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Bad Bishop:Myth and reality.

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  • Bad Bishop:Myth and reality.

    PART 1
    Botvinnik once said:
    "One of the problems contemporary players face , is where to develop queen's bishop"
    Is that why he choose to play French defense and Stonewall?
    Especially in French defense the bishop is considered bad from almost all average players.I have heard countless times playersd to say:
    "I don't like French defense because of the bad bishop".
    But if French defense has indeed a bad bishop why anyone should choose to play it?Why start with a bad piece when you can start with all pieces good or relatively good?

    Surprisingly 2 authors, experts of French defense, Victor Moskalenko and LevPsakhis , agree that "the Bad Bishop in French defense is a myth"(Moskalenko) and "the bad bishop in French defense is something that has never been proved"(Psakhis).

    But why believe them?The wrote a book about French defense , what will they say?That it's a bad opening?They won't to sell , don't they?
    Indeed ,writers should not be trusted blindly.They say many lies in order to sell.Evgeny Sveshnikov in his book "Beating the French defense" suggests Advance Variation, he is after all a "leading authority" on this line, claiming that "white can get an edge because of black's bad bishop".

    3 grandmasters , all experts , 2 completely different opinions.
    Conclusion No1:
    "Don't trust writers blindly"

    Writers should not be trusted blindly for 4 reasons:
    1)They are humans
    2)Because they are humansn they love money and
    3)Because they are humans and they love money , they want to sell, and
    4)Because they are humans and they love money and they want to sell , they lie.

    There are also other "darker forces" behind chess books: Publishers.
    These are a real menace.They want a book , they want it ready in 2 days and they want a "catchy" title.
    "A killer opening repertoire" ,"Play the terrible Nosferatu attack and drink their blood" , "Kick a.. with Kasparov's kicking a.. opening repertoire" and other similar ,very "educational" books are destined to become best sellers.


    Wait , I am out of the topic.I was supose to prove that there is no bad bishop in French and I proved that we should not trust writers and we must exile publishers.What did you expect , I am an amateur.

    But actually I'm not out of the topic.Because of the fact that we can't fully trust writers we have to "dig" by ourselves , and when I say "dig" I mean "dig deep".

    Let's first do a theoretical discussion and let's see what history can tell us:

    1)Many great players used French defense regularly.Alekhine ,Botvinnik , Petrosian , Korchnoi are maybe the top 5(Botvinnik counts for 2).Is it possible they didn't know about the "bad bishop"?(a little laugh never hurt anyone)

    2)There are lines in which Black plays ...b6 and ...Ba6 or ..Bd7-Bb5.Doesn't that prove that the bishop is bad?
    hmmm.......maybe.........or we miss something.......we will get back to this.

    3)None of the experts of French defense used regularly and as main "weapon" the ...b6-Ba6 or the ...Bd7-Bb5 lines.They used them rarely and only as a surprise weapon.Especially Petrosian , played regularly ...b6 but never ...Ba6!!.He always developed the bishop on b7 and never exchanged it.

    Confusing , isn't it?
    Many lines with which Black attempts to exchange the "bad bishop" but they are not the main prefference of the experts of French defense.If the bishop is really bad why they don't want to get rid of it?

    Someone could say that maybe the ...b6-Ba6 or the ...Bd7-Bb5 plan are slow and lose at least 2 tempi and may end with a misplaced knight at a6, but the truth is that there are lines that exchange the bad bishop with good prospects of equality for Black.
    For example , the line 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Qb6 5. Nf3 Bd7 6. Be2 cxd4 7. cxd4 Bb5 promises Black equality and Black can get rid of the bad bishop very soon.Why don't they all play that line?

    It is true that Bc8 has very limited options.It can only be developed to d7 and sometimes not even that is available.Bc8 has nothing to do for many moves.So why keep it in the game?Why not exchange it?

    Many experts of French defense choose not to exchange that bishop because they simply want it in the game.In Advance Variation ,White , in his try to grab space , is forced to compromise it's position with one weakness:e4.That may not seem a weakness in the first moves but often proves a serious weakness for white.In many cases white's attempt to exploit his spatial advantage and stop Black's counterplay ,can create a domino of several other light squared weaknesses:c4 ,d5 , b3 and even d3 can prove invasion points if white isn't careful(not just careful , VERY careful).Black's LSB is a piece that increases it's value as the time passes.Any expert of French defense knows that if the alterations of the pawn structure create invasion points for his LSB , the game is won.That is what white players try to prevent but it's not at all easy to stop that monster.Bc8 is actually "a wolf with sheep's clothing".

