What is the value of the king?

The_Icestorm

Give us your thoughts

What do you think the value of the king should be?

rockpeter

Zero.  I would give it a one if it were not alone.  Almost like a pawn but can move one space in every direction but can't promote.

But since two Kings alone can't win and no advantage for any player, we can't assign a value.

Oh wait ! Are talking about chess or the Monarchy ?

Kent_Caylor

Since losing the King means losing the game, I would say he's quite valuable.

Elvisandro

The king is worth the whole game, but as a fighting piece(specially in the endgame) i would say 4, between a minor piece and a rook.

TroloBoy1

Depends. In the middlegame, it is the prize, although in a couple games the king helpls in forfilling the final blow (when it runs up a board and delivers mate to the paralysed enemy). In the endgame, most consider it as 4 points for its endgame abilities.

Sred

Undefined. There is no practical use for such a value.

AldoArambula

It is the most valuable piece. You can lose any piece, even the queen, and still be in the game. But the king means the game.

justus_jep

A king can be about as powerful as a knight in the endgame. But since the king cannot be traded then you can't estimate its value. 

TroloBoy1

you mean overestimate, but yes indeed

HGMuller

A piece that moves as a King, but could be sacrificed like any other piece (such a piece is known as a Man or Commoner) would be worth slightly less than a Knight in the opening and middle game, and slightly more than a Knight in the end-game. (Say 3.10 and 3.40, if Knight = 3.25.) 4.00, as is often claimed, is a gross oversetimate; two Commoners are toasted by a Bishop pair in the end-game, in the presence of Pawns.

An interesting case occurs in Spartan Chess, where Kings are royal, but the Spartan army starts with two, under rules where one is expendable. Obviously the two Kings there are worth more than a King plus a Commoner, as you can afford to lose either, and the remaining one must then be checkmated. It turns out that under those rules the spare King is worth 4.50 in the opening/middle game.

S-Miyano

I think the king's value would be around (40-50) points

Sqod

http://www.chess.com/article/view/chess-piece-value

HGMuller knows what he's talking about, to an extreme. I've also heard and have been using the value of 4 as the king's *fighting* value (make sure you mention which value you're talking about). I wasn't aware some people considered 4 a gross overestimate.

Be sure to distinguish between *fighting* value and *game* value (though I'm not sure if this latter term has a formal name). The king's *game* value is infinite whereas all non-king units have zero game value, and the king's *fighting* value is around 3-4 whereas most other units have a higher fighting value.

The awareness of the king's infinite game value made me look at chess, especially at mating combinations, a different way. Only the king ultimately matters since it has infinite game value, so you can lose virtually every one of your units if you capture the king, and still win. You don't get partial credit if you still have your queen on the board if you mate the enemy king--or if you get mated. The fighting values are just a *guideline* for reaching states where you can force the capture of the king. Even Yasser Seirawan went through this change of the way of looking at chess.

----------

(p. 7)
   While most books on chess combinations offer good puzzles and excel
at kick-starting my mental alertness, they did not in fact teach me about
combinations and how to recognize their possible existence in my games.
The biggest lessons appeared to be the repetitive patterns that were fre-
quent guests. Back-rank mates, surprising double-attacks and clearance
sacrifices were quite prominent. I admired the masters' ability to win with
a flourish and hoped to discover the winning solution similarly. Early in
my chess career winning meant mauling my opponent's entire army. Once
it was suitably denuded, my thoughts turned to checkmating my oppo-
nent's hapless King. I was saved from such tedium when a dear friend and
(p. 8)
a chess teacher, Vladimir Pafnutieff, said to me, "Chess Combinations are
the punch in chess. You have to develop your chess skills by understanding
combinations. Virtually every chess game has a chess combination. You
have to learn to recognize when a combination is available and you must
land the blow! If you do this you will win a lot of games. If not, I can teach
you tennis."
   Vladimir was right. Combinations are the cornerstone of a well-played
chess game. Either avoiding a losing combination or creating the proper
advantages necessary for a winning combination. I needed to learn to co-
ordinate my pieces, develop rapidly and target vulnerable pieces, pawns
and squares. Then maybe, just maybe, my combinations might work.
   Still, I was uncomfortable with Vladimir's sage advice. Combinative
play meant sacrificing and I wanted to protect my pieces and pawns. Not
give them away. As the combinative genius, Mikhail Tal, said after losing
the World Chess Championship title to Mikhail Botvinnik in the 1961 re-
turn match, "My loss was a great relief to Soviet children. Now they could
go back to protecting their pawns." Tal's witty insight was exactly how I
felt over a decade later; I wanted to win my opponent's army while pro-
tecting my own. Heads up trades were okay but I worried when I was be-
hind in the force count.

Seirawan, Yasser. 2006. Winning Chess Combinations. London: Gloucester Publishers plc.

Rickett2222

Come on ladies and gents, does anyone knows what the purpose of the game is? It is checkmate period.

