The Instigator
DakotaKrafick
Pro (for)
Winning
22 Points
The Contender
Torvald
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

The bishop is superior to the knight.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
DakotaKrafick
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/17/2012 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,640 times Debate No: 27322
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (7)

 

DakotaKrafick

Pro

This resolution is one that has been of much interest to me since first starting Chess, and is as follows: "The bishop is superior to the knight."

Rules and stipulations:
1) First round is acceptance only (the following rounds are to be used by each debator as he/she pleases).
2) No semantics.
3) The burden of proof here is shared. It's not enough to merely refute my claims and show that both pieces may be equally valuable. My opponent must also show why the knight is superior to the bishop.

Good luck to my opponent and have a fun debate!



Torvald

Con

I accept your challenge; it's a breath of fresh air. Fair fortune to you as well, good opponent, and may you always have a full head of hair!
Debate Round No. 1
DakotaKrafick

Pro

Thank you, Torvald, for making this debate possible. Without further delay, the meat of the debate:

1. Pinning Potential

In Chess, a "pin" is a move that threatens to capture a piece, but the threatened piece cannot move without exposing a more valuable piece behind it. For example:


This bishop in the situation above is threatening to capture white's knight. However, white cannot move it to safety without exposing the rook. This can be a crippling maneuver as it stops the pinned piece from moving (especially in an absolute pin, when the defended piece is the king).
Only pieces that have a straight line of movement can pin the opponent, including the queen, the rook, and the bishop. Therefore, it is impossible for a knight to perform a pin.

2. Skewering Potential

A skewer is similar to a pin, but opposite. For example:


The bishop in this situation is threatening to capture black's rook, a very valuable piece. Moving it to safety, though, will allow white to capture the knight behind it.
Again, skewers can only be performed by the queen, the rook, and the bishop. Knights are incapable of such a technique.

3. Checkmating Potential

If, during the endgame, you find yourself left with only your king and two bishops, then don't worry! You can checkmate your opponent with just these three pieces. [1] However, it is impossible to force a checkmate with just your king and two knights. [2] This alone should persuade you that if your bishop and knight are forked in the opening or midgame, it is better to save the bishop (extenuating circumstances exempt, of course).

4. Average Mobility

On an otherwise empty board, the maximum number of moves a knight can make is eight, and the fewest two (depending on where the knight is on the board). The bishop, however, has a far longer range of mobility. On an otherwise empty board, the maximum number of moves a bishop can make is thirteen, and the fewest seven.
Certainly, in closed positions, the knight will have the advantage, but on average, the bishop will have more options available to it and therefore prove more useful, both as an offense and defense.

Sources:

[1] http://www.chess.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Torvald

Con

My opponent makes a very strong case, I note, though this is by no means a concession. I apologize for hesitating to answer; I have had other concerns that take precedence.

Forking Potential
Bishops certainly do have the advantage of ability to perform a pin. However, knights can initiate a 'lesser of two evils' scenario, called a 'fork,' similar to a pin, in which a play must choose to protect one piece or another. This is a decisive advantage wielded by knights, that is difficult to produce with bishops.

Forking is in many instances easier to perform than pinning, since pinning requires a straight line, and since half the pieces (3/6) are able to move in a straight line, about half of the pins one might perform include the risk of having one's own piece captured (a competent player can avoid this, usually by not taking such a risk without assurances). A knight, on the other hand, is the only piece that moves in the manner that it does, with the ability to jump other pieces and easily move out of danger, and can fork 5/6 pieces without any risk of reciprocal strikes.

Space Limitations
Bishops are severely limited in that they can access only half the spaces on the board, whereas a knight can access all spaces. While knights do have limited mobility in one form, bishops have it in another: both the restricted spaces, and the constraint of direct attack (bishops can only move indefinitely when unobstructed). Knights face neither of these restrictions, being both the only piece capable of jumping other pieces, and being able to access any space. A knight accordingly is far superior in a crowded board, and is certainly more difficult to trap.