    In the first ever recorded victory for Black , at 1620 ,in a game of the great Greco , all the main ideas for Black's game are present.The game ends with an opposite color bishop ending excellently played by Greco.Black's last standing piece is his "bad bishop".





    [Event "Italy"]
    [Site "Italy"]
    [Date "1620.??.??"]
    [Round "?"]
    [White "NN"]
    [Black "Greco, Gioacchino"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "C02"]
    [PlyCount "100"]
    [EventDate "1620.??.??"]

    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bd7 6. Be3 c4 {The move is not
    entirely wrong as someone would expect.Although , not Black's best choice , it
    is quite playable.Greco understands a concept (q-side attack) but sacrifices
    another one, maybe more important(central tension).Still the game quickly
    becomes very interesting.} 7. b3 b5 8. a4 a6 9. axb5 axb5 10. Rxa8 Qxa8 11.
    bxc4 dxc4 $1 {Needless to say that 11...bxc4 would be a positional mistake.}
    12. Be2 Nge7 13. O-O Nd5 {The weakness on d5 is already present.} 14. Bd2 Be7
    15. Ng5 Bxg5 16. Bxg5 O-O 17. Bf3 Na5 18. Bxd5 Qxd5 19. f4 Bc6 20. Qd2 Nb3 {
    The weakness on b3 , present.} 21. Qc2 Nxd4 {A sacrifice that is interesting
    but not necessary.We must though understand that we are talking for the early
    era of chess.Concepts of positional chess were practically completely unknown
    and no chessplayer was respectable if he didn't sacrifice at least one piece
    during the game.If we see that game under the prism of the era it represents ,
    we will realise that Greco's positional understanding was really unreal for
    his time.Even his sacrifice is positional(creates 2 connected passed pawns).}
    22. cxd4 Qxd4+ 23. Kh1 Be4 {The weakness on e4 , present.} 24. Qc3 Qc5 25. Nd2
    Bd3 {The weakness on d3 , present.} 26. Rc1 Rc8 27. Nb3 cxb3 {
    27...Qa3 would be much better.} 28. Qxc5 Rxc5 29. Rxc5 h6 30. Rc3 b2 31. Rb3
    b1=Q+ 32. Rxb1 Bxb1 {The endgame is a draw but Greco's wonderful technique
    shows why he was so much ahead of all his players of his time.} 33. Be7 Kh7 34.
    g4 Be4+ 35. Kg1 Bf3 36. h3 h5 37. g5 Kg6 38. Kf2 Bd5 39. Ke3 h4 40. Kf2 Kf5 41.
    Ke3 Bg2 42. Bf8 g6 43. Bb4 Bxh3 44. Be1 Kg4 45. Bd2 Bg2 46. Kf2 h3 47. Bc1 Bd5
    48. Kg1 Kg3 49. Be3 h2+ 50. Kf1 h1=Q+ 0-1





    Isn't that amazing?The "bad bishop" supported the promotion of 2 pawns!!!.

    Let's click the fast forward button in our remote control and let our "chess time machine" run some years...........oops ,that's enough........
    300 years after Greco , a new star dominates World Chess:
    Alexandr Alekhine.
    No one can claim that he has done serious chess study without studying Alekhine.




    [Event "Paris m"]
    [Site "Paris FRA"]
    [Date "1923.??.??"]
    [Round "2"]
    [White "Muffang, Andre"]
    [Black "Alekhine, Alexander"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "C02"]
    [PlyCount "88"]
    [EventDate "1923.??.??"]

