A weekly question and answer column by FIDE Master Andy Lee.
Last week's question is important enough to merit a two week response. Here's the question once again, in case you forgot:
Q: I recently learned the point values of all the chess pieces, but I don't agree with them. Bishops are supposed to be worth the same as knights, but the knights are much trickier. Should I give up bishops for knights whenever I can?
-- Damon, Mountain View, CA
A: Bishops are often better than knights in the endgame. One reason for this is because the bishop is a long range piece. It can both stop an opponent's pawn from queening while helping one of its pawns become a queen. See the diagram below for an example:
Notice the power of the white bishop. If black moves his pawn forward to make a queen, it will be immediately captured. However, this bishop also is attacking the enemy knight. Once the knight moves, white will be free to move his pawn forward.
Another position when the bishop is stronger is when it traps the knight against the side of the board. Here is a typical example:
Notice that the black knight has no safe squares to move to. Below, find the move that allows white to corral the knight.
I hope that one wasn't too difficult. Have a great week playing chess, and don't forget to send your questions to FalseNarwhal at chesskid.com!