Bishop V. Knight by Steve Mayer

By Steve Mayer

Controversy has lengthy reigned over the relative strengths of the bishop and knight. Mayer makes use of sensible examples to demonstrate positions which favour one minor piece over the opposite and gives a major research of the long-debated subject.

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Sample text

White heads for f6 where it would accomplish one of the following: force Black's King back, tie down Black's Knight to the defense of the h-pawn or force the h-pawn forward. •. Compared to the startin� diagram position Black has made definite progress in activatmg his King. 62 Nf6! Ng7 On his part, White's perceptive Knight maneuvers have caused Black's Knight to retreat. h4, because with White's pawn on h3, Black's g-pawn could not advance without allowing a routine pawn exchange. The result of having a pawn formation of White: h3; Black: gS, h4 is that Black's g-pawn is considered to be "fiXed" on gS, while White effectively has control of g4.

KcS 60 Nc3? The losing moment. The knight must be kept active with 60 Nc7!. Ng5 + 61 Ke3 and 60 ... Kd4 6 1 Ne6 + Kd3 62 Nc5 + etc. However, after the passive text, Black's King + Knight are able to penetrate. Kd4 61 Ne2+ Kd3 62 Ncl + KC2 63 Na2 Diagram 28 Placing the Knight on the edge cannot work out well. Kd2! Ng5( +) and his forces are in. Kd2! The decisive maneuver. Black's e-pawn is now ready to start its winning run. e4! there is no way to stop the pawn. 64 Nb4 NgS + 65 Kf2 Ne4+ 66 Kt3 Nc3!

We have the same position as after White's 70th move, except that Black's Knight is on c2 rather than e7. This is of little importance. What matters is that White's Knight knows the right maneuver: Nhl ! with the ideas Nf2 or Ng3. • Here too simpler seems 86 Ng3 + Kg6 87 Nh 1. 86 Nd7 87 Nd1 ! •• Here a bit of a change of plans is advisable. After 87 Nh1?! NeS+ 88 Kf2 (88 Ke3?! Nc4+ 89 Kt3? Nd2+ 90 Ke3 Ne4) 88 ... Kf4 89 Ng3 Nd3 + 90 Kg2 h4 White has been pushed back into a very passive and unattractive position.

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