    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 f6 6. Bd3 Bd7 7. Qc2 f5 8. g4 g6 9.
    gxf5 gxf5 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Qe2 Qc7 12. Nbd2 Nge7 13. Nb3 Bb6 14. Nbd4 Bxd4 15.
    cxd4 Qb6 16. Qe3 Nb4 17. Bb1 Rc8 18. Bd2 Nc2+ 19. Bxc2 Qxb2 20. Rb1 Qxc2 21.
    Rxb7 Qxa2 22. O-O Rg8+ 23. Kh1 Qc2 $1 {A very simple move that shows deep
    understanding of the position.Alekhine is ready to occupy the critical e4.} 24.
    Ng5 Rg7 {Black's LSB only moved once in all the game(d7) but that is was never
    a problem for Black because it is where it must be.Soon the ingenious Alekhine
    will launch an attack that will be based on this bishop.} 25. Rxa7 h6 26. Nf3
    f4 27. Qe2 Qe4 28. Qd1 Nc6 29. Re1 $2 {
    The mistake but it was not easy to see what Alekhine was preparing.} Nxa7 $1
    30. Rxe4 dxe4 31. Nh4 e3 {This is probably the move White missed.Without that
    move white is fine despite Black's 2 rooks for the queen.It was rather
    difficult for Muffang to "see" that Akekhine was preparing an attack on the
    light squares with the help of the "useless" till now Bd7.} 32. Qh5+ Kf8 33.
    fxe3 fxe3 34. Bxe3 Bc6+ {White can resign. We will see in later games that the
    moves of this bishop have something "poetic".In many cases the game ends with
    a move of this bishop.Is it possible that it was called bad bishop" because it
    is mean?} 35. Nf3 Kg8 36. Qh3 Bd5 37. Bxh6 Rg6 38. Qh5 Be4 {The dominating
    position of this bishop is what dooms white.The bishop pins Nf3 and protects
    Rg6.} 39. Bg5 Rc3 40. Kg1 Rxf3 41. Qg4 Nb5 42. h4 Nc3 43. Kh2 Rf2+ 44. Kh3 Bf5
    {It was reasonable the game to end after a move of the "bad bishop".} 0-1





    [Event "Carrasco"]
    [Site "Carrasco"]
    [Date "1938.??.??"]
    [Round "2"]
    [White "Canepa, Jose"]
    [Black "Alekhine, Alexander"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "C02"]
    [PlyCount "48"]
    [EventDate "1938.??.??"]

    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. Qg4 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nge7 6. c3 Nf5 7. Bd3 cxd4 8. O-O
    Bd7 9. Re1 dxc3 10. Nxc3 {
    White sacrificed a pawn for a lead in development and attacking chances.} g6
    11. Bg5 Be7 12. Qf4 Ncd4 13. Bf6 Nxf3+ 14. gxf3 $2 {White doubles his pawns
    because he wants to move more heavy pieces to the attack through the now
    semi-open g-file.White though should avoid any light square weaknesses.} Rg8
    15. Kh1 Bc6 16. Bxf5 gxf5 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Ne2 d4 $1 {
    The "bad bishop" is now really bad!!!} 19. Nxd4 Qb4 {
    A key move that prevents White from exchanging the "bad bishop".} 20. Rg1 $2 {
    White would be worst after the obligatory 20.Red1 but the position would be
    playable.} Rxg1+ 21. Rxg1 O-O-O 22. Rd1 Qxb2 23. Rd2 Rxd4 {
    An exchange sacrifice to protect the "bad bishop".} 24. Rxd4 Qxf2 {
    There is no defense against 25...Bxf3+} 0-1

    This time the game didn't end from a move of the bad bishop but it ends from the threat of a move of the "bad bishop".


    p.s.1 This is a work in progress.Many parts will be added in an attempt to fully study what "bad piece" is.

    p.s.2 This is my work but I was closely supervised by an IM.Everything posted here has been approved and is part of our chess club's teaching program.

    p.s.3 I don't have permission to post the games fully analysed.Further analysis , if you think it's necessary , should be done by you.

    p.s.4 Generalisations are used only for emphasis purpose.Not all writers lie and not all publishers are a menace(of course).
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Roper; 10-04-2012, 09:50 AM.

  • #2
    Thanks for that explanation Roper. In my mind, I would say that the bishop is bad by definition, but black has adequate compensation for it.

