From 1400 to 1500 : Exchanging pieces
A chess friend of mine is trying to improve his chess. He studies openings, and uses a database with games, plays otb chess at the chess club, goes through his own chess games afterwards with a chess engine.
He can be a dangerous attacking player, and in some endgames (like pawn endgames) he can sometimes win lost positions because he makes better moves than his opponent.
I've seen hundreds of games by him, and there's one pattern which is pretty stubborn, and that is trading pieces for no apparent reason.
That is actually something which can be seen in the play of more beginning to intermediate chess players.
Perhaps they see no plan to develop, or they ended up in a position where they are not sure how to follow up, and then they just start to exchange pieces, which can also give them the idea that, because of the simplifications, the position will be easier to grasp.
But if you're strong with attacking, then mass exchange pieces would likely diminish the attacking power of your active pieces.
Every time you are about to exchange pieces, you should ask yourself
- whether it is forced
- whether it really improves your position
- whether it makes your opponent position worse.
I'll give some example of the games of my chess friend, with annotations :
For further reading and study :