Every now and then I will move my queen into a position that puts it in position to be captured by the opposing queen. Sometimes my opponents takes it and I capture their queen immediately. Also, sometimes they don't take it and neither of use loses a queen.

Is it ever smart, except for obvious occasions, to lose your queen just to take the opposing sides queen?

  • 3
    Yes, happens practically every game, it's just an equal trade. – RemcoGerlich Jul 17 '19 at 21:33
  • 2
    @RemcoGerlich Your comment can mislead the OP into thinking it's never a bad idea, which is not – David Jul 17 '19 at 21:42
  • 3
    @David: any normal move can be a bad idea. I'm just saying offering a queen trade is a normal thing that regularly happens during chess games. Sometimes it's a good idea, sometimes bad. – RemcoGerlich Jul 18 '19 at 7:09
  • @RemcoGerlich I do understand what you say. The problem is whether the OP will (he looks like quite a beginner) – David Jul 18 '19 at 7:18
  • If you have a passed pawn you are trying to promote, don't trade queens. It is a bad idea I read at a book. – user18196 Jul 18 '19 at 14:30

You're referring to a queen trade, and yes, there're plenty of situations in which you want to trade queens. In general, trading queens simplifies the position, which is good if:

  1. You're up material. The fewer pieces there are on the board, the harder it is for the opponent to cook up counterplay.
  2. You're on the defensive. The fewer pieces there are on the board, the harder it is to launch a successful attack on the enemy king.
  3. You have some kind of advantage that makes you win the endgame, e.g. fewer pawn islands (this is a technical chess concept that measures on how many separated pawns you have), an outside passed pawn, and so on.
  4. Various other reasons (there are a ton of them).

Here's an example from the recent game Topalov-Maxime Vachier Lagrave.

1kr5/1r3p2/2np3p/p5p1/2P3P1/PPNq4/K1R3QP/7B w - - 0 39

Black has just played Qe3-d3, and it's White's turn. It should be clear that Black's queen is much stronger than White's right now: it's much more aggressively positioned and it's generating a lot of threats. So Topalov played 39. Qd2, offering the trade. MVL promptly played 39...Qxd2, because if he didn't, White would play Qxd6+, eating a pawn for free.

This kind of exchange happens all the time at top level.

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The only possible answer is: it depends. It is a good idea if, by placing your queen in that particular position, you get some kind of advantage.

For example, if you have a lot of material advantage, you may want to simplify the position by trading queens. Of course your opponent can just run away, but this could imply running away from an active attacking position.

You can also move your protected queen into a very good square (like the seventh rank) so that in case it's captured by the enemy queen, the piece with which you recapture places itself in that very good square.

In other cases, for example if you are down on material, this can tend to be a very bad decision.

So, in short, it depends on context

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