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Chess: The Bishop

October 29th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Fianchetto or Cappuccino? Decisions…Decisions…

Why not both? The fianchetto is a term used to describe a method of movement by the bishop in chess that positions it in front of the knight’s starting position, but you knew that of course.

So the next time you’re drinking your eight dollar cappuccino while playing someone on your four dollar chess set, feel free to name drop the term and hope they have no idea what you’re talking about since you don’t either. Never fear, I’ll cover all of that eventually. For now…

Chess Bishop
Bishop

The bishop can move diagonally as many spaces as it wants, though it cannot jump over pieces. In essence, it’s a rook, but can only move diagonally instead of horizontally and vertically. If you recall in this awesome ongoing lesson, the queen does all of these things all the while knighting Patrick Stewart.

Sure. Why not?

You get two bishops at the start and they start on opposite colors. This is important as bishops stay on their starting color due to their movement restrictions. You’ll encounter games where most of the pieces are often on one color, blocking your one bishop from doing anything and allowing free reign of the board for the other. In these instances the one being blocked I find a way to free and support other pieces of the same color and use the other that has free reign offensively. It takes a little finesse but after a few thousand games you’ll get the hang of it.

Cute Kitten Asleep In Food
Stagger your chess or end up like this.

Bishops are worth three points, plus or minus based on their current contribution and value on the board. People often ask me if knights (also worth three points) are stronger or weaker than bishops. As I’ve pointed out earlier, it all depends on the current situation. If you have a bishop running the show and nonchalantly take a knight that was sitting behind enemy lines collecting dust, then I’d have to say you lost the exchange.

Keep tuning in, we’re almost done with the pieces!

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