The second book of the series “The Modern Endgame Manual” is all about bishop endgames. We decided to share the “Minor pieces” endings between 2 books, “Bishop endgames” and “Bishop vs knight, and knight endgames”. Bishop endgames can basically be divided into 3 main chapters:
- Bishop vs bishop of the same color
- Bishop vs bishop of opposite colors
- Bishop vs pawns.
Bishop endgames are usually extremely tricky, with perhaps not so many theoretical positions to learn, but a lot of positions where the result is pretty unclear until the very end in a practical game. Th is is especially true of opposite colored bishop endgames, where small nuances can decide the outcome of the game. The bishop is a great fi ghter when it comes to stopping an opponent’s pawns and is an extremely useful piece at long distance, for example when the pawns are running on both sides. On the other hand, when it comes to a short-range battle, we discover that sometimes a bishop is not much better than a lowly pawn. Also, the bishop can cover only 32 squares, which makes him a piece that requires good-handling. A great example of this are the positions where one side has a king+bishop+a or h- pawn, but with a bishop operating on the opposite color to that of the promotion square, while the other side has just his king in the corner of the promotion square. Th is position is a theoretical draw, which is actually quite shocking! A full piece and a pawn up and just a draw?! A very special case indeed in the game of chess.