The Evaluations of Masters
Many experts have written evaluations on the chess piece relative value, and concluded that the knight and bishop are of equal value (some award the knight greater value, some the bishop). 27-year world chess champion Emanuel Lasker valued kingside knight and bishop as equally valuable, and both as more valuable than queenside knight and bishop [1]. Authors David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld note that unless used in a pair, bishops are less valuable than knights [2].

Conclusion
I will not deny that the bishop is a valuable piece (though seldom ranked higher than fourth-most important), but in most chess games, the bishop is less useful than the knight, especially prior to endgame.

Sources
[1] Lasker's Chess Primer, Billings
[2] Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1992), "Value of pieces", The Oxford Companion to Chess, Oxford University Press
Debate Round No. 2
DakotaKrafick

Pro

Thank you, Torvald, for your response. Before continuing, I'd just like to first apologize for the illegibility of my previous round. Needless to say, if it had actually looked like that when I clicked "review" then I wouldn't have also clicked "submit".

Also, before refutting my opponent's claims, I'd like to address something he said in his closing statements: "I will not deny that the bishop is a valuable piece (though seldom ranked higher than fourth-most important) [...]". If you are reading this debate, then I hope it's clear to you that the king is obviously the first-most important piece in Chess. Directly below that is the queen, whose unparalleled maneuverability easily makes it the most dangerous. The third-most important piece is the rook due to its ability to threaten a whole file and rank simultaneously.

Therefore, if I can convince you that the bishop is the fourth-most important piece, then I have done my job well in this debate.

Forking/Pinning/Skewering Potential

I admit, the knight is quite formidable in regards to its ability to fork (threaten multiple pieces simultaneously). Unlike what Torvald must do in regards to pinning and skewering and checkmating potentials, however, I cannot completely concede this point, as it is at least possible for the bishop to perform a fork. The practical uses are rarer but by no means unheard of.

My opponent says it's easier to perform a fork with a knight than a pin with a bishop because more pieces can fall victim to the latter than the former. In other words, a knight can threaten to capture any piece on the board without putting itself in danger of being captured by the threatened piece itself, except (of course) another knight.

However, according to my opponent, the bishop can only threaten to capture three out of the six pieces without this danger. I can only assume he means the king, the pawn, and the knight, as these are the three pieces that cannot move indefinitely in a straight line. (Of course, the king can't be pinned as it must always move out of the way of danger if possible, but it can be skewered.) My opponent seems to forget, however, that even though a rook can move in a straight line, it won't be able to capture a bishop that's pinning it (or at all threatening to capture it on the next move).

It's true that a bishop and a queen will be able to retaliate against a pinning bishop, but it's not so difficult to protect your bishop from this with a mere pawn in an adjacent file. That way, if your opponent does retaliate with his/her bishop or queen, you can take it with your pawn.

It's an obviously worthwhile trade to give up a bishop for your opponent's queen. But even trading a bishop for a bishop can be tactically advantageous if in doing so you gain an open file (a file unoccupied by one of your pawns), which are very useful for engaging your rooks.

Space Limitations

A bishop is forever bound to travel along only the same-colored tiles as it originally started on, which each make up half the board. Despite this, though, the bishop can have a lot more options available to it during open positions. As Torvald noted that David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld noted, the bishops should be used in tandem so they can cover all spaces of the board. I've already conceded the knight has an advantage during closed positions, but almost just as midgame begins, the bishop can travel to (and therefore threaten and/or defend) more spaces than the knight and that advantage only grows larger as the match goes into endgame.

Evaluations of Grandmasters

My opponent uses this point to conclude that bishops and knights are equally valuable, but as stated in the debate's instigation, this isn't enough. Torvald must do more than convince us that maybe the knight is just as good as the bishop. He must convince us that the knight is better.

Checkmating potential

This point must be conceded by my opponent.

Torvald

Con

No need to apologize. I realize how frustrating that is (I tried to use photos as well, and ended up having to remove them because of the formatting problems).

