Which give me more advantage two Knights or two Bishops ?. And what should I choose two Rooks or a Queen ?

  • I am quite sure that 2 Rooks are better than a Queen, 10 vs 9 ? Aug 15 '15 at 19:41
  • 1
    No. Sometimes a queen is better than 2 rooks, such as if there are no open files. A strong player used to win games in which he had a queen and gave his opponent 2 rooks.
    – limits
    Aug 15 '15 at 20:37

On average, two bishops are better than two knights, but there are plenty of exceptions (e.g., a closed position where the bishops don't have room to operate).

On average, two rooks are better than a queen, but there are plenty of exceptions (e.g., when the player with the rooks has a bunch of weak pawns that are easy for the queen to attack).

  • I totally agree with you : D Aug 15 '15 at 19:55
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    I once heard a grandmaster say that you should not play chess as a bookkeeper. All depends on the position.
    – Marco
    Aug 16 '15 at 18:33

Read the article "Evaluation of Material Imbalances" by GM Larry Kaufman: The Evaluation of Material Imbalances.

He says about the bishop pair:

The bishop pair has an average value of half a pawn (more when the opponent has no minor pieces to exchange for one of the bishops), enough to regard it as part of the material evaluation of the position, and enough to overwhelm most positional considerations. Moreover, this substantial bishop pair value holds up in all situations tested, regardless of what else is on the board. This large a bishop pair value is surprising because in the opening grandmasters will often give up the bishop pair to double the opponent's pawns or to gain a mild lead in development, factors which are generally not worth half a pawn [DH: Since at the very start of the game a tempo is worth roughly a third of a pawn - and more later! - it is worth losing a tempo to save the bishop pair, but if you can gain two tempo by giving up the bishop pair that may be worth it in the short run!]

Later, queen vs. two rooks:

Although many authors talk about queen and pawn equaling two rooks, this is only close to true with no minor pieces on the board; with two or more minors each, the queen needs no pawns to equal the rooks. I recall a famous Portisch-Fischer game in which Portisch "won" two rooks for Fischer's queen right out of the opening, but Fischer soon won a weak pawn and went on to win rather easily, despite the nominal point equality. In fact Fischer's annotations severely criticized Portisch for making the trade; Fischer understood very well that with lots of material on the board, the queen is every bit as good as the rooks, so once he won a pawn he was effectively a full pawn ahead.

His basic tables of values is:

  • Pawn = 1

  • Bishop pair = +½

  • Rook = 5

  • Bishop = 3¼

  • Knight = 3¼

  • Queen = 9¾


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