Once upon a time, in our checkered battlefield, a bishop got stuck in its own quarters. The only thing it could see was a wall of pawns. Beyond it, in the no man’s land, a battle was raging and our bishop was eager to help in the fight!
Alas, he couldn’t get a lift. There were no railroads or tunnels under the chessboard. It had to walk a long way! Welcome to the story of Bishops who survived such lockdowns!
In Winning Chess Manoeuvres, by Sarhan Guliev (published by New in Chess), the author dedicates an entire chapter to the story of these lockdown Bishops. The chapter called “Shuttle Manoeuvre” is full of misadventures of ambitious Bishops, which are later resolved through maneuvering in the middlegame phase.
The first step to fixing a problem is to recognize that it exists. There is no shame in moving a piece backward.
The second important part of the equation is to figure out a better square for your misplaced piece. Recognizing a bad piece is only the beginning. The same piece in a different area of the board could be a winning proposition. In the above example, the white player figures out that his bishop can contribute to the attack much better if it were on a3!
Well, it’s your turn to rescue your locked bishops now! Here are a few exercises to solve. You can try out the moves on the board.
Suggest a plan based on these two ideas: 1. Recognize a bad piece. 2. Find an alternative square where the piece can be more active and useful.