Glossary of Chess - B

B
Symbol used for the bishop when recording chess moves in English.
Back rank
A player's first rank (the one on which the pieces stand in the initial array); White's back rank is Black's eighth rank, and vice versa.
Back-rank mate
A checkmate delivered by a rook or queen along a back rank in which the mated king is unable to move up the board because the king is blocked by friendly pieces (usually pawns) on the second rank. This is also sometimes referred to as a back-row mate.
Back-rank weakness
A situation in which a player is under threat of a back-rank mate and having no time/option to create an escape for the king must constantly watch and defend against that threat, e.g. keeping a rook on the back rank.
Backward pawn
A pawn that is behind a pawn of the same color on an adjacent file and that cannot be advanced with the support of another pawn.
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White has a bad bishop, Black has a good bishop (Evans 1967:66).
Bad bishop
A bishop which is hemmed in by the player's own pawns.
Battery
An arrangement of two pieces in line with the enemy king on a rank, file, or diagonal so that if the middle piece moves a discovered check will be delivered. The term is also used in cases where moving the middle piece will uncover a threat along the opened line other than a check.
BCF
British Chess Federation, the former name of the English Chess Federation. See ECF.
BCM
An abbreviation for the British Chess Magazine.
BCO
An abbreviation sometimes used for the 1982 chess opening reference Batsford Chess Openings, by Raymond Keene and Garry Kasparov. The second edition (1989) is often called BCO-2. Cf. ECO and MCO.
Bind
A strong grip or stranglehold on a position that is difficult for the opponent to break. A bind is usually an advantage in space created by advanced pawns. The Maróczy Bind is a well-known example. See also Squeeze.
Bishop
see bishop
Bishops on opposite colors
A situation in which one side has only its light-squared bishop remaining while the other has only its dark-squared bishop remaining. In endgames, this often results in a draw if there are no other pieces (only pawns), even if one side has one or two pawns extra, since the bishops control different squares (see opposite-colored bishops endgame). In the middlegame, however, the presence of opposite-colored bishops imbalances the game and can lead to mating attacks, since each bishop attacks squares that cannot be covered by the other.
Bishop pair
In open positions, two bishops (on opposite colors) are considered to have an advantage over two knights or a knight and a bishop. (In closed positions knights may be more valuable than bishops.) The player with two bishops is said to have the bishop pair. Some evaluation systems count the bishop pair as being worth half of a pawn, see chess piece relative value#Alternate valuations.
Bishop pawn
A pawn on the bishop's file, i.e. the c-file or f-file.
Black
(See White and Black in chess) The designation for the player who moves second, even though the corresponding pieces, referred to as "the black pieces", are sometimes actually some other (usually dark) color. Similarly, the dark-colored squares on the chessboard are often referred to as "the black squares" even though they often are not literally black. See also White, First-move advantage in chess.
Blindfold chess
A form of chess in which one or both players are not allowed to see the board.
Blitz chess
(See Fast chess) A fast form of chess (Blitz being German for lightning) with a very short time limit, usually 3 or 5 minutes per player for the entire game. With the advent of electronic chess clocks, it is often the case that the time remaining is incremented by 1 or 2 seconds per move.
Blockade
A strategic placement of a minor piece directly in front of an enemy pawn, where it restrains the pawn's advance and gains shelter from attack. Blockading pieces are often overprotected.
Blunder
A very bad move, an oversight (indicated by "??" in notation).
Board
See chessboard.
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Boden's mate, from Schulder vs. Boden, London 1853
Boden's Mate
Boden's Mate, named for Samuel Boden, is a checkmate pattern in chess in which the king, usually having castled queenside, is checkmated by two criss-crossing bishops. Immediately prior to delivering the mate, the winning side typically plays a queen sacrifice on c3 or c6 to set up the mating position.
Book draw
An endgame position known to be a draw with perfect play. The name reflects that traditionally the analysis has been found in the chess endgame literature, but in simplified positions (currently six pieces or fewer) computer analysis in an endgame tablebase can be used.
Book move
An opening move found in the standard reference books on opening theory. A game is said to be "in book" when both players are playing moves found in the opening references. A game is said to be "out of book" when the players have reached the end of the variations analyzed in the opening books or if one of the players deviates with a novelty (or a blunder).
Book win
An endgame position known to be a win with perfect play. The name reflects that traditionally the analysis has been found in the chess endgame literature, but in simplified positions (currently six pieces or fewer) computer analysis in an endgame tablebase can be used.
Break
A pawn advance or capture that opens a blocked position.
Breakthrough
Destruction of a seemingly strong defense, often by means of a sacrifice.
Brevity
(chiefly British) See Miniature.
Brilliancy
A spectacular and beautiful game of chess, generally featuring sacrificial attacks and unexpected moves. Brilliancies are not always required to feature sound play or the best moves by either side.
Brilliancy prize
A prize awarded at some tournaments for the best brilliancy played in the tournament.
Bronstein delay
A time control method with time delay, invented by David Bronstein. When it becomes a player's turn to move, the clock waits for the delay period before starting to subtract from the player's remaining time.
Bughouse chess
A chess variant played with teams of two or more.
Bullet chess
A form of chess in which each side has 1 minute to make all their moves.
Bust
Colloquial term for a refutation of an opening, or of previously published analysis. A famous example is Bobby Fischer's 1961 article "A Bust to the King's Gambit" in which he wrote, "In my opinion, the King's Gambit is busted. It loses by force." American Chess Quarterly, Summer 1961 (Vol. 1, No. 1), at 3, 4.
Bye
A tournament round in which a player does not have a game, usually because there are an odd number of players. A bye is normally scored as a win (1 point), although in some tournaments a player is permitted to choose to take a bye (usually in the first or last round) and score it as a draw (½ point).

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