Bishop (chess)

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Chess pieces
Chess kdt45.svg King Chess klt45.svg
Chess qdt45.svg Queen Chess qlt45.svg
Chess rdt45.svg Rook Chess rlt45.svg
Chess bdt45.svg Bishop Chess blt45.svg
Chess ndt45.svg Knight Chess nlt45.svg
Chess pdt45.svg Pawn Chess plt45.svg
A white bishop

A bishop () is a piece in the board game of chess. Each player starts the game with two bishops. One starts between the king's knight and the king, the other between the queen's knight and the queen. The pieces are called either the king's bishop or the queen's bishop. In chess notation the starting squares are c1 and f1 for White's bishops, and c8 and f8 for Black's bishops.

History[change | change source]

The bishop first appeared in that form in medieval European chess. In Chaturanga he was represented as an armed attendant who sat on the back of an elephant. The Arabs called this figure "al-fil", which means "elephant". The problem was that in Central Europe elephants were not known, so they could not recognize the figure. The bishops were interpreted differently by the different nations. That is why the bishop is a "Läufer" (runner) in Germany, a "fou" (fool) in France and a "alfiere" (standard-bearer) in Italy.

Using a bishop[change | change source]

The bishop moves diagonally, and can move as far as a player wants it to unless another piece blocks it. A bishop can never leave the color of square that it starts on, and so can only move to 32 squares of the board.