A Single Bad Piece Can Be Enough To Lose a Chess Game

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One of the toughest concepts to understand and utilize in chess is the notion of a bad piece. There are some elements of subjectivity associated with determining whether your minor piece is worse than your opponents, but in the following position played in a blitz game at Yahoo, one can easily ascertain that it is the Black Bishop standing much worse than his white counterpart.

Black’s pawn is fixed at d5 which blocks the longest diagonal on the chess board. This is akin to an impassable obstacle on a long highway with the black bishop being the motorist. On the other hand, the white prelate is not obstructed by his immovable pawn at d4. Moreover the central pawn on the dark square cannot be legally captured by the black Laufer. ┬áMaybe, after a few drinks with your bughouse buddies, but not in a sane USCF tournament game.

The diagrammed chess position is probably a draw, but there are many ways for black to misstep and lose. For example with the appropriate pawn moves, the white king can probably occupy the f4 square with a winning position.

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