The King is like the universe it has infinite value as when it stops and is trapped the game is over.

When and if the universe stops existing we are all not even memories as there is no one left to acknowledge it.

Forget value of the King in any and all position this is not only irrelevant and futile as the winner will determine the value of the King at the end of a game and it will be zero as he did not survive.

The same with the universe again if completely anhilitated there is no universe anymore anfd the value how ever you want to measure it is worth zero as it does not exists anymore.

Rickett2222

The only value of a King or any piece in a chess set is what you pay for the set, now spending $$ is what I call value and not some mere points value.

No one ever sold at Christie's anything for points value.

Only your credit card will give you points value.

MervynS

Depends, if there are a mass of attackable pawns that are fixed and immobile, the king would be more effective than a knight, and can make things really awkward for a rook with limited short-range mobility defending such pawns.

The king as a piece wouldn't be so good are spaced apart and mobile. I'm thinking the king is complimented better by a bishop than a knight here.

soupram
Sqod wrote:

http://www.chess.com/article/view/chess-piece-value

HGMuller knows what he's talking about, to an extreme. I've also heard and have been using the value of 4 as the king's *fighting* value (make sure you mention which value you're talking about). I wasn't aware some people considered 4 a gross overestimate.

Be sure to distinguish between *fighting* value and *game* value (though I'm not sure if this latter term has a formal name). The king's *game* value is infinite whereas all non-king units have zero game value, and the king's *fighting* value is around 3-4 whereas most other units have a higher fighting value.

The awareness of the king's infinite game value made me look at chess, especially at mating combinations, a different way. Only the king ultimately matters since it has infinite game value, so you can lose virtually every one of your units if you capture the king, and still win. You don't get partial credit if you still have your queen on the board if you mate the enemy king--or if you get mated. The fighting values are just a *guideline* for reaching states where you can force the capture of the king. Even Yasser Seirawan went through this change of the way of looking at chess.

----------

(p. 7)
   While most books on chess combinations offer good puzzles and excel
at kick-starting my mental alertness, they did not in fact teach me about
combinations and how to recognize their possible existence in my games.
The biggest lessons appeared to be the repetitive patterns that were fre-
quent guests. Back-rank mates, surprising double-attacks and clearance
sacrifices were quite prominent. I admired the masters' ability to win with
a flourish and hoped to discover the winning solution similarly. Early in
my chess career winning meant mauling my opponent's entire army. Once
it was suitably denuded, my thoughts turned to checkmating my oppo-
nent's hapless King. I was saved from such tedium when a dear friend and
(p. 8)
a chess teacher, Vladimir Pafnutieff, said to me, "Chess Combinations are
the punch in chess. You have to develop your chess skills by understanding
combinations. Virtually every chess game has a chess combination. You
have to learn to recognize when a combination is available and you must
land the blow! If you do this you will win a lot of games. If not, I can teach
you tennis."
   Vladimir was right. Combinations are the cornerstone of a well-played
chess game. Either avoiding a losing combination or creating the proper
advantages necessary for a winning combination. I needed to learn to co-
ordinate my pieces, develop rapidly and target vulnerable pieces, pawns
and squares. Then maybe, just maybe, my combinations might work.
   Still, I was uncomfortable with Vladimir's sage advice. Combinative
play meant sacrificing and I wanted to protect my pieces and pawns. Not
give them away. As the combinative genius, Mikhail Tal, said after losing
the World Chess Championship title to Mikhail Botvinnik in the 1961 re-
turn match, "My loss was a great relief to Soviet children. Now they could
go back to protecting their pawns." Tal's witty insight was exactly how I
felt over a decade later; I wanted to win my opponent's army while pro-
tecting my own. Heads up trades were okay but I worried when I was be-
hind in the force count.

Seirawan, Yasser. 2006. Winning Chess Combinations. London: Gloucester Publishers plc.

I was just gonna say infinity, then I realised how puny my post looked in comparison to yours...

MrFunisfun

You cannot lose the king, but you can lose all other pieces. Chess is a race to get points, but you win by making it impossible for your opponent to win the amount of points. Let's calculate:

8 pawns at 1 point each= 8 pts.

2 knights at 3 points each= 6 pts. (total of 14)

2 bishops at 3 points each= 6 pts. (total of 20)

2 rooks at 5 points each= 10 pts. (total of 30)

1 queen at 9 points= 9 pts. (total of 39)

+1 (losing all other pieces isn't usually instant mate)= 40 total points.

MrFunisfun

Well, it's to get 40 points. All pieces except the king are together 39 points. It's just a different idea, and your 40th point has to be the king. Even though you never actually get the 40th point.

skylynx

471

leiph18

People who say 0 or infinite clearly don't understand how the other values are obtained.

Why is a rook worth more than a bishop? Why the ratio 5:3? Same question for the other pieces. Why do positional sacrifices work? Can 1 knight be worth more than another knight? Why or why not?

Think about it for yourself and only then ponder the king.