Bishop Value

Bishops are regarded as having a value of about 3 pawns in the “material” on a chess board. A Knight is also regarded as being worth 3 pawns, and together the Bishops and Knights are called “minor pieces” because they are worth less than the Rook (5 pawns) or Queen (9 pawns).

Actually, Bishops are regarded as having a little bit more than a Knight’s 3 pawns. So the value of a Bishop is really about 3-and-a-half pawns, or perhaps it’s 3-and-a-quarter pawns. In beginner chess, the distinction doesn’t matter that much.

Also, Bishops are worth a bit more if they are operating in a pair. If you have a “Bishop pair” then they help each other out by controlling both color squares, so each Bishop in a pair is worth a bit more than it would be alone. So a “Bishop pair” is worth maybe 7 pawns (or a bit more), rather than 3+3=6 pawns.

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