Thursday, July 5, 2012

Naming the Bishops

We chess players love our names.  Our openings carry with them heritage and famous advocates.  We don't play e4 d6, we play the Pirc Austrian Attack, Dragon Formation. We name our structures with colorful labels, like 'fianchetto' and 'isolani'.  I share our love for these names, evoking the great history and global allure of chess.  But I've always been confused by one strange omission.

We've never named the bishops.  Or maybe we have, in some ancient 1500 manuscript, but it clearly hasn't caught on.  Maybe the Soviets did, but I've never seen it referenced.  We're stuck with "dark-squared bishop" and "light-squared bishop", which is unwieldy.  Maybe for the first few hundred years or so it was no big deal, but once the Internet arrived and chess discussion exploded, this deficiency became glaring.  We could use "DBishop" and "LBishop", but that has all the style and elegance of a gym locker.

So, I've named my bishops:



I hope you do the same.

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