Hot answers tagged

30

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 cases, if you can trade a rook for a knight, you should do it. This does beg the question, however, about why a rook is considered more valuable. At its best, a ...


24

There is not opening that usually paves the way for a queen trade. There are plenty of specific lines that allow for it, but it takes cooperation from your opponent. The first line that comes to mind is hugely popular at the GM level: The Berlin in the Ruy Lopez. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. ...


13

There are a few classic reasons which tend to make exchanging pieces favourable. None of these are absolute; in any given position, short-term tactical considerations may dominate. But you might like to keep the following themes in mind which can favour exchanges: (1) You have a material advantage. (2) Your opponent has a space advantage (your position is ...


12

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 some gain. The points are only a simple tool for estimating that gain. If an exchange that would be a point-wise loss gives you the opportunity to checkmate the ...


10

Trading pieces thoughtlessly is bad. As you say, it wastes a move. Good players trade pieces when it gives them an advantage like exchanging a passive piece for an active piece or when a piece is threatening bad things or when the opponent has spent several moves developing the piece. Pieces can also be exchanged to change the nature of the position, to get ...


10

Losing an exchange is itself enough to make the move weak. You go from being up R+P for N, which is a winning advantage, to up just one pawn with opposite color Bishops, which could often be drawn. The move is also weak because you let White off the hook: you were on the attack against White's exposed King, so the trade of Queens made the position "easier ...


9

With each of the trades that you mentioned, it is not just a B for N. Beyond that, the side giving up the B also doubles the other side's pawns, but it is still deeper than that. In each case, the doubling also leaves one of the remaining Bs with less prospects. For example, in the Nimzo, after Bb4xc3, after bc, the Bc1 is often a bit of a problem in many ...


9

In general there are two scenarios in the opening where one side might want to exchange one of their bishops for a knight. The knight controls key squares in the center which are being contested. In the Nimzo, for instance, the knight on c3 controls e4. White would really like to put a pawn there. Pinning and then exchanging that knight makes the e4 pawn ...


8

First, you should never say "X is worth Y amount of pawns". You could think in terms of it being worth ABOUT that amount all things equal, but never make assumptions about exact values. The position always determines the value of the pieces. Often quoted values are only rules of thumb or guidelines. There are entire books written about how to value pieces in ...


8

Castling (9. 0-0) is not a very bad move. You still have a very solid advantage after it due to being a pawn up and having the better pawn structure (black's pawns on a7, c7, c6 are weak and vulnerable). However you had a better move... The pawn on c6 is hanging and you could have simply taken it. Both 9. Nxc6 or taking the pawn after queen trades (9. Qxd8 ...


7

Very good question! This illustrates a deeper conflict between chess "principles" and "practice" I have learned the bishop pair is worth a half pawn Very dangerous piece of advice here! That is true in certain spots, I'd say most, but definitely not all the time. Piece activity, pawn structure, king exposure and many other factors can determine whether ...


5

Not all advantages in chess are material. You may want to trade pieces to gain other sorts of advangages. You're often not really wasting a move, since your oppoenent will also waste one of their own moves to recapture. Also, the "value of pieces" is an abstraction that may not correspond to what pieces are actually worth in a specific position. ...


5

The problem with that move is a number of things. You gave up the bishop pair. His attack on your king is stronger than yours on his king, and you traded off a defender. You have no time to go after his king since yours is threatened with mate on the move. Already with three minors traded, his threats aside, there might not be enough firepower to attack his ...


5

One question to ask is "am I behind or ahead?" If I have some winning edge, it's best to simplify. If I'm behind, it's better to complicate the position. After that, the question has both tactical and positional elements. If my rook is less active then my opponent's, it's better to exchange. If my rook is more active, then it's better to keep it.


5

Opposite-colored bishop endgames aren't always drawn; it depends on the pawns. The drawish aspect comes from the fact that either bishop can halt a passed pawn in its tracks, and the opposite bishop can't help overcome the barricade. If you have a positional or material advantage, avoid going into such an OCB ending if you can. If you can't, then start ...


