Chess Lesson: "Material Advantage: Trades"


I am doing some chess lessons.. in one of the lessons "Material Advantage: Trades" I gave up one of my knights and the opponent's bishop gobbled it up, and the lessons said: "Correct". Why is that??

Besides that, the answer said: "Correct - White forces the trade of several pieces, making the position more simplified and bring him closer to a win." Seriously? Can someone please explain to me what is going on here? Now giving up pieces instead of defending them brings me closer to a win??? frustrated.png 

And it says: "Force trades when you're up". WTF? Is that true?


Wait a minute....I think I am starting to understand..since I have more material, I can start playing "riskier" ? And my opponent will move away?

What it means is that if you have enough of an advantage (say for example....ten points ahead.) and their piece is in the way of your plans you could play a move that forces them to trade a piece, or even move it out if the way with a sacrifice. When you have the material advantage you want to "simplify" and trade pieces off. Because when you have more material in the endgame it is worth more because they have less pieces to fend off your attacks. Even one pawn advantage in the endgame could mean a win. But in the opening or middle-game it does not matter as much because you still have plenty of pieces. So in a way, you are right. Thought a ten point advantage to a 4 point advantage is not exactly risky.

I will find the lesson to see exactly what you mean and give more specific feedback later. Hope this helps you.

{{NOTE; fifteen points is a VERY extreme example. With enough skill and a clear plan you could pull this off with a 3 point advantage.}}
Can you provide a link? That would speed things up tremendously

Hello, thank you for your reply. Here is the link:


when you are up significant material then the simplification enhances your advantage

it is sound strategy to get up material and then base rest of game into trading into a won endgame

Suppose you have a queen, 2 knights, 2 bishops and a rook and your opponent has a queen, 2 knights and 2 bishops. You want to trade queen, knights and bishops because you can win the endgame up a rook without effort and your opponent can do nothing about that. If you don't trade pieces you can still blunder them or get mated. That's why trading pieces is generally the safest way to convert a material advantage, while playing risky is exactly what you shouldn't do.

I recommend you read these articles:


Just think of it mathematically: if you have a slightly larger piece value total than your opponent, say 15 points to your opponent's 10 points, and you trade 5 points away against your opponent, then the ratio between your strength and your opponent's strength goes from 1.5 to 1.0 to 2.0 to 1.0, so your relative advantage becomes greater through an equal exchange.


Oh, makes sense now.. thanks everyone! happy.png And thanks for the article, will read it tonight.

These are all equal trades. I don't know why you say you're "giving up one of my knights"
Anyway, the idea is if you have 22 vs 20 you're ahead by 2, but only up 10%
After equal trades you may have 12 vs 10. Ahead by 2, but now you're up 20%
After more equal trades 7 vs 5, and you'll be up 40% etc
Think of it like a fight in the street. 5 vs 4 is pretty equal. 2 vs 1 is not equal at all.

Lol.. I know.. "giving up one of my knights". I tried not to, but the lesson "mentor" said, nope wrong move, so I finally "traded" it with a bishop for my knight, and voila, correct move. That left me stunned, hence my forum question. Thank you for the example!