The Most Important Piece
True, the king is the most important piece, but in terms of actual merit, which, for all practical purposes, is what is being debated here, the king is typically only ranked 4, with the queen as 8 or 9, and the rook often as 5 or 6. [3] This logically adds up, since, if the bishop is ranked 3, the rook 5 or 6, since the queen is a combination of the two, it makes sense that the queen be ranked 8 or 9. The king has been ranked as a 4 by noted authorities such as Lasker and Evans, due to its limited but omnidirectional mobility, and ability to castle, and, what's more, a computer program designed to evaluate chess pieces concurred. Other than that, the king is often ranked by an arbitrarily high number, to indicate ultimate value. However, this is not practical to our debate, and thus unnecessary.

Forks, Pins, and Skews, Oh My!
Bishops are highly limited in forking potential due, as I have said, to their limited mobility in a crowded board, and their concern for reciprocal strike. While one can indeed attempt to protect their bishop with insurance, not all players place value on insurance, and have no qualms about taking a bishop that controls part of the board.

I do concede that the bishop has an advantage of potential to pin and skew, which a knight lacks. However, this potential may be extremely hampered, as this is dependent on how clear the board is, and can be easily diverted with pawns. A knight's fork is not so easy to hamper, as the very nature of a fork is that to protect one piece, one must sacrifice the other. A knight may even fork more than two pieces at once, and can technically fork up to six pieces at once, though such occurrences are extremely rare.

Quantitative Evaluation
Insurance aside, each piece has a limited number of pieces that it may take without concern of reciprocity.
Pawn: 2
Bishop: 4* (two of these four are capable of retaliating, if adjacent)
Knight: 5
Rook: 4* (one of these four is capable of retaliating, if adjacent)
Queen: 5* (two of these five are capable of retaliating, if adjacent, and two of these five are capable of retaliating, in certain circumstances)
King: 5* (four of these five are capable of retaliating, if adjacent, in certain circumstances)

Now, the knight is obviously the oddball of this bunch, being the only piece that can take 5 other pieces with no reciprocity whatsoever. This gives it a decisive advantage. Now, let us evaluate the maximum number of spaces that each piece can control simultaneously:
Pawn: 2
Bishop: 13
Knight: 8
Rook: 14
Queen: 27
King: 8

Now one method of estimating relative value of each piece can be estimated, excepting exceptions, by dividing threat capability by risk:
Pawn: .5*
Bishop: 6.5
Knight: 8
Rook: 7
Queen: 13.5*
King: 8*
(*exception)
These values are referred to as 'attack ratio,' giving the amount of the board that can be controlled by each unit without fear of reciprocity, per average. Yes, I did invent this ranking strategy, and it's very obviously unconventional, but I seriously doubt my opponent will contest its relevance or its competence. If he will, well, I welcome it!

Now, by my improvised ranking system, the knight is 1.2 times as valuable as the bishop. Not much, I'll grant, but it is able to control more of the board without threat than is the bishop.

Checkmating Potential
Must this point be conceded? It is, in fact, possible to perform checkmate with naught but a pair of knights. Difficult, perhaps, but possible.

If formatting will permit, this image should demonstrate how the Two Knight Checkmate is possible:
This photo depicts the potential of two knights to checkmate the opposing king.

If not, know that if the opposing king is on A8, and the knights are placed on C6 and either C5 or D6, the king has no viable moves, and, if there are no other pieces to move, the king is placed in indirect checkmate. This next image depicts how, if one makes use of one's king, two knights may create an alternate checkmate (Black king A1, white knights A3 and C2, white king B3):
This photo depicts the potential of two knights, with the assistants of the king, to checkmate the opposing king.

Sources
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
DakotaKrafick

Pro


Pinning and Skewering Potential

My opponent has conceded these two points, seeing as how the knight is incapable of performing either a pin or a skewer. The most he did to deflect these points is compare their usefulness to forks, but the fact of the matter remains: a bishop can perform both a pin and a skewer, while a knight can perform neither.

And I think my previous rounds have shown just how important these tactics are regardless of how important (or unimportant) forking happens to be.

Forking Potential

I do concede the knight is more dangerous in its ability to fork, but the point cannot be entirely awarded to the knight seeing as how the bishop can perform a fork (it can do so only with a bit more difficulty and preparation than a knight, but the point is it can do so). The bishop may need another piece protecting it in order to fork certain opposing pieces (such as the queen), but if you're not protecting your own pieces in a game of Chess, then what are you doing?

Checkmating Potential

My opponent tries to tell us that it is, in fact, possible to force a checkmate with nothing save your king and a couple knights. However, this is simply untrue. International grandmaster Edmar Mednis described the knights inability to force checkmate as "one of the great injustices of Chess". [1]

If we look at Torvald's first diagram, we can see that the position is not actually checkmate, but stalemate, since the king is not even in check. This is to say that if the king could simply not move on Black's next turn, it wouldn't be captured. However, the king is the only piece Black has left, so it must move. The only places it can move to, though, are places which it can be captured. Moving your own king into check is an illegal move, but since these are the only moves left available, the game ends in a stalemate due to lack of a legal move. The first diagram does not show White winning, but Black and White coming to a draw.

I admit, I should have gone into more detail earlier when I said two knights (and a king) can't force a checkmate, because Torvald's second diagram does appear to be checkmate. In fact, it is. There are ways to manually set up the pieces on a chessboard to create a checkmated position with just two knights and a king. But in a real game, when your opponent actually gets to decide where to move his own pieces, you will not be able to checkmate him (unless he makes a mistake).

Where, for instance, do you suppose Black's last move was in Torvald's second diagram? Or the move before that? The only way for Black to find his king in such a surrounded position is by allowing it to happen. Earlier, if he had tried moving his king toward the center (before the opposing king or one of the knights became so close) he would have been quite safe.

In light of all this, I shall clarify the point I was making: it is impossible to force a checkmate with only two knights against an opponent with an ELO rating higher than 600.

Two bishops, on the other hand, can force a checkmate no matter how skilled or knowledgeable the opponent is (see earlier source).

Torvald's Evaluation

Torvald has suggested his own method of determining relative value (or "attack ratio") of Chess pieces by dividing the maximum number of spaces that are able to be threatened by the number of pieces which can retaliate if threatened.

The bishop, for instance, can threaten 13 spaces simultaneously at most. And the number of pieces which can capture it if threatened by it are two (the bishop and the queen). Therefore, dividing the former by the latter will get 6.5, its relative value.

The knight can threaten 8 spaces at most, and the only piece that can retaliate its threats is another knight. 8 divided by 1 is 8 (about 1.2 times higher than the bishop).

This method might seem intuitive at first, but just look at the "attack ratio" of the rook: 7 (lower than the knight!). Surely there is no dispute which is more valuable, the knight or the rook? I've seen many evaluations of grandmasters charting the relative values of pieces (like those Torvald was trying to appeal to in round 2) and I've never seen a knight praised more highly than the rook. Unless my opponent is willing to admit that the knight is also more valuable than the rook, we can excuse his method as inaccurate. However, doing so may cast doubt on his knowledge of Chess altogether.

If we must do anything with Torvald's numbers, it may be to multiply them, not divide them. Multiplying the maximum number of spaces that can be threatened by the number of pieces that can be threatened without retaliation will provide us with the relative likelihood each piece has to successfully threaten other pieces (and therefore show us its relative value at least as an attacking unit).

Queen: 135 (only the opposing queen is guaranteed to have the chance to retaliate)
Rook: 56
Bishop: 52
King: 40 (eight spaces to threaten times four pieces to threaten without retaliation; the king cannot threaten to capture the queen or the other king, else it would put itself in check)
Knight: 40
Pawn: 4 (the only two pieces a pawn can threaten without retaliation are the rook and the knight)

I won't claim this to be a perfect method, just one that is likely more accurate than Torvald's.

