The Bishop-4

VI.    Queen-Bishop Battery, Bishop-Queen Battery, pawn-Bishop Battery, and
Bishop-pawn Battery.

There is a special lineup of two pieces – the Bishop & a Queen – which is usually a very powerful combination to have during the playing of a game. That is when a player’s Queen and either of his or her Bishops are aligned on the same diagonal line, creating a battery. There are two types:


  • Bishop forward & Queen to the rear along the diagonal (Queen-Bishop Battery).
  • Queen forward & Bishop to the rear along the diagonal (Bishop-Queen Battery).


Depending on the “positional” structure of the game, either may present significant challenges to the opposing player. Generally, the Queen-Bishop battery will be more effective and powerful for controlling the squares along the diagonal and to provide offensive and defense for control of the center of the board. The Bishop-Queen battery can be more effective for threatening or accomplishing a checkmate of the opposing King along the diagonal in the corner of the board if the King is castled. The Queen-Bishop battery often also is used to threaten a capture of the opposing player’s pawn on his or her second rank in the Kingside wing (h file) against a King castled to the Kingside with a resulting check on the castled King to open the wing file for an attack toward checkmating the castled King in the Kingside corner of the board.

As with any move or position, a battery may have negative consequences as well. One example dueling Queen-Bishop Batteries but one player has his or her battery with no other piece or pawn protecting the Bishop, and the opposing player has a battery but also has adequately protected the Bishop with one or more of his or her other pieces or pawns, thereby posing an immediate direct attack and threat of free capture on the opposing player’s Bishop with a follow-up threat of capturing the Queen.

Two other batteries are the Bishop & pawn Battery (Bishop to rear, pawn forward on the diagonal) and pawn-Bishop battery (pawn to the rear; Bishop forward on the diagonal). Bishop batteries may be accompanied by or coupled more powerfully with a fork, fork check, check or double check, or the threat of an ensuing fork, fork check, check, double check, or checkmate on the next move.