Introduction:

I have seen many games showcasing the power of the two bishops working so beautifully. In terms of grand master play, the finest example I can think of is Fischer v. Larsen at the 1971 Candidates Semifinal match. I haven’t played too many games with using the two bishops but in this game, this is my finest example. With none other than my favorite unconventional chess opening; the Polish! The magnificence of the two bishops is so evident in this game that I will allow you to let the position speak for itself in terms of sheer gorgeous beauty and brilliance!

Opening: The Case of an Overlooked Pawn Sacrifice

It is interesting to see how black declines my bait offer after my develop my knight to the side with 3. Nh3. I have developed a strategy where if black takes the knight on the h3 or a3 squares, to use the accompanying open file(s) for my rooks making the development of black’s bishop more difficult. Black’s move 8. h6 is a mistake as black should complete his minor piece development with Bg4 followed by Nd7.

The start of the first (probably accidental but curious as to your take) pawn sacrifice begins with 10. Ne2. I played this move in order to entice black to take the pawn as it would give me a tempo on the b-file as now black’s light squared bishop is more difficult to develop due to the hanging b7 pawn.

The middle game now begins after I retreat my knight to f2.

Middle Game: The Importance of In-Between Moves And Removing the Defender

Black must have forgotten that his bishop is attacked but in a subtle way. If I were to take the bishop with my knight, then yes black could take back with his knight. What he forgot is the little in between that removes his only defender of his light squared bishop with 14. Bxf6!

Black cannot take back my knight as he would lose his bishop so he instead tries 14. Bxe2. But wait! I then have 15. Bxe7!

After the queens are exchanged and after black tries to attack my rook, I then play 17. Rb2! which gives me a tempo to attack his bishop while giving me an extra move to move my dark squared bishop out of harms way.

I am not sure what I was thinking but I made an ill conceived pawn sacrifice with 20. d4 which just allows black to take my e3 pawn after an en-passant capture.

Unfortunately, black didn’t realize the beauty of my next sacrifice after he plays 24. Re8 which I then reply 25. Rxb5! giving me the two BEAUTIFUL bishops!

Endgame: Bishops Of a Feather Really Do Flock Together!

Bishops on an open board can be extremely deadly as they can attack many different points in a large space while also being defensive. This is very evident after I play 28. Bc6! which attacks the rook on e8 while hitting at the queenside pawns both directly and indirectly.

Black wins a few pawns here and there after 30. Rxa2 but the bishops are still ever vengeful after 33. Bd5

 

The next piece of the deadly flock is 34. Rc7! which puts a third battering ram on the weak 7th rank making black’s king and f-pawn undependable due to the powerful flock of bishops.

Black tries to delay the inevitable by playing the worthless 36. g4 which does nothing to help give his king any defense.

White then wins the game by checkmate with 39. Be7# while forking black’s rook!

Lessons Learned:

Most of the lessons here are prevalent in my other games but piece development cannot be overstated! Pieces should always be developed FIRST before making any supporting moves with pawns. Black wasted his time with moves like 6. c6 and 8. h6 which added no supporting role to any of black’s pieces and was subsequently able to take advantage of these mistakes. Giving up a pawn early in order to get a strong initiative or an extra tempo is always worth undertaking since your opponent will end up being distracted.

 

This was evident after I got my rook to the b-file while he seemingly forgot his bishop was under attack after black played 13. b6. Bishops on an open board can create great havoc against your opponent even when you are down material. I was an exchange (2 pawns) down and there was nothing black could do to stop discovered check, checkmate, or lost material. Bishops of a feather can really flock together (how I love this saying. Perhaps you should remember it). I hope you found this game to be inspiring, educational, and motivating and if you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to answer!

 

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