Thank you, Torvald, for a fun and interesting debate. And thank you, audience, for taking the time to read it. Vote for who you think provided the most persuading arguments.

Source:
[1] Advanced Endgame Strategies (Mednis, 1996)

Torvald

Con

Pinning, Skewering, and Forking Potential
As I have already conceded the points, it is hardly necessary to further discuss the issue. However, for the sake of fair play, I will make clarification: the bishop has the merit of ability to perform a pin, a skewer, and a fork, whereas a knight can perform only a fork. These three are all important tactics, giving the bishop and edge over the knight, in this scenario.

I reiterate that, while a bishop has the ability to, assuming it is not adjacent (in one of the surrounding squares) to a piece in question, pin either 5 or 6 pieces (it depends on whether you want to call a pinned pawn truly pinned), and skewer 3 pieces (rook, knight, and king), it can fork only 3 pieces. All of this is, of course, overlooking insurance. This means that the bishop can fork less than half of the pieces which it can pin/skewer. The knight, on the other hand, can fork five out of six pieces. Granted, in the aspect of ultimatums, the bishop is far more versatile (an allegorically brilliant and totally unintentional truth). I will address later why the knight's limited ability to make simultaneous threats is not a disadvantage.

Checkmating Potential
I won't argue with Edmar Mednis. I will say only that, by my second diagram, I demonstrate that a checkmate with two knights (and, of course, a king) is entirely possible. The issue involved is my opponent's statement, "However, it is impossible to force a checkmate with just your king and two knights," not whether or not competent players would allow such an occurrence to transpire. A skilled player might move his king into the center, when confronted with the given scenario, however, an inexperienced player is likely to perform the superficially superior, though actually inferior, action of moving toward a corner, for shelter. That aside, it is totally irrelevant as to what wild progression of events would be necessary to lead up to such a checkmate. That is not under question.

My opponent is correct, that a scenario in which one player has no viable moves, such as the example of my first diagram, is a stalemate. Perhaps it would have been more prudent to say that it is an example of a win with two knights, rather than a checkmate. Of course, whether or not a stalemate should be considered a win is an entirely different (and surprisingly contentious) debate. However, I imagine my opponent would agree with Larry Kaufman, "In my view, calling stalemate a draw is totally illogical, since it represents the ultimate zugzwang, where any move would get your king taken."

To answer your late comment "In light of all this, I shall clarify the point I was making: it is impossible to force a checkmate with only two knights against an opponent with a ELO rating higher than 600," this is irrelevant. Your point was not stated as thus, and bringing this up in the last round is just a ploy of desperation.

Finally, I wish to point out that first my opponent has demanded that I concede that it is not possible to perform a checkmate with two knights and a king, and then, when I demonstrated how it is possible, he has changed the terms of his original point, attempting to shift the obligation for concession off of himself. However, he was the one that made an unfounded and erroneous demand, and has simply been refuted.

I will not dispute the ability of two bishops to perform checkmate. Restating this is just a straw man.

Simultaneous Threats
As I indicated earlier, I will now address the issue of the knight's limited ability to make simultaneous threats. To refresh the issue, my opponent has stated, rightly, that while bishops can perform pins, skewers, and forks, knights can perform only forks. Now, this looks very bad for knights, however, the mobility of knights must be considered. A bishop can be trapped either by threatening every space of the diagonal it may immediately occupy (for example, if a bishop is located on E1, it may be trapped by threatening D2, C3, B4, A5, F2, G3, and H4), or by enclosing it with pieces that it cannot take (for example, if D2 and F2, surrounding that same bishop, were to be threatened, and to have pieces placed thereupon, it would be unable to move without being taken). The knight, on the other hand, can be trapped solely by occupying or threatening the spaces on which it might land (for example, if a knight were located on G2, occupying or threatening E1, E3, F4, and H4 would successfully immobilize it).
These mobility confinements are not a major inconvenience for a bishop during endgame, or even midgame. However, at the beginning, the bishop is sorely inconvenienced, while the knight is at its prime. This means that, for the most part, they are even throughout the game, with the knight reigning in startgame, the bishop in endgame, and both being relatively successful during midgame. Now, since it is my job, according to my opponent, to show not only how the bishop is not superior to the knight, but how the knight is superior to the bishop, I am obligated to point out that the difference is that the beginning of the game determines how the entire game is played out. The usage of the knights during the beginning of the game is a major determining factor in how the bishops may execute victory during endgame. During this part of the game, in which knights are superior, they are so because they can still perform forks, but bishops often can do little more than threaten a single piece.

