The Bishop 5

VII.    Fianchetto.There is a Bishop move which has a special name…fianchetto – which means to move the Bishop from its home square to the diagonal square on a player’s second rank which is in front of the adjacent Knight’s square after advancing the Knight pawn from its home square (most often a single square advance to create two connected pawn chains in a vertical V-formation). A player may also do a double fianchetto, one to the Kingside and one to the Queenside. There are positives and drawbacks to doing fianchetto. One obvious drawback is that a fianchettoed Bishop becomes restricted in its potential mobility because it is situated on a long diagonal, and can only move to two squares along the second shortest diagonal on the board. In doing so and foregoing developing the Bishop through the center diagonals of the board, a player may later harm his or her ability to provide defense and protection for other developed pieces such as the Knights. Some positives to doing fianchetto are:

  • It places the Bishop in the long diagonal for a threat and/or actual attack on the opposing player’s Rook in the back rank at the end of the diagonal.
  • It can provide support for both offensive (attack) and defensive (protection) play in the battle for control of the center of the board.
  • If the opposing King castles to the side where the Bishop is attacking along the diagonal, it may thereby be positioned to provide protection for a piece or pawn to move or advance in to check the opposing King.
  • If the opposing King castles to the side where the Bishop is attacking along the long diagonal, it is positioned for a possible Bishop-Queen Battery aimed at checkmating the castled opposing King in the corner of the board.

The diagram below shows a single fianchetto on the Queenside by White and a double fianchetto by Black.




Now to the meaty concepts at the apex of the tutorial – Bishop checks, double checks, forks, fork checks, fork check & double check, and checkmating involving the Bishop!