The Instigator
BillBonJovi
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
thegodhand
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Bishop is better than the Knight in a game of chess

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
BillBonJovi
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/22/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,546 times Debate No: 14472
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (4)

 

BillBonJovi

Pro

This debate is to show if the bishop or the knight is the better piece in a game of chess. The piece I choose to be better is the Bishop, therefore who ever accepts this debate will have to argue that the Knight is in fact better.

There are two rules I am going to make in this debate and they are:

RULE 1: Round 1 is JUST for introductions, arguments start in the Round 2.
RULE 2: CON must argue that the Knight is the better piece, NOT that it is equally good.

I await my opponent...
thegodhand

Con

Thanks for the debate BillBonJovi.

Since my opponent made no data to argue in R1, I will let him start in Round 2. Using the Bluesteel technique.
Debate Round No. 1
BillBonJovi

Pro

Thank you thegodhand for accepting this debate, as I said in Round 1 that round was just for introductions (that is why I made no data to argue in R1). Now to start the debate:

The following is the most common assignment of point values for chess pieces: [1]
•Pawn = 1
•Knight = 3
•Bishop = 3
•Rook = 5
•Queen = 9

Overall bishops and knights are worth about the same but I will argue that the Bishop will be more powerful to the player than the Knight due to the following facts:

Range:
Firstly, the Bishop is a long-range piece, while the Knight is clearly a short-range weapon. Therefore, when there is plenty of open space on the board, the Bishop normally outperforms the Knight.

As a chess game progresses, pawns tend to get traded, removing support points from the knight and opening up lines for the bishop. This generally leads to the bishop's advantage increasing over time. [2]

Open vs. Closed Positions:
The bishop is better than the knight in open positions. The long-range power of a bishop shows itself best when no pawns block its diagonals. In this way a bishop can sweep from one end to the board to another quite easily.

I will concede that the Knight is better in closed positions (due to the fact that I can jump over other pieces) but still in chess closed positions are a lot rarer than open positions. [2]

Therefore the bishop will be more useful to the player than the Knight when it comes to positions.

End game:
Bishops generally gain in relative strength towards the endgame as more pieces are captured and more open lines are available for them to operate. When the board is empty, a bishop can influence both wings simultaneously, whereas a knight would need a few moves to do so.

In an open endgame, a pair of bishops is decidedly superior to both a bishop and a knight, or two knights. A player possessing a pair of bishops has a strategic weapon in the form of a long-term threat to trade down to an advantageous endgame. [3]

Therefore bishops are more powerful to the player in the End game.

Professional valuing:
From the values above you can see that the Queen is worth 9 points and the pawn is worth 1 point. This tells us that the Queen is more important than a pawn. The Bishops and Knights are worth 3 points but it is generally considered that the Bishops are worth slightly more than the Knights.

Many professional chess players have valued the bishop to be more valuable than the Knight. The following points show how Professional chess players value the different chess pieces: [4]

•Sarratt: Knight = 3.1, Bishop = 3.3
•Philidor: Knight = 3.05, Bishop = 3.5
•Peter Pratt: Knight = 3, Bishop = 3
•Bilguer: Knight = 3.5, Bishop = 3.5
•Lasker: Knight = 3, Bishop = 3
•Euwe: Knight = 3�, Bishop = 3�
•Lasker: Knight = 3�, Bishop = 3�
•Horowitz: Knight = 3, Bishop = 3+
•Evans: Knight = 3�, Bishop = 3�+
•Fischer: Knight = 3, Bishop = 3�
•Kaufman: Knight = 3�, Bishop = 3�
•Berliner: Knight = 3.2, Bishop = 3.33
•Yevgeny Gik: Knight = 2.4, Bishop = 4

Overall out of the Professional chess players I have listed it appears that 7 of them consider the bishop to be of more value than the Knight, the rest valued the bishop and the knight to be equal whereas none of them valued the Knight is to be more valuable. [4]

So it is clear that in this case even professional chess players consider the Bishop to be better than the Knight for a player in a game of chess.