My Evaluation
I think both my opponent and I, and hopefully the audience, understand that my invented ranking system was less intended as evidence, and more just an interesting inclusion. My opponent's suggested amendment to it is probably just as accurate and useful (that is to say, neither system is anywhere near perfect).
Let us not forget, however, in the face of my improvised ranking method, that, while the bishop controls more maximum boardspace (in an open board), the knight can threaten more pieces simultaneously. I offer the following quantitative data series:

Maximum Number of Occupied Spaces Each Piece can Threaten Simultaneously
Pawn: 2
Bishop: 4
Rook: 4
King: 8
Queen: 8
Knight: 8

This is not intended to represent a ranking of the value of each pieces (since it is held, as my opponent points out, by most, if not all, experts that the rook is the most valuable of the three flanks), rather, to simply indicate that the knight is the most versatile piece, when confronted with occupied spaces. It may be limited in mobility, but in another sense, it is liberated (in its unique ability to jump pieces).

Endgame
I note that, while generally not inaccurate, most of my opponent's assumptions and points are based on endgame function. While endgame is certainly important, it is the beginning of the game that allots the position of each player in endgame, and since knights are perhaps the most valuable piece in the beginning of the game, they are important to the end of it, even if they are often not around to play an active part by the end.

I likewise thank my opponent, DakotaKrafick, for his most enjoyable, competent, and intriguing debate on the subject. I hope that some time we may debate again. Good day!
Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Chicken 4 years ago
Chicken
just say that bishops are no easier to checkmate with in normal games? It's a shared BOP, don't abide by his para-metricizing the resolution to focus on higher leveled chess. A knight and a bishop are of equal value (3 points) and you did a good job of pointing out the knight does not have to fear being taken. However, you didn't make that argument unique. Pro came back and refuted your reciprocal strikes argument and turned it for the bishop, proving that a bishop's only possible backlash comes from a Queen and another Bishop. While this may not seem sufficient because the knight's ability to not be taken still exists, Pro states that protecting pieces is a must, and a knight can easily be taken if not protected. If a Bishop and knight are both protected, their forking potentials are therefore equal.
Posted by Chicken 4 years ago
Chicken
Quick heads up to Torvald: You don't have to concede degree of difficulty, back up your arguments and don't concede to minor arguments, they will hurt you in the long run. You could have easily proved through your Grandmaster evidence that checkmating with two bishops is harder than checkmating with two knights. Instead, your quotes and evidence from the 27 year old chess champion just say that a knight is equal to or greater than a bishop. Stress the greater than, Pro easily knocked that aside by saying equality doesn't fulfill the resolution, and if you (Con) look back at your round's 2-4, you concede something in every single round. Agreement tends to end a debate, concessions should only be made on arguments you will always lose. There are arguments to combat Pro's difficulty and effectiveness argumentation. You should have focused specifically on forks outweighing pins and skewers rather than just saying knights can fork far better than bishops.