    Victor

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't play the French but I argree that the Bishop is bad by definition. It is also bad practically. I can speak from what I do know. I play the Queens Gambit Declined as Black and the light squared bishop is well deserving of the name "problem child". It is bad, and it is trouble to bring it out. I will not deny that the bishop is potentially good (which is what you seem to be saying), but from the beginning it is bad. Making it useful/activating it is one of blacks major tasks. In both openings, black has major compensations for this weakness (solid and inherently sound position, possibility of active play with pawn breaks). In fact, in the Queens Gambit Declined, the lack of any other weaknesses make this bad bishop an acceptable regret. I do think the Bishop in the French is bad, but potentially good.
      "Let me only get there," he had said with the fatuousness of Crusoe over his big boat, "and the rest is but a matter of time and energy."
      --Thomas Hardy

      Comment


      • #4
        "Bad by definition"?
        There is no such term in chess.A piece is bad when it has no potential and it's good when it has potential.

        In the case of the French defense white's weaknesses on light squares can make the light square bishop a deadly weapon.The problem is that most of us(including me) have(or had) superficially studied French defense , and can't(or couldn't) understand how to initiate a light square attack or how to exploit the key light square weaknesses.In fact they don't(or didn't) even know they exist.I can say that with certainty about myself.
        For example:



        In the above position Black has the move.White has a "good by definition" knight at c5 and Black has a "bad by definition" bishop at d7.
        With Black plays one of the greatest experts of French defense and best players of his time, Wolfgang Uhlmann.You will be surprised to know that he played 14...Bc8! protecting the "bad by definition" Bishop.According to Uhlmann , the bad piece on the board is the "good by definition" Nc5 because it doesn't cooperate with the rest of white's pieces.In fact Uhlmann does nothing to chase away the knight and white eventually withdraws it.
        Here is all the game:

        I want to add that I have talked with a couple of titled players that play regularly French defense and have study it extensively.None of them feels that he plays an opening that has a "bad bishop".
        I asked deliberately one of them:
        "How do you get rid of the bad bishop?"
        His answer was:
        "What bad bishop? What are you talking about?"

        PART 2
        To determine which bishop is good and which is bad is not easy,we have to go deeper.In French defense , Bc8 is considered "bad" by many because of the presence of one pawn , e6.Without that pawn , the bishop is not considered "bad" any more.
        To be more specific:
        After 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 ,Black's LSB is "bad" while after 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 ,Black's LSB is not "bad".

        It is common mistake for many chessplayers to confuse the piece that has a lot of options with the good piece and the piece that has limited options with the bad piece.That is why they consider Black's LSB a good piece in Caro Kan Advance(or at least not bad).The truth is that Bf5 can be a target.All the ambitious for white lines in CKA(Caro Kan Advance)include a plan of attack on Bf5.Many games have been lost from the rapid attack that white develops on k-side because of the tempi won attacking Black's LSB.

        That of course doesn't mean that French defense is good and Caro Kan is bad ,of course not , they are simply different.But we still have to answer the critical question.
        "What makes a bishop bad?" and more accurately "What makes a piece bad?"

        One of the most important concepts in chess is cooperation.No matter how well placed pieces you have, if you don't have a plan, you have nothing.If you have a plan , then the piece that doesn't fit in that plan is a bad piece.



        The above position is from the game Botvinnik-Chekhover.In the book "SHAKHMATNOE TVORCHESTVO BOTVINNIKA" (Botvinnik's Chess Creativity)Botvinnik himself gives an evaluation of this position:

        "Black's passive play has allowed white to gain good attacking chances on k-side.Black pieces are not well placed and lack coordination and the position of the bishop on b7 has significantly weakened e6.Despite all these, Black has a solid position and his king is well protected.White's inability to attack though is due to the fact that Nc3 is totally inactive.I knew that I had to find a way to activate that knight ,to exploit black's misplaced q-side pieces."

        The above evaluation, coming from one of the greatest teachers ever appeared, can really be a whole lesson.Pay attention to some key phrases Botvinnik uses:

        "the presence of the bishop on b7 has significantly weakened e6"
        "Nc3 is totally inactive"
        "black's badly misplaced q-side pieces."

        According to Botvinnik , Nc3 is inactive and Bb7 is misplaced!!!!!
        Both of these pieces are , theoretically ,very well placed.Especially Bb7 has a whole digonal open.It's the definition of the good bishop!!!
        Not according to Botvinnik.
        From Botvinnik we learn a very important truth.
        The open diagonals or files and free movement don't define the good piece.If a piece doesn't cooperate with the rest of the pieces , it's a bad piece.Simple as that.

