# The Bishop Pair and Synergy or lack there of

Only Chess 25 Feb '17 02:58
1. 25 Feb '17 02:581 edit
I guess the question is of synergy. If we are looking to give value to pieces, then does the other material on the board with which it can work matter when giving valuation to the pieces?

If all your king has left is a bishop and a pawn, which is of more value? I'm thinking the pawn since a bishop alone can't mate. So a lone bishop with a king has value 0?

I've always heard that the bishop pair is an advantage over a bishop and knight. Yet the piece value of knight and bishop are the same.

If a knight and bishop are worth 6 points, then how much should a bishop pair be worth? 7? 8? 6?
2. venda
Dave
25 Feb '17 20:57
I guess the question is of synergy. If we are looking to give value to pieces, then does the other material on the board with which it can work matter when giving valuation to the pieces?

If all your king has left is a bishop and a pawn, which is of more value? I'm thinking the pawn since a bishop alone can't mate. So a lone bishop with a king has value 0 ...[text shortened]... If a knight and bishop are worth 6 points, then how much should a bishop pair be worth? 7? 8? 6?
The values are only a guide I believe and like you say it all depends on the state of play.
A pair of knights working in tandem in a closed position can be much more valuable than a pair of bishops hemmed in by pawns for instance
3. 25 Feb '17 21:10
Like the poor bishop in the game in this thread

http://www.redhotpawn.com/forum/only-chess/spatial-squeezing-its-fun.171300
4. moonbus
Uber-Nerd
25 Feb '17 21:171 edit
K,B,P vs K depends on whether the B controls the queening square and whether the opposing K can get to the queening square. If you have a RP, the B is of the opposite color to the queening square, and the opposing K can get to the queening square, this is a draw:

Whether a B pair is stronger than a B and N depends on whether the pawn structure is blocked or not.
5. 25 Feb '17 23:34
I knew about the draw, it is in my Silman end games book.

Even if the bishop does control the promoting square, it would not be needed if your king has opposition.

I suppose there should be two numbers for a piece, the worth at the moment and a latency value based on possible power vs how easily it can be released.
6. BigDoggProblem
Court Jester
25 Feb '17 23:54
I guess the question is of synergy. If we are looking to give value to pieces, then does the other material on the board with which it can work matter when giving valuation to the pieces?

If all your king has left is a bishop and a pawn, which is of more value? I'm thinking the pawn since a bishop alone can't mate. So a lone bishop with a king has value 0 ...[text shortened]... If a knight and bishop are worth 6 points, then how much should a bishop pair be worth? 7? 8? 6?
Material is but one form of advantage. I don't think it's helpful to most human players to imagine the material value of a piece changing with the position. The numbers are really just a guideline for exchanging pieces when there is not a more concrete reason available [such as, I sac'ed my Queen to give checkmate].

I think it is more helpful to say something like "material is even, but white has the advantage of the two Bishops", indicating the competing advantages under consideration.
7. Paul Leggett
Chess Librarian
26 Feb '17 00:041 edit
I knew about the draw, it is in my Silman end games book.

Even if the bishop does control the promoting square, it would not be needed if your king has opposition.

I suppose there should be two numbers for a piece, the worth at the moment and a latency value based on possible power vs how easily it can be released.
Could you give an example of bishop, king and pawn vs king where it is a draw if the bishop controls the promoting square? I don't think this is accurate, but I may just be confused about exactly what you are saying.

Normally the bishop can lose a tempo, which makes maintaining the opposition a challenge for the defending side.
8. 26 Feb '17 00:14
I was thinking it would be cool to see something that would quantify positions on the board in real time. A move could do nothing for you but then a big drop in present but increase latent for your opponent.

A way of quantifying things like space, mobility as well as coordination of pieces.

You run a game rhrough the computer and all I get is who is better compared to the other side. I'd rather see if I am getting what I can from my position. Then see if that translate ro victory.
9. 26 Feb '17 00:16
Originally posted by Paul Leggett
Could you give an example of bishop, king and pawn vs king where it is a draw if the bishop controls the promoting square? I don't think this is accurate, but I may just be confused about exactly what you are saying.

Normally the bishop can lose a tempo, which makes maintaining the opposition a challenge for the defending side.
If you choose to give up the pawn to protect the bishop.
10. Paul Leggett
Chess Librarian
26 Feb '17 02:321 edit
If you choose to give up the pawn to protect the bishop.
I'm sorry but I still don't get this. If we were to use the diagram Moonbus put in his post, but moved the bishop one square in any direction to any of the adjacent dark squares, then white wins, not draws. In fact, we could put the bishop on any dark square on the board in this particular case, and white still wins. Opposition does not matter in this case.
11. 26 Feb '17 02:41
Originally posted by Paul Leggett
I'm sorry but I still don't get this. If we were to use the diagram Moonbus put in his post, but moved the bishop one square in any direction to any of the adjacent dark squares, then white wins, not draws. In fact, we could put the bishop on any dark square on the board in this particular case, and white still wins. Opposition does not matter in this case.
I think you are missing what I was saying because what I was describing is so far below your knowledge.

In some hypothetical unlikely situation.....

If you could either keep the pawn or bishop alive on the board, which would you keep and which would you let go?

Sorry to be taking your time on such a ridiculpus scenerio. I was just trying to describe a situation where a pawn is worth more than a bishop.
12. Paul Leggett
Chess Librarian
26 Feb '17 13:392 edits
I think you are missing what I was saying because what I was describing is so far below your knowledge.

In some hypothetical unlikely situation.....

If you could either keep the pawn or bishop alive on the board, which would you keep and which would you let go?

Sorry to be taking your time on such a ridiculpus scenerio. I was just trying to describe a situation where a pawn is worth more than a bishop.
No problem, I understand better now. I thought you were directly referring to his diagram, whereas you were being more abstract and hypothetical.

If there was a case where both the bishop and pawn were attacked, and the king could not protect either one, and they could not protect each other, and it were the defending side's turn to move, then the draw is immediate and obvious. I think this is an example of what you meant:

If it were white to move, then he still wins, as long as he chooses the pawn by advancing it rather than saving the bishop but black to move draws immediately. In this case white has to choose the pawn, as saving the bishop loses the pawn and draws the game.

Am I close? ðŸ˜‰
13. 26 Feb '17 14:192 edits
Very close, just put the bishop behind the pawn.

Black or white could make the wrong decision.

At that point the point value of the pawn should be greater than the point value of the bishop for either black or white.
14. moonbus
Uber-Nerd
28 Feb '17 21:11
Bear in mind that the point value of a bishop is the same wherever it is on the board, whereas the point value of a pawn increases as it approaches the queening square, and especially if all the intervening squares are or can be controlled.