BTW Con here some examples of your concessions, all at the beginning of a rebuttal or argument.
"I concede that,"
"True,"
"Bishop's certainly do have" (This wasn't needed, you could have begun this argument with "Just because a bishop can.... doesn't mean it is effective/doesn't mean it has any real use etc. and relate the reciprocal strikes argument to the bishop's meager ability to "Fork")
"I won't argue with Edmar Mednis." You don't have to! Pro is forcing you into a hole by trying to turn the debate into a higher leveled chess game. You could easily prove Knights are still deadly for beginning and endgame strategies. You could also easily just prove a Knight with a rook is easier to checkmate than a bishop with a rook. (Obviously both scenarios require a king, but you could say a bishop only covers a maximum of 3 tiles that the rook does not cover, and the bishop does not help push back an opposing king, while a knight can by moving so it's L move surrounds the king, forcing it back) Also, why couldn't you j
Posted by One_Winged_Rook 4 years ago
One_Winged_Rook
I think its safe to say, what I get out of the debate (and you guys just taught me this, though.. neither said it explicitly). To have both bishops is better than having both knights. So, if you have both bishops and both knights, its preferable to lose a knight. But if you are down to one knight and one bishop, it'd be prefable to lose the Bishop, I'd say. (And clearly, when you have two bishops and one knight, it's preferable to lose the knight). The interesting scenario is when you have one bishop and two knights. As it is possible to FORCE a checkmate, but very difficult to do so (in some cases, impossible, depending on starting configuration) when you have one bishops and one knight (but not possible with two knights, as stated in the debate), i'm not sure which to choose. I think that would be a great debate to have. I'm not sure I could distinctly say one or the other without knowing my opponents situation, but i think if they have a full roster... i'd lose the bishop and keep both my knights.
Posted by Cometflash 4 years ago
Cometflash
Thanks guys, this was a great read.
"Funny" thing is I haven't played chess in years before tonight. I got a chess game for the PS3 this pass weekend, my friend and I was supposed to play a little bit of Madden tonight, but he started watching Braking Bad season 4 and bailed on me. :$ (I told him about this place, so he might be seeing this reply. :| )
So I play a game of chess, and my niece kept telling me not to, since she expected to see us play Madden, and she ended up watching me play chess, which in her many words, was just boring.
She had the ipad with her, and kept writing messages of how chess was boring in a faulty translator, and play the audio in my original language so I could hear it. I kept telling her how faulty it was, but she kept on going. I guess in a positive way of looking at this, this situation gave her inspiration, as she wrote quite a lot of different things. Maybe I should have told her to save those phrases up, but I was just to concentrated in my game to think of such of thing. Later on, she just did the same thing, but this time in English.

Anyways, I thought this was a great debate, and I feel it's hard to decide, but I might have to give a slight edge to PRO here. I would love to see this shown on the score system, however if I could vote, I would just have to skew the voting even more to PRO side. I don't see how I could give any points to CON, if I were to be honest on my voting.

So this is like the first time I see this voting system as unfair. If I were to be the solo person to judge this debate, and I did not have to follow by this sites rules, PRO would win, but CON would have almost as many points as PRO.
Posted by Torvald 4 years ago
Torvald
Qweerty650, even if you had confirmed your identity, as a new user, you would be unable to vote until having completed at least three debates.
Posted by qweerty650 4 years ago
qweerty650
Unfortunately I cannot vote because of this "confirm your identity" nonsense which I don"t understand. However, I would still like to give my thoughts on this very interesting debate.

In my opinion Pro takes a slight lead in the argumentation. I"m inclined to think of the maths stuff as a wash, since its relevance was under analysed and it was never really clear why one system was necessarily better than the other. On tactics Pro got his biggest wins, he was able to show that the bishop had access to tactical possibilities that the knight didn"t, though I would have like more about how that plays into an actual game (like how a bishop on one square can be performing multiple tactical roles, and so is more valuable in controlling the board etc). Con didn"t explain why a slightly better ability to fork outweighed the other tactics open to bishops. As for endgames, pro showed that in a real game with a real opponent the checkmate potential of Knights was limited. Con, just asserting it is irrelevant is not an argument. Chess is not a theoretical problem it is a real game played by real people. Pro could have cemented his lead here by walking through the ways that two bishops can force a king into a certain position, and why a knight cannot.