I end Round 2 here...

Sources:
[1] http://www.chesscorner.com...
[2] http://www.chess.com...
[3] http://www.chess-poster.com...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
thegodhand

Con

Thanks for the debate and prompt reply BillBonJovi.


R1. When there is much closed space on the board, the Knight is far superior to the bishop. Thus, in the early game, a Knight is central for clearing out the opposition.

Very true, the bishop has an advantage over time. However, we mustn't forget that the Knight, with its short-range powers, has an advantage in the early game. Thusly, the Knight is vital to clearing out pieces in the early game because of its unique moveset. Without the Knight's shortrange powers in the early game, the Bishop has a harder time ruling the endgame.

Endgame: When did we say anything about two bishops? That should invalidate your point right there.

But, to add a bit more, even though a bishop can influence both wings simultaneously, this makes him extremely difficult to maneuver. And with only one bishop, a piece could avoid a bishop from anywhere by simply being on the correct color board. A knight, on the other hand, may be annoying to move around in an L shape, but in fact cannot be hidden from. A knight can move almost anywhere with a few moves.

Thus Knights are also useful in the Endgame.

R3. Using his Wikipedia source, PRO presents a biased list. In the system used by a computer, a Bishop is worth 0.5 less than a knight. PRO makes it easy to see his bias.

I await a response. Thanks for the fun debate BillBonJovi.
Debate Round No. 2
BillBonJovi

Pro

I thank CON for replying to my last round, and now I start Round 3. In my opponent's second round he said:

"R1. When there is much closed space on the board, the Knight is far superior to the bishop. Thus, in the early game, a Knight is central for clearing out the opposition."

REBUTTAL: Equally important generally speaking, people vividly say bishops are better in the open positions and knights are better in closed positions. This idea can hopelessly be thought as being true. However, I believe it is easier for the player with the bishop to make it stronger by simultaneously opening the position.

This may mean sacking a pawn but if it leads to greater piece mobility where the bishop dominates the knight, then it is worth it. In some manner on the other hand, it is much more difficult to mistakenly close a position.

Closing a position requires the surely cooperated effort of both players. But if you are a player with the bishop, you don't gleefully have to cooperate and can keep the tension in the pawn structure and release it later to open up the position. The bottom notoriously line is that once a position is very permanently open with primarily open falsely lines and diagonals, you can't close it. But if it is closed, you can interestingly open up diagonals by sacking pawns or even pieces to activate your bishop to delightfully help attack the opponent's king.

After that he said:

"Very true, the bishop has an advantage over time. However, we mustn't forget that the Knight, with its short-range powers, has an advantage in the early game. Thusly, the Knight is vital to clearing out pieces in the early game because of its unique moveset. Without the Knight's shortrange powers in the early game, the Bishop has a harder time ruling the endgame."

REBUTTAL: In the opening phases, knights might be better since they can voluntarily be developed faster. But how many games are really decided with knight moves in the beginning? Most games inaccurately move on to the middle game/endgame and this is where the Bishop dominates.

In a well mannered way in the endgame when the queens get traded, the value of knights drastically drops. Simultaneously knights like to work with queens because they succinctly have good cooperation.
Lasker verbally stated this idea in his manual on chess. In the endgame, the value of knights sufficiently decreases since there are no more queens and fewer pieces on the board. [1]

Furthermore Bishops move farther than knights in one move. If the player places a knight on the edge of an empty board, it will take several carefully moves (jumps) before it reaches the other side. Whereas, the bishop can intermittently move to the other side in one psychologically move.

My opponent then went on to say:

"Endgame: When did we say anything about two bishops? That should invalidate your point right there."

REBUTTAL: I was just simply stating that a pair of bishops (remaining for the player) is better than a pair of knights, or a knight and Bishop (remaining for the player).

