanced theory greatly.


Also chess playing may lead to individualist thinking in other quarters, not good if you want to keep the masses ignorant and obedient.

The chess supremacy of the Soviet Union doesn't support your hypothesis.

Capablanca-Fan
12-04-2007, 05:00 PM
Given antichrists postings on religion I would have thought he would not favour any bishops irrespective of whether they were KB's or QB's. ;)
Many other languages have completely non-ecclesiastical terms for this piece, so maybe he is a native speaker of such a language :rolleyes:

Basil
12-04-2007, 06:00 PM
Many other languages have completely non-ecclesiastical terms for this piece, so maybe he is a native speaker of such a language :rolleyes:
Dribblish (which curiously I understand perfectly :uhoh:)

Capablanca-Fan
13-04-2007, 11:39 AM
They tend to be very weak players, but I've played one in the 1700s a few times, I just let him do his thing and then make sure he doesn't close the board up too much, and gradually outplay him from there.

Certainly the conventional wisdom in club play is that Bs like open games and Ns like closed ones. But in the opening, the side with a Ns often has a development advantage, so the best strategy is for THAT side to open the game! This best makes use of the tactical abilities of the N, and can force weakening pawn moves that create permanent central outposts. So the side with the Bs should seek to stabilize the position, catch up in development, then open up the game when ready, so the bishops can display their strength.

John Watson's excellent Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy made this important point. He astutely points out that opposition to "dogmatic" love of the bishop pair has itself become a dogma. E.g. the late GM Janos Flesch claimed that the bishop and knight have "precisely equal value", but this is a dogmatic claim about two pieces with completely different moves. It's also clear that the B-pair does constitute an advantage in very many cases including one case of Bs on adjacent diagonals dismissed by Niemzovich but which Kasparov or Kramnik would love to play.

Desmond
14-04-2007, 01:43 AM
Certainly the conventional wisdom in club play is that Bs like open games and Ns like closed ones. But in the opening, the side with a Ns often has a development advantage, so the best strategy is for THAT side to open the game! Ok, but isn't this more to do with the side with the lead in development wanting to open the position, rather that being a consideration of the relative worth of the minor pieces?

Would you agree that, in general, the knights are more valuable at the beginning of the game, and that as the game progesses, the bishops catch up and generally over take the knights.

Basil
14-04-2007, 01:46 AM
Which bishop is better?

The one that stays on the board

Capablanca-Fan
14-04-2007, 09:57 AM
Ok, but isn't this more to do with the side with the lead in development wanting to open the position, rather that being a consideration of the relative worth of the minor pieces?

No, according to Watson it wasn't just that. The conventional wisdom would have a conflict of aims: better development wants to open, knights want to close, so which is the more important consideration? Watson gives a number of arguments where the knights really want to open the game where their abilities can be put to use.

[Event "m/16"]
[Site "Sevilla 44/21 (Karpov,A)"]
[Date "1987.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Kasparov Garry"]
[Black "Karpov Anatoli"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "82"]

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Bb4
5.Bg2 O-O 6.O-O Re8 7.d3 Bxc3 8.bxc3 e4
9.Nd4 h6 10.dxe4 Nxe4 11.Qc2 d5 12.cxd5 Qxd5
13.e3 Na5 14.f3 Nd6 15.e4 Qc5 16.Be3 Ndc4
17.Bf2 Qe7 18.Rad1 Bd7 19.f4 Rad8 20.e5 Bg4
21.Nf5 Qe6 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.Nd4 Qc8 24.f5 c5
25.Qe4 cxd4 26.Qxg4 Nxe5 27.Qe2 Nec6 28.cxd4 Nxd4
29.Bxd4 Rxd4 30.f6 Qe6 31.Qb2 Qe3+ 32.Kh1 b6
33.fxg7 Nc4 34.Qc2 Kxg7 35.Bd5 Nd6 36.Qb2 Qe5
37.Bb3 a5 38.Qf2 f5 39.Qb2 b5 40.a3 Kg6
41.Qf2 0-1

Notes:

11...d5! Previously Black had tried to play more slowly against the doubled pawns and blockade on c5, but that allowed the Bs and the mobile e and f pawns to roll.

13... Na5?! Even better was ... Nxd4 14.cxd4 c6, even though it straightens W's Ps, because it limits White Bg2 and maintains control of the centre. E.g. 15.Bb2 Bf5 16f3?! Nxg3 17.e3 Nxe4 18.fxe4 Bxe4 with a powerful attack.


Would you agree that, in general, the knights are more valuable at the beginning of the game, and that as the game progesses, the bishops catch up and generally over take the knights.

Something like that. I might not use the word "value" because that would also incorporate long-term potential, so I would say Bs are generally more valuable in the opening as well. The Ns often have a number of uses earlier in the game with their tactical abilities and flexibility before the Bs are ready.

CameronD
15-04-2007, 12:36 PM
it really depends on the opening. The London/tromposky can develop the bishop first, and in the exchange caro-kann it can be more important for white to develop the bishop before knight to control key diagonals before black.

Capablanca-Fan
15-04-2007, 03:03 PM
it really depends on the opening. The London/tromposky can develop the bishop first, and in the exchange caro-kann it can be more important for white to develop the bishop before knight to control key diagonals before black.
Yeah, "knights before bishops" is a bit simplistic. A better rule is often "first develop the pieces where you know their destinations, and only then develop the others." IIRC Steinitz explained to a pupil that this was the principle, and "knights before bishops" was a corollary of this in the openings of the time. Probably more openings develop one wing first before bringing out the other.