In chess, a notional value is attached to all pieces other than King (which of course is priceless!) ranging from 1 for a Pawn to 9 for a Queen. In this system, Knight and Bishop are considered at par, and the other conditions prevailing on the chessboard at any point are supposed to dictate which of them has a superior value, if any. In Basic chess strategies Part 2 and Beginner’s game plan Part 2, we have discussed what conditions or factors determine the preference for one or the other.
All said and done, the balance seems to be slightly tilted in favor of Bishops. But the following game will show that with a proper supporting pawn structure, a Knight can really become a pain in the neck for the opponent.
It is also interesting to note that while Black’s pawn structure enables his KN to take up a menacing role, it makes White’s KN an impotent piece as it cannot find a proper foothold to operate effectively! While enjoying the game, you should make it a point to study how you can make your Knight to show up in shining armor!
|10.||Nxe5||Qf6||Forcing Queen exchange to worsen Black’s game|
|16.||Nxd4||c5||Note Black’s pawn dominance in the center|
|22.||Nc1||Nf5||The Black KN starts its prancing|
|24.||Re1||c4||Black captures the QBP after 25. bxc4 Rxc4 26. Ree2 Rc8|
Position after Black’s 24th move
|26.||Ree2||Nd1||If 26. c3 Nc2 wins a piece|
|29.||Bb2||c3||30. Ba1 Nd2 31. Re1 Bxc2 wins for Black|
|31.||axb3||Nd2||Other alternatives would be 31. cxb3 c2 with … d3 to follow or 31. Rxb1 Bxa2 32. Ra1 cxb2|
|35.||Bxd2||Rxd2||With its job done, the Knight now lays down its life|
|36.||Ra1||Ke6||36. Rxd2 loses|
|41.||Kd2||Kd4||If 42. Rxc2 Rxc2+ 43. Kxc2 Ke3 44. Kc3 Kf2 gives winning position for Black|
|43.||Resigns||If 43. Kxc2 Rc3+ 44. Kd2 Rxc1 45. Kxc1 Ke3 or 43. Kxe2 Kc3 followed by 44. … Rd8 and 45. … Kb2 gives a win.|
From start to finish, a perfectly executed game by Black