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Bishop and pawn versus knight, 2297 games, download pgn file


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Bishop versus knight endings


Bishop versus knight endings (with pawns)

Current theory is that bishops are better than knights about 60 percent of the time in the endgame. The more symmetrical the pawn structure, the better it is for the knight. The knight is best suited at an outpost in the center, particularly where it cannot easily be driven away, whereas the bishop is strongest when it can attack targets on both sides of the board or a series of squares of the same color (Beliavsky & Mikhalchishin 1995:122). Fine and Benko (Fine & Benko 2003:205) give four conclusions:

  1. In general the bishop is better than the knight.
  2. When there is a material advantage, the difference between the bishop and knight is not very important. However, the bishop usually wins more easily than the knight.
  3. If the material is even, the position should be drawn. However, the bishop can exploit positional advantages more efficiently.
  4. When most of the pawns are on the same color as the bishop (i.e. a bad bishop), the knight is better.

Bishop and pawn versus knight

This is a draw if the defending king is in front of the pawn or sufficiently close. The defending king can occupy a square in front of the pawn of the opposite color as the bishop and cannot be driven away. Otherwise the attacker can win.


Knight and pawn versus bishop

This is a draw if the defending king is in front of the pawn or sufficiently near. The bishop is kept on a diagonal that the pawn must cross and the knight cannot both block the bishop and drive the defending king away. Otherwise the attacker can win.