#### Help Forum

1.  impatient
Big Cheese
06 Oct '07 00:07
Where can a person find the relative importance of each piece? Somewhere I saw a point value for each piece. Trying to figure when losing a queen to gain two peices may be considered. I realize it is largely situational, but was curious as to the above.
2.  coquette
06 Oct '07 00:16
piece values are approximate only. the value changes in the specific situations and in certain combinations. Here is a pretty good count:

3 moves = 1 pawn (but one move can be worth more than a queen in the endgame!)

3 pawns = 1 minor piece (bishop or knight), but two pawns side by side on the 6th rank that are unopposed by another pawn are equal to a rook

each bishop is equal to each knight, but two bishops or two knights are worth more than a bishop and knight together because the pieces "work better" together

pawn = 1 point

Bishop or Knight = 3 points (some will say that one might be 3.2 or 3.1 or something like that, but it depends on the position)

Rook = 5 points (rooks work better with knights than with bishops)

Queens = 9 points (they sometimes seem as powerful as 10 points; also, they work well with all the other pieces; the super value of the queen is to be able to attack two different places at the same time; the value of two rooks is that they can attack the same place twice)

Kings are a piece. They aren't given a point value because if you lose it you lose the game. But, kings "attack" 9 squares and becomes a "predator" in the endgame.
3.  Lukerik
06 Oct '07 00:23
Originally posted by impatient
Where can a person find the relative importance of each piece? Somewhere I saw a point value for each piece. Trying to figure when losing a queen to gain two peices may be considered. I realize it is largely situational, but was curious as to the above.
Well there's a book in my parent's attic that has a scale of importance but as you're unlikely to find it, it gives the scale as:

King - 10
Queen - 9
Rook - 5
Knight - 3
Bishop - 3
Pawn - 1

I've seen another scale that places bishop above knight but I guess that's personal preference.

I suppose a queen could be worth exchanging for any two pieces depending on the position but most likely the rooks, if anything.
4.  Phlabibit
Mystic Meg
06 Oct '07 01:54
Originally posted by Lukerik
Well there's a book in my parent's attic that has a scale of importance but as you're unlikely to find it, it gives the scale as:

King - 10
Queen - 9
Rook - 5
Knight - 3
Bishop - 3
Pawn - 1

I've seen another scale that places bishop above knight but I guess that's personal preference.

I suppose a queen could be worth exchanging for any two pieces depending on the position but most likely the rooks, if anything.
Should I trade my king for 2 pawns and a queen in any given position?

P-
5. 06 Oct '07 06:06
Originally posted by Lukerik
Well there's a book in my parent's attic that has a scale of importance but as you're unlikely to find it, it gives the scale as:

King - 10
Queen - 9
Rook - 5
Knight - 3
Bishop - 3
Pawn - 1

I've seen another scale that places bishop above knight but I guess that's personal preference.

I suppose a queen could be worth exchanging for any two pieces depending on the position but most likely the rooks, if anything.
I would say that a pawn at the 7'th, in vierge for a promotion, is worth a lot more than just 1 point.

These points are just rule of thumb. Every piece that is active is worth more, any passive piece is worth less.
6.  Ragnorak
06 Oct '07 08:07
Originally posted by Phlabibit
Should I trade my king for 2 pawns and a queen in any given position?

P-
King is regarded as infinite because it cannot be involved in a trade.

I regard a queen as being worth 9.75 pawns (not points! ). Obviously, all positionally dependant.

D
7.  Lukerik
06 Oct '07 10:11
Originally posted by Phlabibit
Should I trade my king for 2 pawns and a queen in any given position?

P-
I think I can point out a couple of games where I've managed to do that!
8. 06 Oct '07 19:40
Here is a pretty definitive article on the subject:

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/danheisman/Articles/evaluation_of_material_imbalance.htm
9.  Jamin
Irresponsible Quoter
07 Oct '07 12:29
If you use Mozilla then there is a script that does a piece count for you whilst playing based on the values commonly accepted.... I find it kind of handy, I can see exactly how bad of a thrashing I'm receiving with a quick glance. Here's the link

http://members.shaw.ca/ouroboros/RHP/
10.  Ragnorak
07 Oct '07 12:50
Originally posted by Jamin
If you use Mozilla then there is a script that does a piece count for you whilst playing based on the values commonly accepted.... I find it kind of handy, I can see exactly how bad of a thrashing I'm receiving with a quick glance. Here's the link

http://members.shaw.ca/ouroboros/RHP/
I have it edited to assign the piece values as I regard them.

