Can Bishops Jump in Chess?

Can bishops jump
The dark-squared starts the game beside the King and the light-squared bishop starts beside the queen

Can bishops jump in chess?

The bishop in chess is the piece with an arc-looking slit cut in its head. Every chess player starts with a pair of bishops at the beginning of the game (a light-squared and dark-squared bishop, the light-squared bishop stays on the light square while the black squared bishop stays on the dark square throughout the game). This makes the total number of bishops on a chessboard at the beginning of the game equal to four. They can also be referred to as kingside bishops and queenside bishops. The kingside bishop is placed between the king and knight, while the queenside bishop rests between the knight and the queen.

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Black and White bishops

A chess bishop is worth three points and moves only diagonally, it is less valuable than a rook and the queen. The rook moves in any direction horizontally or vertically and is not restricted by its square color, the queen on the other hand can move like the combination of the rook and bishops. The bishop is the only piece besides the king and queen that may move diagonally at any point (a pawn may move diagonally only when capturing another piece.)

The other chess piece that is worth the same number of points as the bishop is the knight,

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A knight at the center of the board

Having the same points as the bishop has led to a lot of comparison between the bishop and the knight, the knight moves in a sort of L-shape (that is 2 squares in either direction along the vertical or horizontal and then 1 square in either direction along the horizontal or the vertical), this makes it alternate between the two colours on the chessboard when you make a knight move on a light square, you’ll be landing on a dark square, but unlike the bishop or any other chess piece the knight can jump over any piece in its way, no blockade can stop the knight!

Depending on where it sits on the board, a knight may move up to eight different squares or as few as two.

So the answer to the question, “Can bishops jump in chess?” is no.

Which is better, bishop or knight?

It depends on circumstances but in general, if you have two bishops on the board, they are worth more than 2 knights or a knight plus a bishop because they can cover more squares on the chessboard, some players argue that this combination once the midgame is reached might be worth as much as 9 points rather than 6

If there are no queens left on the board, the power of the bishops goes up, there’s no exact numerical power increase for this but if you have a bishop and a rook going into the endgame they work better than a knight and a rook will, this is one of the advantages of the bishop over the knight.

When the game is opened, that is, when the board is relatively empty and pieces can move freely then a bishop is worth more than a knight, its larger potential move set makes it more powerful during this period.

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A bishop locked in the corner of the board

However, in a closed position, a clustered game where most or all the pieces are still on the board. This usually happens in defensive or positional games where each player is blocking up the middle of the board. Then a knight is a more powerful piece than a bishop, the ability to jump over your opponent’s pieces is very handy in these situations.

The value of the bishops and knights may raise and lower depending on where they are in the game and the overall shape of that game. Knights and bishops may be of the same value in theory and at the beginning of the game, but in reality, as the game progresses their values are highly dependent on the circumstances on the board.

The bishop is a long-range chess piece that can be very powerful if properly used while the knight can be very dangerous in closed positions as it can attack up to eight pieces at the same time! When you learn and understand the movements and tactics of a bishop and how to strategically deploy your knights, you will develop a balanced style of playing your chess games.

Check out Learn The Bishop And Knight Checkmate: Understanding The Chess Pieces

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