Chess is primarily an interpretative art but there is still room in any game for real creativity to flourish

White, of course, will recapture with the bishop without thinking. After all, what else is there to think about Gyula Breyer, playing White in this position against Esser at Budapest 1917, did indeed find something else to think about. He played l.Bbl maintaining his control of e4 and planning a quick advance of the e-pawn. The game continued l bo (l c5 is a better challenge to White's idea) 2.e4 lt 7 3.Ng5 h6 4.h4 g6 5.e5 hxg5 6.hxg5 Nd5. What does White have for...

Oppositecoloured Bishops

One of the first things we learn about endgames is that bishops of opposite colour have strong drawing tendencies. And most players spend the rest of their lives believing it to be true. Yet half the time, the exact opposite is the case. What is certainly true is that in endgames in which each side has only one bishop and a handful of pawns left, and the bishops travel on opposite-coloured squares, an advantage of one pawn is, more often than not, insufficient to win. Even a two-pawn advantage...

The Good Bad Bishop

Like church dignitaries, from an archbishop down to the humblest deacon, there is a notional pecking order of bishops on the chessboard. At the highest level, we have the good, indeed almost saintly bishop, with unimpeded access to squares of one colour, and its pawns standing on the opposite colour, letting its influence be felt in all four corners of the board simultaneously. Next, you might have thought, should come the not-quite-so-good bishop, largely unimpeded but with local difficulties...

In the transition from middlegame to endgame large advantages can turn into draws and small disadvantages may become

As we have seen before, the inherent uncertainty of middlegame evaluations dissolves into a far clearer picture when the endgame is reached. Switching from one to another demands considerable flexibility in one's thinking patterns if the correct decisions are to be reached. White to play in Fischer-Taimanov, Vancouver 1971. What should he do about the attack on his d-pawn Push it with l.d6 defend it with l.c4 or do you have an even better idea Having eliminated l.d6, on the grounds that after l...

Bishops are happiest on the long diagonals

So after thinking for a long time over its first move, the android proudly plays l.g3 just to make sure it gets its bishop to g2 before the opponent's bishop lands on b7. Having decided on l.g3, it will also, no doubt, appreciate the defensive value of the formation with king castled behind a bishop on g2 and knight on f3, and it will also surely see the benefit of playing a pawn to c4, and perhaps even formulate the plan of advancing its neighbour to b4 and b5, just to enhance the bishop s...

A minority of pawns on one wing can be used to create structural damage in the opponents camp

The typical position arises when both sides have pushed their d-pawns two squares forwards, Black has met White's c4 advance with e6, and cxd5 has been answered by exd5. White then has a minority of pawns on the Q-side and the Minority Attack is ready to swing into operation. It gives a fine example of the sort of flow-chart referred to in Section 51. Black plays c6, White plays b4. Black may then allow b5, or prevent it by playing b5 himself. If Black plays b5, he will try to bring a knight...