Bishop or knight? An eternal dilemma! The legendary Bobby Fischer would likely vote for the bishop. Other authorities like Nimzowitsch would prefer the knight. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Of course, it is clear a bishop usually dominates in open positions while the knight should be preferred in blocked positions. But what does that “usually” mean? Are there exceptions? Sure, a bishop can dominate even in a blocked position if the controlled diagonal is important. Further, the knight can dominate in open positions if there is a good outpost or influential place for it.
The pawn structure definitely determines the minor pieces’ prospects, and it is extremely important to predict the future properties of the pawn structure early in the game. Nowadays it is not enough to start thinking about the endgame in the middlegame. Today’s masters begin their opening strategy based on the arising endgames! Knowing the arising endings may give you some advantage even if the opponent obtained some initiative as was Petrosian’s manner.
By studying this book you should discover many properties regarding the combat between the bishop and knight which will open new horizons in your chess understanding.
In this book (Volume 1) I will present direct combat between the bishop and the knight. You may consider this a prelude to Volume 2 where the story will develop with more complex battles as other pieces will be added. There will be sections with rooks and queens added where either the knight or bishop will be superior. I have no doubts that if you carefully analyze the material in both volumes, you will master both the basic and advanced endgames where one of the key factors will be the material imbalance between having either the bishop or the knight.
006 Key to Symbols
008 Foreword by GM Alexander Delchev
011 Chapter 1 – When the Bishop is Superior
117 Chapter 2 – When the Knight is Superior
227 Index of Games