Of all of the chess pieces, the bishop may be the most intriguing for some people. The reason for this is that the bishop only moves diagonally, and it can be used in different ways to attack and defend at the same time. As such, the bishop is a very important piece of your chess game and should never be underestimated.
So, at the beginning of the game, the bishop is located next to the knights, towards the centre of the board. It’s worth relative to pawns is 1:3, meaning that the bishop has a worth of three pawns – much like the knight. The bishop, as mentioned, moves only diagonally.
Right at the outset, as soon as you open up the room to move your bishops, you will want to push them to attack the middle of the board. The reason for this is simple – the middle of the board is arguably the most important part, especially in the early game – and the control over it may bring you the game.
The Double Fianchetto
The bishops can also be used for one of the very popular opening games – double fianchetto. To execute this opening, you will have to move your knight pawns one square upwards, and then take their place with the bishops. The bishops are then set in a great position to attack the middle of the board and the far sides of your opponent’s base. Again – this is a very popular opening style among some of the best chess players in the world.
The bishop is very good for pins and skewers. If you remember, the pin happens when you attack a less powerful piece of your opponent, but if your opponent moves the piece then he or she will open the line for your attack to a much more powerful piece. So, your opponent will have to defend the attacked piece or to move the more powerful piece out of the way. The skewer, on the other hand, is the opposite – you attack a powerful piece, and if your opponent pulls back that piece you will be able to capture a weaker piece. The ability of the bishops to move diagonally makes them perfect for this purpose.
Use the Bishop with the king
A not so easy thing to learn is how to mate your opponent’s king by using only your king and two bishops. It’s a lot easier to mate with a rook or queen – but in some games, it may happen that you’re only left with two bishops and your king. In this case, you will have to learn how to use the three pieces in synergy so as to be able to corner your opponent’s king and mate him. It may take a while before you understand just how you can do this – but if you persist and dedicate some effort into it, then you will find out that this too is not that difficult to learn.
So, make sure that you invest a lot of time in learning more about the bishop – as this is indeed one often underutilized piece with huge potential to win you the game.