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33

Yes, mate can be forced in 33 moves from nearly any position, according to Wikipedia. See the standard "w" maneuver cited in that article.


23

Actually, the bishop and knight mate is not as slippery as it appears. I have checked this on a tablebase program I wrote. On a 10x10 board, the side with the bishop and knight (say white) can force mate in at most 47 moves. White can even force mate on a 16x16 board, in at most 93 moves. I believe mate can be forced on an arbitrarily large even size ...


23

It is a fairly short and simple explanation: They can combine to attack any square, not just squares on one color. As part of that they can also shift the attack better from one square to another.


22

Yes it is possible to force mate. There's a phenomenal video explaining the process on chessvideos.tv. If you want to practice the endgame, you can do so on the same site as well.


21

I always like to explain this in a visual way. Basic Idea: Keep the bishops together. They form a large net (restricted area) from which the opponent king cannot escape. Step 1: Push Opponent's King To Edge Rank or File Keeping the bishops together and using the king for support, make the restricted area smaller to push the opponent's king back to an ...


20

it's a bishop for knight in my favor So what? You will have moved the knight 3 times to your opponent's bishop 1 move and you will have improved your opponent's position by opening the f file for him. So, not in your favour after all. the bishop makes my position slightly vulnerable because of the pin on the queen No, it doesn't. If it ever becomes a ...


20

In the diagrammed position you have a material advantage but Black's position is a little bit better because his rooks are connected and he has a safer king position. His immediate threat is RxR, when you have to retake with the king followed by Qg1+ and after you move Kd2 he will play Bb6 and the pressure around your king will become intense. You are paying ...


17

Fianchettoes are a very common and strong setup. But watch also for the 2 most common attacks against a fianchettoed position, which are: A. Launching the rook pawn up the board (against Black this would be h4-h5 etc.) and opening up the h-file. I have played this many times against the Pirc where Black "castles into" the attack. White plays h4-h5 followed ...


17

When evaluating a bishop, there are two totally separate things that must be considered. The first is whether a bishop is "good" or "bad". These are very much misnomers because they have nothing to do with the worth of the bishop. The second consideration is whether the bishop is "active" or "inactive". Finally, there may be mitigating factors as well (...


16

One of the ways I teach kids how knights move is to put the queen and the knight on the same square. The knight can go to the nearest squares that the queen can't go to. It is this unique complimentary nature of the two pieces which means that they form such a potent combination. With queen plus any other piece this is missing and there is a duplication of ...


15

John Watson's "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy" contains a section titled "Folklore or Reality? Queens and Knights" John lists some folks that say Queen and Knight are better Capablanca Shirov Silman And refers to Steve Meyer's book "Bishop vs Knights" which also says the Queen + Knight is better. I am currently playing through "Karpov move by move" ...


14

I believe Brian Towers and user58697 are correct, and the author wrote/meant pen instead of pin. The dictionary tells it's a small enclosure for animals, or an abbreviation for penitentiary, which seems more appropriate. Still, it's the first time I encounter this word in a chess setting, so it's not common and the confusion is understandable. While @...


14

Brian Towers' answer is excellent. I'll just add this: if you play Rxe8, you are effectively trading your e1-rook for your opponent's a8-rook. A glance at the position should show that your e1-rook is a lot more valuable than your opponent's a8-rook. It is currently already developed and participating in the game, while the a8-rook (like your a1-rook) is ...


12

Let's start with the 7x7 question: Is there a forced win on a 7x7 board, with a bishop of the 'wrong' colour? This seems to be the easier of the two questions to answer. First, convince yourself that this is the only mating pattern (the black king could also be on the dark square immediately to its left): The key point is that it is not possible for ...


12

You need to understand that the point system is only a rough guideline meant to assist you in evaluating positions or in deciding on potential exchanges. Many factors, particularly the pawn structure, influences how valuable pieces are. Rooks tend to be better in open positions with fewer pieces/pawns on the board, bishops can get hindered in closed ...