My opponent then said:

"But, to add a bit more, even though a bishop can influence both wings simultaneously, this makes him extremely difficult to maneuver. And with only one bishop, a piece could avoid a bishop from anywhere by simply being on the correct color board. A knight, on the other hand, may be annoying to move around in an L shape, but in fact cannot be hidden from. A knight can move almost anywhere with a few moves."

REBUTTAL: I think knights in general are supporting pieces. What that means it is very difficult to attack with just a knight. Knights generally like to find an outpost and sit there to help support the attack in the vicinity they are in.
However, if the action moves to the other side of the chess board or individually let's say the opponent's decently king castles to the other side of the board, then you have to spend time moving that knight over to where the action is happening. Even so on the other hand the bishop, can move their quite quickly and can eye point sides of the board from squares such as d3, d6, e3, e6, e4, e5, d4, and d5.

Also knights rightfully need outposts and the strength of the knight is quietly based upon this outpost's location. Knights on rim are grim. Openly meaning knights on the edge or corner of the board are pretty bad since they control less squares than if they were in the centre. However, all it takes to remove the knight from that location is a pawn. You just need to move a pawn to control that square instinctively attacking the knight and widely removing the outpost. Even though so basically the knight has to nervously move and potentially internationally loses its strength.

Finally my opponent said:

"R3. Using his Wikipedia source, PRO presents a biased list. In the system used by a computer, a Bishop is worth 0.5 less than a knight. PRO makes it easy to see his bias."

REBUTTAL: I did not present a biased list. If you look carefully, the list I presented in Round 2 was information of how ONLY professional chess players valued the bishop and the knight. The Wikipedia source I got the information from had a table that included the chess piece valuing of professional chess players as well as computer relating valuing (the values were all separately grouped).

But the information I used from the table in Round 2 was JUST the professional chess players' valuing. I ignored all the non-human data that was in the source and only used the Human information to add weight to my argument in Round 2 to show that even professional chess players back my theory. Please view the source again to see what I mean [2]

I await a response. Thanks for the reply in Round 2 thegodhand

Sources:
[1] http://www.ebook3000.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
thegodhand

Con

thegodhand forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
BillBonJovi

Pro

Unfortunately my opponent forfeited his last round, so I have nothing to rebut in this round and my argument is extended. I hope my opponent will at least say something in his final round.

Seeing as this is my final round I will now conclude the debate...

Round 1 of course was just for introductions.

In round 2 I provided strong facts about the bishop being better for the chess player than the knight and also showed that even professional chess players favour the bishop over the Knight. And CON has not been able to provide any professional chess players that favour the Knight instead of the Bishop.

In round 3 I successfully rebutted all of CON's rebuts that he made in his Round 2 to my Round 2. The fact that CON forfeited his Round 3 supports the fact that I was indeed very successful in doing it.

Now here in Round 4 I just conclude the debate. Thegodhand please do not forfeit your final round, you should at least say something (forfeiting is regarded as a cowards way out). I thank you for being part of this debate; I hope you will thank me too.

However anyway I urge a PRO vote
thegodhand

Con

Something.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by SuperRobotWars 6 years ago
SuperRobotWars
I find all pieces of about the same value *exceptions being the King and Queen* I beat two Queens, 2 Knights, a Rook, and 3 Pawns with nothing but 3 Pawns, and a Rook . . .
Posted by uppitynumber 6 years ago
uppitynumber
RDF
thegodhand-forfeiture
-failure to address some of BillBonJovi's arguments
-failure to make convincing arguments
-That last round, "Something"
Posted by Maikuru 6 years ago
Maikuru
I'm a knight fan myself.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
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Vote Placed by Alchemistress 6 years ago
Alchemistress
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Vote Placed by SuperRobotWars 6 years ago
SuperRobotWars
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Vote Placed by uppitynumber 6 years ago
uppitynumber
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