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How to Use the Bishop in Chess

Learn how to use the bishop in chess from Chess NYC in this Howcast video.


Hi this is David Sullivan, today we're going to learn how to use the bishop. Each side begins with two bishops in a game of chess. They stand on either side of the king and queen who are in the middle. You can remember that by thinking that the bishops married the king and the queen, that's how they get the right to stand next to them.

A bishop might look kind of funny, I remember when I was a kid I use to think he always looked like he was frowning. But actually the bishop looks the way it is because he's representing a priest that's wearing a mitre, a type of hat.

Bishops move along the diagonals, diagonals on a chessboard are the slanty lines that are all colored in the same. You get one bishop that moves on dark diagonals, and you get one bishop that moves on white diagonals. A bishop moves in a straight line, just like a rook, as little one square or as far as the board allows. Until it either runs into the end of the board, or runs into an enemy piece. If you run into an enemy piece you land on that piece, and you've just finished your move.

An interesting point is, what piece do you think is stronger, a rook or a bishop? Bishops can only cover half of the squares on a chessboard, if you have a bishop that's on a dark square, it can only move to other dark squares on the chessboard. Rooks can move to every square on the chessboard. Therefore rooks are actually more powerful, and a little more valuable in general than bishops. And that's how we use the bishops.

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