An old rivalry: Bishop vs Knight

by Karsten Müller
3/30/2021 – Who is better - bishop or knight? This is an old question and the answer usually is: "It depends". At any rate, the duel knight against bishop is often intriguing and full of surprise. In the diagram position the knight seems to give White good chances to win the game, but in fact Black's bishop can secure the draw. How?

Endgames of the World Champions from Fischer to Carlsen Endgames of the World Champions from Fischer to Carlsen

Let endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller show and explain the finesses of the world champions. Although they had different styles each and every one of them played the endgame exceptionally well, so take the opportunity to enjoy and learn from some of the best endgames in the history of chess.



Chess Endgames 1 - Basic knowledge for beginners

Endgame theory constitutes the foundation of chess. You realize this in striking clarity once you obtain a won endgame but in the end have to be content with a draw in the end because of a lack of necessary know-how. Such accidents can only be prevented by building up a solid endgame technique. This is Karsten Müller‘s fi rst DVD and the grandmaster from Hamburg and endgame expert, here lays the foundation for acquiring such a technique. The fi rst part of his training series can be started without any endgame knowledge, only a knowledge of the rules of chess is assumed.

Karsten Mueller in ChessBase Magazine

Do you like these lessons? There are plenty more by internationally renowned endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine, where you will also find openings articles and surveys, tactics, and of course annotations by the world's top grandmasters.

ChessBase Magazine #200


ChessBase Magazine Extra #199


Apart from his regular columns and video lectures in ChessBase Magazine there is a whole series of training DVDs by Karsten Mueller, which are bestsellers in the ChessBase Shop.

Karsten Mueller

Karsten Mueller regularly presents endgame lessons in the ChessBase Video Portal


Karsten Müller, born 1970, has a world-wide reputation as one of the greatest endgame experts. He has, together with Frank Lamprecht, written a book on the subject: “Fundamental Chess Endgames” in addition to other contributions such as his column on the website ChessCafe as well as in ChessBase Magazine. Müller's ChessBase-DVDs about endgames in Fritztrainer-Format are bestsellers. The PhD in mathematics lives in Hamburg, where he has also been hunting down points for the HSK in the Bundesliga for many years.
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Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 3/31/2021 11:00
It's not that difficult (except on increment after 139 moves) when you see the white king shouldn't get access to d5 - you will have to need a check with the white king on b4.
mdamien mdamien 3/31/2021 06:25
An interesting puzzle, but in terms of that question, "Who is better - bishop or knight?" it somewhat stands on its head. On the face of it, since the bishop holds when down a pawn, the puzzle would suggest some admiration for the qualities of the bishop. Here, though, there is only one saving line for the bishop, and not at all an obvious one. On the other hand, if the roles were reversed with a white bishop at b7 and a black knight at f4, the knight would have no trouble at all drawing.
PhishMaster PhishMaster 3/31/2021 04:40
I just looked at this 8-piece position on LiChess, which incorporates a 7-piece tablebase. It confirms that Bg3 was the only saving move, and since that is the case, there is no way in a practical game that black stood a chance.
Nordlandia Nordlandia 3/31/2021 09:34
The number of positions in which a bishop is better a than knight is greater than the number of positions in which a knight is better than a bishop.

However, the knight is stronger in rapid/blitz than it is in classical time controls.
Bill Alg Bill Alg 3/30/2021 02:28
Yeah well, interesting, but I wonder how many people are supposed to solve this kind of problem. I for one find it very complicated, simply too difficult.