D
11. 09 Oct '07 12:17 / 1 edit
Originally posted by FabianFnas
I would say that a pawn at the 7'th, in vierge for a promotion, is worth a lot more than just 1 point.

These points are just rule of thumb. Every piece that is active is worth more, any passive piece is worth less.
And this is the key point. Values are really only a useful guide for novice players, who as yet do not have the understanding to make a more specific assessment based on the requirements of the position in front of them.
In reality it depends WHICH piece(s) in WHICH position.
1) The author who assigned 10 points to a King was completely innaccurate - as amusingly exposed by 'P'
2) Connected passed pawns on the 6th = a rook? This makes no sense whatsoever. It depends entirely on the positional and material balance of the position (e.g. with just kings left, it surely equals 2 queens!?)
3) Whilst the bishop pair is considered superior in most positions to any other minor piece combination, a bishop and knight will often be as effective as two knights - particularly in open positions and advanced endgames
4) A king can only attack a maximum of 8 squares - not 9.
5) Rooks work better with knights than bishops? Not sure about that. Bishops and rooks on an open board have superior mobility and combine well in covering diagonals and ranks/files.
6) 3 moves = 1 pawn. That would have to be 3 very bad moves?!
7) The queen is assigned the value of 9 because she is considered equal to 3 minor pieces on an open board. However, the queens strength depends a great deal on the material balance. Her greater mobility is countered by the fact that the 3 pieces (or 2 rooks) can cooperate in both defence and attack. 2 rooks / 3 pieces are often therefore more than a match, the specifics of the position nothwithstanding.

So use the relative values as a guide as a beginner. Do not make decisions based on them without considering the specifics of the position infront of you. It is better to have an understanding of strategy, tactics, endgame theory and positional aspects of the game, and base your decisions on these.
12.  Ragnorak
09 Oct '07 13:25
Originally posted by Policestate
2) Connected passed pawns on the 6th = a rook? This makes no sense whatsoever. It depends entirely on the positional and material balance of the position (e.g. with just kings left, it surely equals 2 queens!?)
Agreed. I sacced a number of pawns and pieces to get 2 connected passed pawns. Would I exchange them for a rook? Ha!
Game 2402048

coquette
"but two bishops or two knights are worth more than a bishop and knight together because the pieces "work better" together"
Rubbish! If there was only your opponents king against your two minor pieces, are you saying you'd want the two knights? With which you can't (forcibly) checkmate your opponent.

I also don't agree with the knights and rooks working better than the bishops and rooks. There are a number of mating patterns involving delivering mate with bishop and rook.

D
13. 09 Oct '07 14:08
I recall reading somewhere that Capablanca considered that a Q+N force was slightly better than Q+B because the Bishop simply duplicated possible Queen lines.
14. 09 Oct '07 14:41
Beginners tend to put points on pieces. When you set points to positions, then you are one leap forward.

How many points are an open line with a rook behind? What many points are a destructed enemys kings nest? What many points are the opponents locked in bishop? And so on. Fritz thinks in this lines, why not us carbon based chess machines too?

Strive to a better position, even when you have to sac a pawn or two. Sac everything you have to have a mate. A mate is not better with a lot of material, nor less of material. A mate comes first, always. So when you find a path towards the mate, anything can be sacced in order to achieve it.

The value of the pieces is only one part of point counting. But it is a very easy way of assessing ones position. When you leave your fase of being beginner to being something more, then you have to take the rest of your position in consideration.
15.  impatient
Big Cheese
09 Oct '07 16:13
Originally posted by FabianFnas
Beginners tend to put points on pieces. When you set points to positions, then you are one leap forward.

How many points are an open line with a rook behind? What many points are a destructed enemys kings nest? What many points are the opponents locked in bishop? And so on. Fritz thinks in this lines, why not us carbon based chess machines too?

Stri ...[text shortened]... inner to being something more, then you have to take the rest of your position in consideration.
Well put. The bigger picture. rec'd