Chess Lesson: Introducing Bishops.
Bishops are the tanks and armored infantry of your chess army. Unlike a Knight, a Bishop can sweep from one end of the board to the other in a single move, provided nothing’s in the way. They do have one weakness, though.
You have two Bishops, one of which starts on a black square (C1 for White, F8 for Black) and the other on a white square (F1, C8). Bishops can only move diagonally, which means each Bishop spends the entire game on squares of the same color from which it started. Because of this, Bishops work best when you have both of them. That way, they can cover all the squares on the board.
A Bishop has a value of 3, same as a Knight. They’re often exchanged during play. But in the long run, two Bishops are more powerful than two Knights.
Generally Bishops are the pieces you want to bring into play after you’ve developed your Knights. Save your Rooks and Queen for a few moves later. Bishops work very well with Pawns because they can defend one another: a Bishop on E4 and a Pawn on F3, for instance, make for a defensive strong point.
A Bishop has the ability to attack two men at once, either by a fork or by a “skewer.” If your opponent, for instance, has one Rook on H8 and another on G7, and your Bishop moves to B2, you have skewered the two Rooks and one of them will be captured.
I should point out that in chess, unlike checkers, captures are always optional: you don’t have to capture an opposing man if you have a reason not to.
More on Bishops next time. Any questions?
Thank you, Mr. Duigon, for the chess lesson!
Stay tuned for Lesson Nine!