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Piece Positioning: Bishops

What makes a bishop good?

Bishops are considered good when its central pawns share the same color as the piece. When pawns and bishops share the same color, the pawns obstruct the bishops ability to move and control the board. Observe the position of white’s bishop and pawns. The bishop has full control over the center and can move to many different squares.

What makes a bishop bad?

As you might have guessed by now, a bishop is bad when it shares the same colored squares as the pawns. Look at the board to the left and analyze the situation. The white bishop cannot move anywhere productive.

What is an active bishop?

An active bishop might be either good or bad. Chess players refer to active bishops that perform an active role in the game. Take a look at the diagram to the left. The white bishop cannot move backwards because the pawns and bishops share the same colored square. However, it still threatens several pieces including the pawns on b7 and f7.