The Bad Bishop is a notorious villain in chess, but often a perfectly respectable bishop is falsely accused. The Secret Life of Bad Bishops takes an in-depth look at the bishop – not just dealing with good and bad bishops but also more nuanced cases where a “double-edged bishop” could turn out to be a game-winning hero or a fatal liability. All phases of chess are covered, from opening to middlegame to endgame. The final two chapters test the reader’s newly enhanced understanding with carefully chosen exercises and instructive solutions.
Esben Lund, an International Master from Denmark, is a respected author and coach. His first book for Quality Chess, Rook vs. Two Minor Pieces, earned excellent reviews.
ISBN: 978-1-906552-19-0 - 192 pages - Published 6 August 2014
"The concept of the 'bad bishop' has always been confusing and even divisive... Lund resolves this problem by coining a new term: the 'Double-Edged Bishop', which he defines as 'a bishop that cannot yet be declared as good or bad, but rather holds the potential of becoming good as well as the risk of becoming bad'.
When I read this, I was very happy! It's one of those wonderful moments when something you have understood intuitively is explained clearly and concisely and a little part of chess suddenly makes a bit more conscious sense."
GM Matthew Sadler, New in Chess
"I found the selection of games and positions to be well-chosen and it was clear that the author had expended considerable effort to carefully review the material and build upon examples given earlier in the book. IM Esben Lund has broken new ground with a thought-provoking book on an under-represented topic in chess literature – the evaluation of positions featuring “Double-edged bishops”. This book will be helpful for players rated between 1800- 2400 – stronger players could also benefit from being able to review many of these ideas and concepts in a single volume."
IM James Rizzitano, ChessCafe
"Dealing with a single theme - the value of bishops in various stages of the game - Lund leads his readers through a wonderland of philosophical ideas, creative side-steps and concrete examples which demonstrate just how tricky it is to accurately evaluate bishops.
It is one of the more thought-provoking books I have read in the last 10 years or so, and after finishing it and putting it away, I couldn't help continuing to think about the subject of bad (or actually not-so-bad) bishops for a long time."
Arne Moll, Chess.com (full review)
"It is a very interesting and highly instructive volume which definitely deserves a look, especially as it is a genuine attempt to produce a completely original work."
Sean Marsh, CHESS magazine
"A very refreshing book lies before me. It deals with the subject of bishops, when are they good and when bad? In which openings is there the problem of a bad bishop? What can be observed in the endgame with regard to such bishops?
For me personally, a remarkable book that vividly illuminates the secret life of the bad bishop."
"Required reading for chess players with ambitions! After working through it one sees bishops with different eyes."
Dennis Calder (full review in German)
"Now there is a jewel, The Secret Life of Bad Bishops by Esben Lund. The good or bad bishop is a familiar theme in chess, but the Danish master deals with this issue in a very original way, treating all phases of the game."
Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad