Continuing our series of strategical elements, we are now going to discuss those positions in which we must choose between keeping a bishop or a knight on the board. There is no established rule that can tell us that a bishop is better than a knight or vice versa. It all depends on the characteristics of each position and the functions that each of these pieces can develop. However, there are a few concepts that can help us identify when one minor piece is superior to the other.
Another important element of the chess strategy is the presence of opposite color bishops on the board. Inexperienced players tend to think that every position with opposite color bishops is drawish. This common stereotype very often leads them to make small positional mistakes.
For example, simplifying the game to enter into an opposite color bishops middlegame/endgame without taking in consideration other important factors. In this article, we are going to show the main ideas to keep in mind when playing this type of positions.
In modern chess, the bishop pair has been established as a positional advantage in the majority of cases. It’s very common nowadays to hear teachers tell their students ‘keep your bishops’ or ‘capture that bishop’. In today’s chess, the importance given to this element has increased to the point that in some of the most popular opening variations, the main goal has become gaining the bishop pair.
According to Wikipedia, chess strategy is concerned with the evaluation of chess positions and setting up goals and long-term plans for future play (Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia). Most chess players understand perfectly well that choosing the right strategy against a stronger or a similar-level opponent may decide the outcome of the game to their advantage. However, many chess players usually underestimate the importance of developing the right strategy against a weaker opponent. Only a computer program plays the same way against all the opponents. Humans, on the other hand, have the advantage of employing different strategies based on the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses to achieve the best possible results. Knowing what chess strategy to follow against opponents of different strengths is a key factor for success at chess.
Everyone wants to learn about chess strategy. Players believe that if they learn more about this magic thing called “strategy” they’ll win every single game. But what chess strategy really is? Is it attack or defense, style of playing or evaluation of positions, set of rules, or tactics? No, my friend, I’m not trying to confuse you, just to show that chess strategy covers all of the above to some extent.
Wikipedia defines chess strategy as an evaluation of chess positions and setting up goals and long-term tactics for future play.