It’s a known fact in chess that the knight and the bishop are worth roughly the same. According to one measurement scale – these pieces worth 3 pawns individually. However, it can’t be that simple, can’t it? After all, the knight and the bishop move in very different ways. Are there any benefits to picking one over the other in certain scenarios? Read the article and find out.
Moving the knights and bishops
The bishop moves diagonally in all directions. And it can move all across the board – but it can’t jump over other pieces. The knight has a limited movement pattern. It moves two squares in one direction, then one square in the other. One of the most important things about the knight is that it can jump over other pieces. And this goes regardless if the piece is yours or your opponent’s.
Locked board vs. open board
As midgame progresses – you will begin to see a pattern. One of the most important distinctions here is that of the locked board vs. the open board. The way to see which is which is by analyzing the centre of the chess board. The pawns play a vitally important role here. If there are “open holes” in the middle of the board, it means that the board is open. And if your pawns and your opponent’s pawns are locked in the centre – so that none of the could move – it’s a locked board.
So, how does this relate to our knights and bishops? Well, if it’s an open board, then you should opt for bishops. Their ability to slice through the board will sure come in handy here. This is given the fact that there is an open board and you can move these pieces. Remember – the bishops can’t jump over other pieces.
But the knights can be used in a very powerful way if the centre is blocked. And why is this the case? Well, because of the knights strongest power – that of jumping over other pieces. This will cause havoc and terror in your opponent’s lines. The knight can jump through the locked centre structures and take undefended pawns easily.
So, this should give you enough information about which piece to use when. As you see, there are many differences between the bishop and knight. And this is regardless of the fact that, in isolation, they both are worth approximately three pawns each.