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# Value of pieces

• #1

I have several questions about the value of chess pieces. When I play a game, I'm not sure if I should trade so-and-so or such-and-such. I need help with what trades would give me an aadvntage or disadvantage.

What's better:

•  Knight or Bishop
• Knight + Bishop or Rook
• Queen or two rooks
• Knight/Bishop or Opponent not being able to castle

Here is how I see it:

Opening                                Midgame                               Endgame

-N=B                                          N=B                                       N<B

-N+B>R                                      N+B>R                                     N+B=R

-Q= 2 R                                       Q

-DEPENDS ON POSITION FOR MINOR PIECES OR NO OPPONENT CASTLE

I really need help with this topic because of constant confusion over if I should accept the knight bishop trade or whatever. Can someone help me with this please?

And yes, I know it's completely based on the situation. But I'm talking general.

• #2

If Estragon sees this question, he will answer you it completely depends on the situation you are in.

• #3

While in any specific position, the values will change depending on the specifics of that situation, the generally accepted "best" values are:

Knight and Bishop are equal at about 3.25 pawns

The bishop pair is about .5 pawns

"Not being able to castle" suggests positional specifics which would be impossible to quantify without those specifics.

• #4
• #5

Hehehehe the chat kingdom. Many members but would not know it due to a certain person bla, bla bla in there. I joined thinking would learn something. Big waste of time. Maybe that will change with a  new Admin. I will wait and see. Several other good popular Admin in that group but who gets a chance to contribute in there.

• #6

I figure it comes down to 2 things.

The opening and use of the opening that will determine the value of the pieces. Simple.

• #7

You are wrong as in different variations a piece can have less value in one and more in another. And the skill the player has in using them as they will get them in contact immediately with opponent.

I seen this girl a couple days ago break some opening rules and slice a couple opponents apart with certain pieces. It real was quite interesting as i want to study that style. And add it as an option.

I know some rare variations of openings so i can say for sure that it depends on the opening and who uses it. No 2 players play an opening the with the same objective in mind in the long run. As you will not find 2 games exactly the same.

• #8

About 5 years ago i force players to the end game quickly no matter openin i played so i could use my Rooks in which case i would crush my opponent. Had to change that as players on this try to end the game early by material advantage. That old startegy would take me up to like the 25 move before i could start to use it.

I know several good players once they get their Rooks into play ...lights out.

• #9
Jimmy_Jojo wrote:
royalbishop wrote:

Hehehehe the chat kingdom. Many members but would not know it due to a certain person bla, bla bla in there. I joined thinking would learn something. Big waste of time. Maybe that will change with a  new Admin. I will wait and see. Several other good popular Admin in that group but who gets a chance to contribute in there.

What are you talking about?  Did you post this in the wrong thread?

In response to comment 6 and 7

• #10

If Estragon sees this question, he will answer you it completely depends on the situation you are in.

Alas, I have become predictable - depending of course upon the exact position.

• #11
Estragon wrote:

If Estragon sees this question, he will answer you it completely depends on the situation you are in.

Alas, I have become predictable - depending of course upon the exact position.

Well, it was the only decent answer

• #12

Was talking about this group, several comments have gone and past now. Join the group as it will easier to explain. As they chat so much in that group as i said before as i was talking to kingpatzer.

Should have put @kingpatzer to start it off.

• #13

Value of pieces?

I know certain VC teams once you take away certain pair of pieces game is basically over. Sounds funny but it is true. They are not able to come up with a good plan of attack. One could just make a path to their king and mate once that pair is off the board for them.

Not going to post the pair as they would know the strategy. Nice playing them as a team or individually for a win. I am like 21-0 against them.

• #14

There are five factors that determine a piece's value:

- "hitting ability" - how many squares are attacked by the piece;

- mobility - how many squares the piece can safely move to;

- activeness - the ability (and possibility) of the piece to attack, capture, exchange, sacrifice, threaten, maneuver to take part in attack or defense, or reduce the opponent's play / counterplay;

- safety - the safety of the square the piece is placed on;

- interaction (coordination) with the rest of the pieces / pawns - how a piece contributes to the general strategy, to tactical opportunities, for attack and for defense.

That is to say a piece doesn't have a fixed value, and Estragon is right that all depends on the exact situation. Numerical evaluations of pieces have been usually done according to their mobility in a simplified position, but there are many other factors that have to be taken into account.

• #15

Sounds like we are talking about something else with that list.

Anyway like i said this can go on forever as each player can violate rule of these pieces and still win games. If your expert with your opening and using them( Knight or Bishop) in your opening you should be able to  maintain your advantage to the Middle Game. Seen players do some Unorthodox things in the the opening and win.

• #16

Kaufman calculated those values by looking only at games in which both players were rated 2300 or higher. Is there any study about whether the average values would be different at lower levels? For example, I would miss some of the forks and checks with a queen that a grandmaster would spot, so the average value of my queen probably wouldn't be as close to two rooks as the average value of a grandmaster's queen. Of course, I wouldn't use the rooks or any other pieces as effectively as a grandmaster, but I wonder whether the gap tends to be greater for some pieces than for others.

• #17
LJM_III wrote:

Kaufman calculated those values by looking only at games in which both players were rated 2300 or higher. Is there any study about whether the average values would be different at lower levels? For example, I would miss some of the forks and checks with a queen that a grandmaster would spot, so the average value of my queen probably wouldn't be as close to two rooks as the average value of a grandmaster's queen. Of course, I wouldn't use the rooks or any other pieces as effectively as a grandmaster, but I wonder whether the gap tends to be greater for some pieces than for others.

Sure it's greate for some players than others. Look at Anand's games -- he loves his knights and will seek positions in which they are superior. So if you did the same analysis with only Anand you might find that Knights are worth 3.7 and BIshops are only worth 2.95 or something like that (values obviously just picked at random by way of example). By contrast, Fischer loved his bishop pair, maybe in Fischer's hands, the bishop pair gives a full pawn advantage not just half a pawn.

The point of looking at so many games is precisely that those personal preferences balance out and you get an average.

But that doesn't mean that in Anand's games positions aren't reached where knights are more valuable than bishops or that in Fischer's games positions aren't reached where the bishop pair gives a greater advantage. Those things are still true as well.

Kaufman's not saying these values are true in every position. He's saying given a huge sampling of positions, this is the value of the pieces on average.

• #18

Kingpatzer, I agree that we need to remember that Kaufman's values are averages, not the exact value in every position. (I referred to them as "average values" in my post.) Still, I can't imagine playing without considering the average values of pieces--especially when playing with a clock. If I can trade a bishop for a rook in the opening, I'll look to see whether the trade loses in the next few moves. If not, I'll make the trade and save my time for other moves.

It probably doesn't matter in most cases whether I think of a bishop as worth three pawns or 3.25 pawns, but Kaufman's values suggest that trading the pair of bishops for a rook and a pawn is usually bad, about as bad as losing a pawn. We could find some exceptions, but I would assume that the bishops are more valuable unless I saw some special feature of the position.

Is that a bad way to use Kaufman's values? I don't know how I would evaluate a complicated position, at least in the opening or middlegame, without considering the average values of the pieces.

• #19

Unless you have a direct attack, trading a piece for castling rights is fairly often going to be a terrible decision.

• #20

I don't think it's a bad way to look at the values at all. Indeed, that's the whole point, but I do think that as we get better we need to think more and more about the specifics of the position we're playing and less and less about the "rules."

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