49 votes
Accepted

Why does Stockfish undervalue pawns when compared to the classical "a piece is worth three pawns" approach?

I am not an expert on stockfish source code, but my understanding is the following. Humans: It is true, that the 1 piece equals 3 pawns approach is pretty accurate, surprisingly so. However as you ...
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  • 20.4k
31 votes
Accepted

Why do points matter in trading pieces?

The point system in chess gives a rough indication of how strong each piece is. So the short answer to your question is, yes, a rook is more valuable than a knight, and so in the vast majority of ...
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  • 398
27 votes
Accepted

How many pawns make up for a missing queen in the endgame?

The simple and obvious answer is that it all depends on the position of black's pawns and king. In general the further up the board the pawns the better for black provided the king is in contact with ...
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  • 77.7k
24 votes

When a game is cut short and the winner is determined by material, do points still count if they're from promoted pawns?

Points in chess mean nothing with respect to the actual play of the game with regards to the rules. They are only a reference to give players a general sense of what value each piece has relative to ...
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  • 32.1k
15 votes

What is the origin/history of the traditional piece values?

In Claude Shannon's paper of 1949, he quotes those values as part of his evaluation function: Most of the maxims and principles of correct play are really assertions about evaluating positions, for ...
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  • 1,659
15 votes

When a game is cut short and the winner is determined by material, do points still count if they're from promoted pawns?

As has been said, in ordinary chess the points do not count, and the only person who can definitively tell you your school's rules is your chess coach. But that said, the purpose of looking at the ...
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  • 15.6k
15 votes
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What should be the value change if pawns are doubled?

Start with whatever and tune it. That's how chess engine programming works - you start with some number, and then tune it. For example you start with -5, then create another version with -10. You get ...
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  • 22k
14 votes
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Why is the rook worth 5 points while the bishop is only worth 3?

Have a look at the wikipedia article on relative chess piece values, it provides an extensive discussion on the matter. To see how you can compare two given pieces, let's consider your bishop vs rook ...
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  • 11.8k
13 votes

Can there be a checkmate with maximum points of material (103) while covering 64 squares?

As per Hauke's invitation, here is an optimal proof game for such a position. This is optimal because a queen must move to give the Black king a square and forty pawns moves must take place. White's h ...
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12 votes

Why is the rook worth 5 points while the bishop is only worth 3?

You need to understand that the point system is only a rough guideline meant to assist you in evaluating positions or in deciding on potential exchanges. Many factors, particularly the pawn structure, ...
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  • 20.4k
12 votes

Why do points matter in trading pieces?

Just to put a point on this: Does the fact that the knight is worth 2 less points than the rook make it less valuable? This is looking at it upside down. What matters in an exchange is getting ...
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  • 324
11 votes

Why would one promote a pawn to a knight?

There are even positions where one promotes R or B to save a draw by getting stalemated (rather than win by avoiding stalemate). One example is the Traxler-Dedrle setup: [FEN "4rN1K/5qP1/8/8/8/8/k7/...
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10 votes
Accepted

How to determine the value of a piece from scratch?

It's possible to use logistic regression (a statistical method) to estimate the predictive values. This way, you wouldn't need anyone to try the game at all. http://www.sumsar.net/blog/2015/06/big-...
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  • 21.6k
10 votes

How to determine the value of a piece from scratch?

Ralph Betza tried to do this and he wrote a series of six articles about this, starting with this one: http://www.chessvariants.com/piececlopedia.dir/ideal-and-practical-values.html Ideas to ...
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10 votes

Why does Stockfish undervalue pawns when compared to the classical "a piece is worth three pawns" approach?

Please note that those values are "abstract", later to be modified by the specifics of the position. For example, even though a knight appears 0.8 pawns less valuable than a bishop, it could be that ...
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  • 13.2k
10 votes

How many pawns make up for a missing queen in the endgame?

First of all, White wins in the diagram you provide, although it's not obvious at a glance how. White plays Qf2 first to stop the king from advancing. Black can't just sit there forever because the ...
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  • 15.6k
9 votes

How many points is each chess piece worth?

The standard is usually to compare pieces to each other (i.e how many pawns is a knight worth, a bishop, a queen etc.? Another way is to determine piece value dynamically using the idea of "absolute/...
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  • 813
9 votes
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(4 Queens + 3 Pawns) vs (Entire Standard Army)

A clarifying comment says "Pawns can be placed in any of the first 3 rows. Any other piece must be placed in the back row. White moves first unless black used less points to construct their army." ...
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9 votes
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What is the piece value heuristic in atomic chess?

The answer is, as expected, "it depends". To answer directly first, 2016 Atomic World Championship (AWC) winner, tipau, put the values as: Pawn - 1 Knight - 1.5 Bishop - 1.5 Rook - 3 Queen -...
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  • 4,880
9 votes

Can there be a checkmate with maximum points of material (103) while covering 64 squares?

[FEN "3k4/6QP/8/4Q3/8/2Q5/QQ4QQ/RNBKQBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. h8=Q# This is trivial, as already five queens can threaten the whole board. The only thing you must pay attention to is giving ...
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8 votes

Does GM Larry Kaufman's "principle of the redundancy of major pieces" truly exists? Or could this effect be caused by the number of Pawns instead?

In Kaufman's full article, the rook's value is dependent on the number of pawns on the board (as does the knights value). The value of the rook increases as the number of pawns decreases (the value of ...
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  • 1,019
8 votes

What relative point values of pieces do engines use?

Rybka/Komodo/Houdini are not open source and their values aren't readily available, but the current strongest conventional engine, Stockfish, uses these values (lines 194-198): PawnValueMg = 126, ...
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  • 22k
8 votes

How to determine the value of a piece from scratch?

The values of the pieces derive from which piece exchanges are considered desirable and which are not. Knowledge of desirability of piece exchanges usually comes from having played many games, but it ...
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  • 1,644
8 votes
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Antichess piece value

In my opinion, this is a very difficult question, since the piece values in antichess are not as static as in normal chess and usually highly depend on the game phase and position. However, there are ...
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8 votes

Is it better to start without a queen or without any pawns?

Other than the computer evaluation proving that the Q is better, the biggest problem here is that black basically starts out fully developed since his pieces already have amazing scope, and can ...
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  • 32.1k
7 votes

Why does Stockfish undervalue pawns when compared to the classical "a piece is worth three pawns" approach?

The value of a piece or pawn will depend greatly upon how well it is placed. The common 1/3/3.5/5/9 values are reasonable estimates for pieces which are placed decently but not amazingly well. For ...
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  • 1,036
7 votes

What should be the value change if pawns are doubled?

There's no real rule for how much do doubled pawns (or any other kind of weakness on the pawn structure) worse your position. There's not even a rule for piece value, specially if you'll add bonuses ...
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  • 13.2k
7 votes

Do modern chess engines learn material values through self-play?

As the answer you linked elaborates: "As you might guess, these numbers are empirically tuned." In practice this often boils down to self play. Traditionally you'd roughly speaking try ...
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  • 2,580
6 votes

Is it better to start without a queen or without any pawns?

The queen is better. Other than being worth 9 points (compared to the pawns' combined worth of 8 points), the queen is a single powerful unit. White can only move each of his pawns one at a time, ...
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