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The chess pieces have been assigned point values to serve as a general guide as to their relative worth.

The standard point values are:

pawn   : 1 point
knight : 3 points
bishop : 3 points
rook   : 5 points
queen  : 9 points

This implies that in general if you trade a knight for a bishop, you don't gain an advantage. You would not want to trade a rook for a bishop, however, since the rook is generally worth more.

Further, it is generally agreed on that two bishops are stronger than 2 knights or 1 knight and 1 bishop.

See the Wikipedia article for different opinions about point values.

Bear in mind, position is everything. That is, there are cases where it's perfectly acceptable to trade a rook for a knight or bishop if the resulting position gives one enough counter-play to make up for the loss of material.

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