[FEN "r1bqkb1r/p4ppp/2p2n2/3p4/8/2N5/PPP1BPPP/R1BQK2R b KQkq - 1 9"]

Be7 protects knight from getting pinned, Bc5 pins the pawn on f2 after Whites, castles, and Bb4 pins the knight.

Whats logic behind Bd6? (It also can't be a battery in future via Qc7 because of 1... Kh1 2. Bxh2 g3, and the bishop will be trapped.)

5 Answers 5


Part of the problem with Bc5 is that they can respond with Na4, which threatens the bishop and grabs the tempo. Be7 isn't great because its range is inhibited by the knight and it impedes the kingside rook's power on the e file after you castle. Bd6 is nice because it is protected by the pawns, the bishop can be retreated to b8 or c7 while still controlling either of the second longest diagonals. I'm a 1500 rated player, so take that into account.

  • 2
    Your moves don't make sense. The bishop can't move to c6, nor can the king play to a4. Do you mean Bc5 & Na4?
    – Herb
    Jul 8, 2020 at 21:02
  • Sorry. Not good with the notation. Jul 8, 2020 at 23:49
  • After ...Bc5 Na4 Bd6 you have the same position than after ....Bd6 but with a knight on a4 doing nothing.
    – David
    Jul 9, 2020 at 6:37
  • 3
    The knight is actually better on a4 than on c3. From a4, it threatens to go to a good post at c5 when it can be protected, and white can play c4 if they're later in a good position to play against a passed but isolated queen pawn. Also, Na4 is unlikely right away; rather it will be delayed until the tempo is most useful. Jul 9, 2020 at 6:43

Bd6 is the most active square. No, there's not an immediate threat but it does attack h2 which could turn into something later.

Be7 is too passive. It's not smart to "protect against pins" that haven't even happened yet. There's lots of unpin combinations that actually lead to the pinning side being worse. Also, white can't really capitalize on a pin since the knight can't come to e4 or d5. Lastly, the bishop on e7 blocks the open e-file which could turn into a strong attack if white doesn't castle quickly.

Bc5 isn't that bad but after white castles the bishop isn't doing much.

Bb4 doesn't do much either. Normally you would play Bb4 to control the e4 square but white isn't threatening anything there. You could double the c-pawns but that doesn't really do anything. White will just play c4 at some point and end up with a slightly better position because of the 2 bishops.


Bd6 has two big advantages that haven't been mentioned. The first is that it protects the b8 square for your rook. Your rook naturally belongs on the half-open file, and White really wants to play Bf4 to keep you from doing that. (You can put your bishop on d6 later if that happens, but you've wasted a tempo and exchanging bishops makes it easier for the white knight to establish itself at c5.) The second is that, later in the game, e5 will likely be a very powerful square for the bishop. (Or sooner, if White tries Bg5.)

  • 1
    As a ELO ~2100 player, I find this explanation ought to be the accepted answer.
    – olpa
    Jul 9, 2020 at 15:54

e7 is a very passive square for the bishop. Since White is expected to castle on the kingside, there is no reason not to prefer ...Bd6 over ...Be7. The pin on the f6 knight is not too much of a problem precisely because a ..Bc7, ..Qd6 continuation is always on the table.

...Bb4 has a similar problem as ...Be7 because after 0-0 the bishop is doing nothing on b4 (exchanging it for the knight would not be a great idea)

This leaves us with the options ...Bd6 and ...Bc5. I don't have a clear idea of which one is better but ...Bd6 seems more natural to me for an attack on h2. I guess ...Bd6 allows Black to push the central pawns if needed, but leaving them on c6 and d5 is probably best. I don't think the pin on the f2 pawn is that relevant as White will probably never try to play f4 in this position. Anyway I wouldn't say ...Bc5 is an inferior move.

  • I was thinking about pinning f2 pawn because in a book consisting of kingside attacks a lot of them included pinning of that pawn and it worked like wonders at the right moment but as one of the answers mentioned Na4 would be a disaster for that move its not valid in this case Jul 9, 2020 at 4:19
  • 1
    @ShreyashTalpade Na4 wouldn't be a disaster. You could just retreat your bishop to d6 and go on with the alternative plan, but with White's knight doing nothing on a4. Sure there are some tactics related to the pinned f2 pawn (more so if you force your opponent to play h3 at some point). But there's definitely a lot of tactics too related to the attack on h2!
    – David
    Jul 9, 2020 at 6:35
  1. when the pawns are on c6 and d5 that means that your dark bishop is your best bishop
  2. after c6 and d5 the dark square around them are weak and the bishop takes control of those square.
  3. the bishop on e7 is not controling alot of square on c5 and b4 it can get kicked around with a3 b4 or Na4. I am 2100 take that into account.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.