Con"s best material was the knights ability to jump over pieces, but he never put it to work explaining how that was relevant, for example, in bypassing a kings defences in the endgame.
As for the limited mobility of the Bishop, the analysis from Con came out extremely late in the debate (as did his beginning/endgame comparison) so it is difficult to weigh, and there was very little reason as to why a knight"s mobility cannot also be limited by the existence of pieces on its potential squares.

Overall I thought it was a pretty good, and certainly very interesting debate, although it suffered from a lack of clarity as to what each side was trying to prove. What does it mean it be a better piece? Clarity there can mean
Posted by Chicken 4 years ago
Chicken
RFD-

This debate boils down to two main points. The first, is the abilities of the bishop in contrast to the knight, and which piece's impacts on the board outweigh. The second is the endgame strategy, the ability to checkmate and win the game with the respective piece. The Bishop was awarded the abilities of the Pin and Skewer, as well as a meager Forking potential, all of which are conceded. At the same time, the knight is given the maximum fork potential, which con argues outweighs the skewer/pin advantages of the bishop due to non-reciprocal strikes. This was a weak argument for three reasons. First, while the bishop's ability to fork is tiny in comparison to a knight, it still has that potential. If a pin+skewer were to be equal to a fork, the bishop would win due to it's slight advantage at being able to do all three. The second is Con never successfully proves how forking outweighs the bishops abilities of a pin and skewer. The third is Con concedes to the fact that a bishop can fork, and does not prove that a bishop that forks will suffer from a reciprocal strike by an opposing piece. So the first voting ground for Pro comes from Con's concession that the Bishop can also fork, failure to make the reciprocal strike argument unique, and Con's failure to prove forks are better than pins and skewers. The second voting ground is the checkmating potential. This was partially split. Pro's first point saying checkmating with two knights is impossible was proven false, however after a back and forth talk between pro and con, con eventually indirectly concedes to the fact that it is far harder to checkmate with 2 knights than with 2 bishops. Normally, checkmating potential rests in if the pieces can actually checkmate, but both sides agree it's not how you checkmate, it's how hard it is to perform that type of checkmate. So Pro win's on both of the big arguments. As for all of the other arguments, there were no big impacts coming from either side. Good debate!
Posted by Torvald 4 years ago
Torvald
That comment was addressed to Chicken, whose RFD I await with mirth.

Addressing Dakota, so it was indeed, a very good debate, and a refreshing breath of fresh air. We should do it again sometime.
Posted by Torvald 4 years ago
Torvald
I'm glad you are, and even if you were, know that I know more of chess than I let on by my previous comment. See my address of the issue in the debate.
Posted by DakotaKrafick 4 years ago
DakotaKrafick
Good debate, Torvald, twas fun :)
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 4 years ago
GorefordMaximillion
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Reasons for voting decision: better argument
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter SID.
Vote Placed by SeniorIntelligentDebator 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I think he was right to begin with. :)
Vote Placed by bencbartlett 4 years ago
bencbartlett
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Reasons for voting decision: Con demonstrated either a mistake or a lack of knowledge on the checkmating argument. I did not agree with all of Pro's arguments, but there were no glaring holes as were present in some of Con's arguments. A good debate overall though, though I do love my knights...
Vote Placed by One_Winged_Rook 4 years ago
One_Winged_Rook
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Reasons for voting decision: I give the win to Pro, though I think the pin/skewer arguement equals out with the fork. Con loses on the Checkmate argument, but the presmise did not say "are two bishops better than two knights", just ONE bishop to ONE knight, which can be much more easily argued that the Knight is superior. For missing this argument, win goes to Pro. I'll expand in the comments
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
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Reasons for voting decision: The edge for each argument was fairly obvious. Bishops take pins, skewers, endgame advantage, and mobility, with an edge in checkmate potential. Knights take simultaneous threats and opening advantage, with an edge in forks. With neither side helping voters to prioritize these issues, it's a numbers game and bishops come out on top.
Vote Placed by Chicken 4 years ago
Chicken
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.