Chess, Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) and Go all highly value the tempo/initiative.
The Chinese saying "宁失一子,不失一先" literally means
It is better to lose material/piece, than a tempo/initiative.
(宁=prefer; 失=lose; 一=one; 子=piece (e.g. pawn, rook, knight); 不=not; 先=initiative, tempo, momentum)
I understand the principle/tactic, but I don't know how to express it idiomatically. Is there an English maxim for it?
If there hasn't been an established proverb in English, we may invent some.
"Damn the material, full speed ahead!"
"Speed over greed"
Cons: The saying emphasizes to accept your own pieces' loss; while "greed" is about taking your opponent's pieces.