As a chess player, one of the most important things that you need to understand is how to make the best possible use of the various chess pieces at your disposal. It is one thing to know how a particular piece moves and quite another to master how to make perfect use of it.
The idea behind this particular post is to help you learn the most effective usage of the pieces you have on your chess boards. Novice players and people who are completely new to the game may often make such mistakes where they make the knight do the job of a bishop and end up compromising their effectiveness on a chess board.
Of course, these things will inevitably happen and rookies will surely take time to get this aspect of the game right. But the quicker you are able to learn these things, the better it will be for you and your development as a chess player of note will take less time as well.
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Such is the volume and quality of resources made available by them that you will surely end up learning a fair bit and pick up many things that will make you a significantly better chess player. So, whenever you can spare some time, do not hesitate to dive into the Staunton Chess Company’s resources and learn what you can about this beautiful game that we all love.
They have lots of great sources of information which will help you understand how to make the best possible use of the chess pieces on your chess tables. The important thing is to learn at a pace that is comfortable for you, even if it might seem slow to others. Adopt an approach that works for you and there will surely be a big improvement in your gameplay over the long term.
Things to Know About the Bishop Pair
The bishop pair is considered one of the biggest positional advantages in modern chess. You will hear many modern chess instructors and coaches telling the players under their tutelage that they should
always focus on keeping their bishops while doing everything possible to capture the opponent’s bishops.
In fact, the importance of the bishops has grown to such an extent in today’s game that most players adopt opening approaches that are designed solely to take the opponent’s bishops out of the equation and gain a major advantage on the chess table (whether wooden chess tables or any other type).
The Slave defence, one of the most popular opening moves today, is a perfect example of this where White tries to take out Black’s bishop on the light square. This can then enable White to play the middle and ending portion of the game with two bishops and utilise the significant positional advantage.
Having the bishop pair intact for longer periods of the game is a very powerful advantage. It can be especially deadly when attacking the king or trying to make the most of your opponent’s weaknesses. They can be great working in tandem where one bishop can put the target under pressure while the other can engage the piece that is there to defend the king.
Irrespective of the kind of chess sets you are using, it is the final phase of a game where the bishop pair really asserts itself on the board. There are, however, ways to deal with the bishop pair.
What to Do When Playing the Bishop Pair
If you happen to find yourself in the following situations with a bishop pair bearing down on your pieces, then take the following steps.
Ø When taking on the bishop pair with a knight and a bishop of your own, position the pawns on the same coloured squares as the opponent’s bishops. This will significantly decrease the mobility of the bishops and reduce the positional advantage that they normally have in such scenarios.
Ø When playing against the bishop pair during the endgame, you might find it somewhat hard to get your king to the centre. In such cases, make use of the pawns again to decrease the bishops’ mobility by cutting off attacking angles.
Ø Remember that once you have the bigger advantage in a game, you can trade a bishop to create a straightforward winning endgame.
Ø If your opponent has got both rooks on the board, then it can be a good ploy to trade a rook with the aim of decreasing the defensive resources that your opponent has at their disposal. In fact, the combination of two bishops and a rook is a very effective band that can work well in any game situation and leave your opponent teetering on the brink.
Ø Try to make a passed pawn when you are using the bishop pair in the endgame. This will help you take control of almost the entire board and tighten the noose around your opponent’s neck.
Simply put, having the bishop pair for as long as possible during a game can enhance your chances of landing the knockout punch (or is it the checkmate punch?) and picking up an impressive win.
With your bishops marauding around the board, the opponent will always be under pressure and racing against the chess clocks most of the time. There are effective counter-strategies in place too but if you are good at using your bishop pair and know how to make the positional advantage count, then you are almost always likely to have the upper hand in any game.
At the end of the day, chess is all about anticipating your opponent’s moves better than they are able to read your game. Of course, you need to be very good and strategic thinkers. But, victory doesn’t always belong to the smartest player. It is the player who is able to read their opponent’s moves better and then counters them with simple manoeuvres who comes out on top.