12

The line usually quoted is 4.Bd3 Bxd3 5.Qxd3 Qa5+ 6. Bd2 Qa6! If White now exchanges Queens or allows the Queens to be exchanged he already has a poor endgame structure with a bad dark-square Bishop. Otherwise he will have difficulty Castling. Certainly White is not lost, but he has given away his first-move advantage. [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 ...


11

Well, just when I was writing the question up, I finally found the answer -- no -- so I am answering my own question. Way down at the bottom of this web page, it gives the Yiddish name for the bishop (once transcribed from the Hebrew alphabet) as "der Loyfer," which is like the German name "der Läufer." So, assuming this is a reliable source (and it's ...


11

What you defined is an "inactive bishop". An inactive bishop can be a bad bishop, but they are technically two different situations. A "bad bishop" is a bishop that is on the same color as it's own center pawns. An "inactive bishop" is one that is blocked by it's own pawns.


11

The black king, will occupy e8 and g8 (before and after castling, respectively), both of which are white squares. Also, the weakest point on the black kingside is f7, again a white square. Because of this, if you are trying to attack the king, the white bishop can often be more valuable. Perhaps someone else can add some more deeper reasons, but this ...


11

The rule of thumb is that the stronger side (the side trying to win) should put the pawns on the opposite color of his or her bishop (so that they don't get in the way), and the weaker side should put pawns on the same color as their bishop in order to defend them an extra time (defended with the bishop and the king, the opponent can never win a pawn). ...


10

Yes, it can be done. The standard position is to force the enemy king into a corner of the same color as the bishop. Then there are four squares (the corner, the diagonal, and two lateral) squares that need to be attacked. The bishop attacks the corner and diagonal squares, the king guards one of the lateral squares, and the knight the other one. [FEN "8/...


10

Tactics. Trading dark-squared bishops is useful in the long run, but a4-Ba3 is a bit too slow to exchange the Bf8 that hasn't moved yet; Also you weakened the dark square b4 in the process. Black can take advantage of the misplaced Ra3 to attack the weak pawn on d4. After 12...Bxa3 13.Rxa3 Qe7! {eyeing both a3 and h4}, any rook retreat or protection would ...


10

First, the good: You are probably winning this throughout the game, and thus, improving your position gradually was the perfect plan. It also was one of the best examples of Shereshevsky's "Do Not Hurry" principle that I have ever seen. Black could do nothing, so gradually improving, and eventually converting, was perfect since you had all the time in the ...


10

But I have never seen 4. Bd3 played in titled games. The reason could be that Black gets a superior version of the French Defense. In the French, Black blocks the natural diagonal of the c8-bishop and then struggles to solve this issue. They lose a lot of tempi to exchange the bad c8-bishop via b6, and Ba6. Here Black immediately trades the light-squared ...


9

1. Bishop -vs- Knight The pawn structure decides. If the bishop side has pawns on opposite colors to the bishop => the opponent has pawns on the same color as bishop => bishop can attack the enemy pawn base => bishop is better. Still, the bishop side should not have too many weak pawns, so that the king can do the protection job properly. The knight is ...


9

If given the choice should I opt for an endgame with a single Bishop or a single Knight? In order to properly answer this question I must point out differences between bishop and knight: Bishop is a faster piece and has a longer range of fire, but can cover only half of the board. Knight on the other hand, is a slow and clumsy piece but covers squares of ...


9

Danish Gambit is a possibility. There is no free lunch, no strong players will allow you develop your bishops like what your described without any compensation. You will need to gambit two pawns for this line. From wikipedia


9

Something which might help here is Chess Query Language. Just like SQL does for relational databases, CQL can search in a database of chess games for positions/games which match certain criteria. I must say I have never used it myself, but it seems to be capable of amazing things, far more complex than what you're looking for. Here is an old article showing ...


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