All students of the game of chess
know that knights are better in closed positions because of
their ability to leap around. In contrast, bishops enjoy open
positions where they can move freely down long diagonals and support
an attack from far away.
The two strong chess players from
this week's featured game knew these general principles. Instead
of maintaining their own knights in a closed position, they
made it their goals to eliminate each other's knights.
Closed Sicilian opening transforms into a somewhat comical endgame position
that is completely drawn. The final position really makes a mockery of
the bishops. With elementary play, each side will easily defend
his territory making progress impossible.
I believe this
is an important lesson for the beginners who always tend to stick
to the point system too much. Bishops are not always better than knights,
as many are taught.
For example, in the final position of
this week's featured game, replace the bishops with knights.
All of a sudden, plans can be developed and the knights can
maneuver to some secure outposts from where they can attack key pawns.
The bishops in the same position are completely useless.
White to mate in two moves.
Link to solution at the bottom.
Cristobal, R. (2225) - Tovillas,
Mar del Plata, 1992