5

9.Qxd8 followed by 10.Nxc6 wins you another pawn. Meanwhile, 9.0-0 gives Black time to protect the c6-pawn. Given this, 9.Nxc6 is almost as good as 9.Qxd8 for the same reason (winning a pawn). However, 9.Qxd8 is slightly preferable since Black's bishop is out of play on d8 when it recaptures via 9...Bxd8 (if Black recaptures with 9...Rxd8 then 10.Nxc6 ...


4

A weakness is only a weakness if it can be tortured by the opponent. In example 1, White has already castled, so Re1-e4-h4, Q-d2-h6 seems to be the only way to bring on some scary firepower against the king. Also, the Pe7 still protects f6, so at least not a double weakness (Ph2-h4-h5-h6, Qf6 would be otherwise the standard plan). Still, the computer ...


3

As already pointed out by user1583209, 9.Qxd8 Rxd8 10.Nxc6 followed by Nxe7+ wins an extra pawn. However I wouldn't say that trading your knight Black's dark-squared bishop is good for you because of the strength of the bishop (your knight is also a great piece). The reason why this continuation is so powerful is, apart from the material advantage, ...


3

Not really an answer but as you can't put pgns in comments: While labelling tactical ideas helps in learning beware of putting them too much in separate boxes, they tend to blend into each other. For instance take the following: [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [FEN "2r1k2r/1pq2pp1/pn2p2p/2b1p3/...


3

Substitution would be another. With a trade/capture, you can set up another tactical motive like a skewer or a fork. In the position below (taken from the ChessTactics link above), Black wins an exchange with the following combination: [Title "Black to move"] [StartFlipped "1"] [FEN "2r2rk1/p1p1qp1p/1p2n1pb/8/n7/1PB1PBN1/P2Q1PPP/R4RK1 b - - 0 33"] 1... ...


3

Josh says f5 ... Is Josh wrong about f5? Yes, although black's position is terrible in any case. If we look at the initial position and try and assess a number of things are immediately obvious: White has a lot more space All the pieces and all the pawns are still on the board We can also say: White has completed development Black still has several ...


3

In the first position you mentioned, I'm guessing the reason why the engine recommends Bg7 is because Re8 weakens the f7 pawn, which could conceivably get loose later on. In the last position, before your last line I was going to say that I liked f6 there rather than Bf6. I'm not completely sure why, but I think the reason is that the bishop is awkward on f6....


2

All other things being equal, a material advantage is normally sufficient to win the game. I should mention that the value of a piece is directly related to its strength, i.e. to how many squares it would control on an open board, which is why the rook is worth more than the knight. If you then traded down equally into an ending, your advantage under most ...


2

Even though it is quite a useful guidline for beginners, the actual value a piece is assigned to inherently depends on the prevailing board constellation. Similar to "In closed positions knights ought to be stronger than bishops", we could show countless positions where the standard valuation would be refuted. For instance, in some cases two pawns can ...


2

Some other factors can also affect piece values, such as it’s position, and what other pieces it’s paired with. Many people agree that a bishop pair is worth much more than simply the sum of their individual values. You can read more about piece values here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_piece_relative_value


2

The computer says you're ahead after the move you played. But you're only up a little, and you ended up with only a rook and opposite-colored bishops along with the pawns. You still have to work for the win; it's not like the extra pawn ices the win for you in the simplified position. The reason that the computer considers it a mistake is that you had ...


2

in the gurgenidze variation of the accelerated dragon, all pieces are exchanged off except white's two bishops, and typically a bishop and a knight for black. white has a nice space advantage, but blacks structure is very solid and he should be able to draw. however, there are no winning chances for black.


2

As you so amply put it: It depends. It really is down to the how the pawns are placed. If you have all your pawns locked on white and you have a white-squared bishop, your opponent's knight can sit on a black square, be defended by a pawn and attack several pawns and your bishop at the same time, and there's nothing you can do about it. Obviously the knight ...


2

Since you explicitely requested an answer... I don't own that Waitzkin book, but merely judging from your excerpts his pedagogical talents are as doubtful as White's position here :P First of all, Black might cement in his octopus on e3 with e5, f5, f4, after that an exchange on e3 makes White's plight only slightly better. Insofar your 1.Nc3 makes very much ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible