The unopposed bishop

One rather evident way of exploiting a bishop pair against a bishop and knight team is to utilise to the full what has been called 'the unopposed bishop', that is the bishop of the same colour complex as the one already exchanged. If, for example, White exchanges his knight for Black's light-squared bishop, then White's own light-squared bishop no longer has a direct opponent and its strength could actually increase due to this factor. This is exactly what happens in this first example below....

Fxe fxe

Covering both d4 and f4 in case of occupation by the black knight. 15 jLd7 16 0-0 0-0-0 17 c4 Eyeing the weak e5-pawn and threatening Bf7L White's opening has been a success he has inflicted structural weaknesses on his opponent, swapped off one of die bishop pair and left the other bishop without a good future all good, classic 'anti-bishop pair' strategy. Wells eventually manages to convert his obvious superiority I'll give the rest of the game without notes.

Taming the bishop pair

We've already talked about how powerful the bishop pair can be (together a centralised pair can control 26 squares on an open board only one less than the queen). However, on the flip side, more than any other piece the bishop needs its partner to display its full potential. This is simply because they control completely different squares and thus complement rather than reinforce each other in other words there's no wasted firepower. There are some recognised methods of trying to fight against...

Ussr

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 c3 b4 4 d3 be7 5 g5 0-0 6 > f3 ,xc3+ 7 bxc3 f6 8 d2 b6 9 We3 b7 10 ,d3 dxe4 11 .xe4 & f5 12 e2 ,xe4 13 Wxe4 Flere both sides have weaknesses White has doubled c-pawns and Black has a backward pawn on e6. However, Vaganian is able to eliminate his weakness in a straightforward way. 13, d5 Offering to exchange queens on d5, after which Black rids himself of the weakness of the backward e6-pawn. This scenario is difficult for White to avoid. He cannot protect the queen on...