        Let's return to the very interesting Botvinnik-Chekhover game and see what Botvinnik did and how he solved the problem of the "bad knight" .

        [Event "Russia"]
        [Site "It, Moscow "]
        [Date "1935.03.08"]
        [Round "16"]
        [White "Mikhail Botvinnik"]
        [Black "Vitaly Chekhover"]
        [Result "1-0"]
        [ECO "A09"]
        [FEN "r2r1nk1/1bq1bppp/pp2pn2/4N3/2PP1P2/2NB4/PB2Q1PP/R4RK1 w - - 0 19"]
        [EventDate "1935.??.??"]

        19. Nd1 {A move very few would have find.The knight is immediatelly redirected
        to k-side.} Ra7 $2 {Chekhover can't even imagine what Botvinnik has in mind.
        The correct plan for Black was to find a way to exchange the very dangerous
        Bd3.For example 19...Ng6 20.Ne3 Be4.} 20. Nf2 Qb8 21. Nh3 $1 {
        Botvinnik "lost" 3 moves but the knight is now ready to attack with 22.Ng5} h6
        {Black simply stops 22.Ng5.........or not?} 22. Ng5 $1 {A simple repositioning
        of a knight turns a slight edge to a won game.According to Botvinnik the
        position is already lost for Black.Botvinnik's attack is not only decisive but
        also impressive.} hxg5 23. fxg5 N8d7 24. Nxf7 Kxf7 25. g6+ Kg8 26. Qxe6+ {
        The weakness on e6.} Kh8 27. Qh3+ Kg8 28. Bf5 Nf8 29. Be6+ Nxe6 30. Qxe6+ Kh8
        31. Qh3+ Kg8 32. Rxf6 Bxf6 33. Qh7+ Kf8 34. Re1 Be5 35. Qh8+ Ke7 36. Qxg7+ Kd6
        37. Qxe5+ {When the attack started the Black king was defended by 4 pawns and
        3 light pieces.In only 15 moves Botvinnik eliminated all of them.} Kd7 38.
        Qf5+ Kc6 39. d5+ Kc5 40. Ba3+ Kxc4 41. Qe4+ Kc3 42. Bb4+ Kb2 43. Qb1# {
        The last 23 moves , all Black q-side pieces (2 rooks , the queen and the
        bishop) never had the chance to move.} 1-0

        An amazing and very instructive game.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Celadonite; 10-04-2012, 07:38 PM. Reason: tidying up multiple consecutive posts per normal routine :)

        Comment


        • #5
          "Bad by definition"?
          There is no such term in chess.A piece is bad when it has no potential and it's good when it has potential.
          I won't quibble. There is no such term used in chess, but you know what is meant. In your Uhlmann and Botvinnik examples, you seem to be reinforcing this. You show that some of the pieces that seem most useful are really some of the pieces that are the most badly misplaced. On the other hand, some of the pieces that seem to be most badly placed are really stars, and that it takes a great eye to see their brightness. For my part, I can understand Botvinnik's explanation of misplaced light squared bishop in that example. I doubt I would have come to the same conclusion, but I can appreciate what he said. I often feel acutely the weakness of e6 when playing the Queens Gambit Declined with balck, and it is very often a hard choice when deciding where to develop that bishop.

          Many examples of strangely or "badly" placed pieces that are actually very good where they are can be found. I remember one example of GM Rowson's book where doubled, isolated a-pawns were very good for white. In fact, blacks mistake in the game was to double them. They turned out to be invulnerable and gave white the open b file to double rooks and pressure black's Queen side pawn. In another example I remember, a Knight was most perfectly placed on the edge of the board.

          I am not ready to give up the myth of the bad bishop in the Queen's Gambit Declined (and so the myth of bad bishops in other situations). It causes me so much trouble, and if light squared bishops were removed from the board (I mean picked up and literally removed, not traded) at, say, move 7, Black would have no trouble achieving equality.

          I will say that it may be more complicated than that tough. You point to harmony between the pieces, and the light squared bishop is important in the French when black is making breaks (c7-c5, f7-f6, g7-g5). Both because it keeps blacks light squared pawns happily protected and because of its threatened activity.

          I'll admit that most of my knowledge of good and bad pieces comes from Silman. I don't have any respect for him any more and the sooner I can forget some of the things that his books taught me the better. Perhaps that is one of my problems with Silman. He knows everything, or, at least, that is how he comes across in his books. But he can't know everything. He seems to lack that wonder that many GM have about the game, and he tries to break things up almost mathematically. His system is quite good but has also fallen too short.

          It is even possible that the French remained somewhat of a mystery to Bobby Fischer (he did terribly against that opening in comparison to how well he played against everything else). The mysteries of chess are not easily grasped.
          "Let me only get there," he had said with the fatuousness of Crusoe over his big boat, "and the rest is but a matter of time and energy."
          --Thomas Hardy

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lanced View Post
            I am not ready to give up the myth of the bad bishop in the Queen's Gambit Declined (and so the myth of bad bishops in other situations). It causes me so much trouble, and if light squared bishops were removed from the board (I mean picked up and literally removed, not traded) at, say, move 7, Black would have no trouble achieving equality.
            If you have so much trouble with Queen's bishop in Queen's Gambit declined , you are doing something wrong.It's not the subject of this topic so open another thread and show some games you have played with QGD.I may be able to help you.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd always bought the routine that the Bishop was bad, until one day I realized that he's actually not. It struck me that the truth is that he's "held in reserve" and plays an important part once he's sent out into the play.

              My view now is that any actual "badness" is more in the player's concept of that Bishop than in the actual reality of the Bishop. When he finally comes into play, it's quite often in a very dynamic way, and at an exquisitely proper moment. Kind of like "sending in the Cavalry" in old Western movies.
              "They work at the pace of amnesia."--M. Bloch

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              • #8
                Good chess books actually explained well the concept of bad bishop, so there is no myth.
                " Deep calculation is not what distinguishes the champions. It does not matter how far ahead you see if you don't understand what you are looking at. When I contemplate my move, I first must consider all the elements in the position so that i can develop a strategy and develop intermediate objectives"

                -- Garry Kasparov--

                "Tactics must be guided by strategy"

                --- Garry Kasparov--

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ryan_c View Post
                  Good chess books actually explained well the concept of bad bishop, so there is no myth.
                  Exactly.

                  Nobody has ever suggested "if you had a bad bishop, the game is lost."

                  Rather, all good teaches have ever said is "If you have a bad bishop, you need to address it by making it active or trading it off."

                  The thing about the french, of course, is that if white finds a way to make the bishop active he often has the much better game. So it's a potential weakness that black takes on hoping to turn it into a strength. Avoiding trading it off isn't so much about the absolute fact that the bishop is a strength so much as it is about maintaining the dynamic power of black's position and playing for a win. (White's generally going to only offer the trade without a fight if he wants a draw).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ronaldinho View Post
                    Exactly.

                    Nobody has ever suggested "if you had a bad bishop, the game is lost."

                    Rather, all good teaches have ever said is "If you have a bad bishop, you need to address it by making it active or trading it off."

                    The thing about the french, of course, is that if white finds a way to make the bishop active he often has the much better game. So it's a potential weakness that black takes on hoping to turn it into a strength. Avoiding trading it off isn't so much about the absolute fact that the bishop is a strength so much as it is about maintaining the dynamic power of black's position and playing for a win. (White's generally going to only offer the trade without a fight if he wants a draw).
                    Well said, and to add to that,there is also this saying bad bishop protect good pawns. Sometimes you even need to get rid of your opponent's bad bishop(grand master games have many good example of these).
                    " Deep calculation is not what distinguishes the champions. It does not matter how far ahead you see if you don't understand what you are looking at. When I contemplate my move, I first must consider all the elements in the position so that i can develop a strategy and develop intermediate objectives"

                    -- Garry Kasparov--

                    "Tactics must be guided by strategy"

                    --- Garry Kasparov--

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                    • #11
                      I've had that view on the French for sometime, and Botvinnik is even a favorite of mine because he views Chess as a science, with all of its implications of objective correctness. However, I don't actually play the French nor do I intend to, but there's certainly nothing wrong with the opening objectively. All openings have their strengths and weaknesses.

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