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Being that they're the longest diagonals and aim at such important squares, controlling them can often turn out to be a fairly dominant position best is to line them up in such a way that there is no pawn barrier to them...where the bishop is fianchettoed on a diagonal that makes an "X" with the pawn structure. If your pawns are arranged in such a way, it allows the bishop to slide through them easily and attack deep into enemy territory. If it's the opponent's pawns there, you can look for a pawn exchange at one of the squares to break the diagonal open for the bishop.

The trouble run into is if your bishop is fianchettoed along a diagonal which is completely blocked with pawns - say it's along the a8-h1 diagonal at b7, and your opponent (or you) has pawns on d5, e4, f3, and g2. This makes a complete barrier for the bishop that becomes virtually impossible to clear out, there-by forcing the bishop to either relocate, or just sit around and watch the action helplessly.

A fianchettoed bishop can be a powerful weapon, or can make for a devastating weakness.

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