Lessons

The Art of Exchanging Pieces

The Art of Exchanging Pieces

Learn when to trade and when to keep pieces on the board!

When neither player is about to checkmate, what should you do? Look for imbalances (space, superior minor pieces, weak squares, fractured enemy pawns, etc.) and milk them for all they're worth. This particular course explores the eternal question of piece trades: should you or should you not trade one minor piece for another, your Rook for his, or your all-powerful Queen for her equally imposing female deity? Improve your ability to seek (or avoid) exchanges today!

Here is what you will learn:

  • Learn when to trade pieces and when to keep them on the board!
  • Learn which endgame will be in your favor!
  • Learn from the brilliancies and mistakes of top players, including world champions!

 

Art Of The Trade 1

Art Of The Trade 1

We're here to learn when to trade and when to avoid a trade. There are always clear reasons for these decisions.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 2

Art Of The Trade 2

In general, one makes an even trade of pieces in order to prevent the enemy piece from becoming too active or to give you time to accomplish another task.
5 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 3

Art Of The Trade 3

You appear to be in trouble since your King is a bit loose and you're a pawn down. You're also in check and must decide whether to swap Queens.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 4

Art Of The Trade 4

Many teachers and books like to tell us that Bishops are slightly superior to Knights. We'll take a look at that rule in this lesson.
4 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 5

Art Of The Trade 5

Pawn exchanges are a world of their own. In my experience, players tend to hate having pawns face off where either can capture the other.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 6

Art Of The Trade 6

One of the biggest problems I've seen in my students is their inability to not exchange pawns when they can capture each other. We call this face-off, "pawn tension."
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 7

Art Of The Trade 7

The desire to make (or avoid) exchanges is a key part of the opening, middlegame, and endgame.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 8

Art Of The Trade 8

This lesson features a key position from the game DeFirmian-Beliavsky, Copenhagen 2004.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 9

Art Of The Trade 9

We have a minor piece endgame that would normally be very nice for White, but here Black's extra pawn leaves us wondering what's really going on.
4 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 10

Art Of The Trade 10

Exchanges (and the avoidance of exchanges) are often the things that set up an endless array of strategic plans.
4 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 11

Art Of The Trade 11

Here we will enter the world of opening theory. No, we're not going to advocate the memorization of endless moves.
4 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 12

Art Of The Trade 12

This position is from the game E.Jimenez-B.Larsen, Palma de Mallorca 1967. In his prime, Bent Larsen was one of the greatest fighters in the history of the game.
5 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 13

Art Of The Trade 13

This is a position from the Dragon Sicilian, though Black proved to be unaware of certain basics. The game was Guseinov-MisterBlack, ICC (Clock Simul) 2007.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 14

Art Of The Trade 14

Many view a trade of pieces as something mundane -- something that makes a game more boring every time it occurs. But is this true?
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 15

Art Of The Trade 15

In this lesson we take a look at a position from the game Aronin-Simagin, 22nd USSR Ch.
4 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 16

Art Of The Trade 16

Even in the openings, a simple threat to exchange one piece for another can dictate the way both sides play for much of the game.
4 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 17

Art Of The Trade 17

In this lesson White is faced with many tempting possibilities. To wend your way through a position that offers "too much."
4 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 18

Art Of The Trade 18

Trades occur in every game, and most seem to be rather innocuous. However, a trained eye realizes that every exchange should be filled with some kind of meaning.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 19

Art Of The Trade 19

In his heyday, (East) Germany's Wolfgang Uhlmann was one of the finest players in the world.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 20

Art Of The Trade 20

You might decide that your structure is already ideal -- as a result you will want to avoid pawn moves and pawn exchanges.
4 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 21

Art Of The Trade 21

What makes a trade worthwhile? At times you can double your opponent's pawns, but perhaps you would have to part with a piece you like to make that happen.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 22

Art Of The Trade 22

When to trade and when to avoid a trade -- heavy questions that can only be answered in relation to a specific position.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 23

Art Of The Trade 23

At times it seems your opponent's position should crumble to dust under the weight of its weaknesses, yet it doesn't.
3 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 24

Art Of The Trade 24

We've seen exchanges that seem esoteric, complex, or obvious.
5 Challenges
Art Of The Trade 25

Art Of The Trade 25

From an old game that featured three players (Brodd, Paulsson & Mandel) vs. Nimzovich, Uppsala 1921. Here we explore a position full of possible exchanges (both sides can initiate them), but only one is correct. Remember: don't make an exchange because it leads to a piece for a piece or pawn for a pawn (that's simplistic and lazy), make an exchange because it accomplishes a specific goal that embraces your pawn structure and other pieces.
5 Challenges

The Art of Exchanging Pieces

Strategy
25 Lessons
No Videos
91 Challenges
Released December 16, 2007
19,265 Students