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  1. 03 Feb '05 20:42
    Before I started playing on RHP against limited range of opponents I used to swap my bishop for an opponents rook at every available opportunity. However lately I feel this is not neccesarily a good idea.

    Obviously it depends on the situation but losing a bishop seems to cut down on my attacking options quite dramatically while leaving my opponents attacking options intact but their defence a bit weaker.

    I have had a few games where my opponent aimed to get my rook (and succeeded) and I was able to counter almost immediately quite succesfully and win. Partly I think because my attacking play with rooks is probably not so great but also because it leaves opponenets pieces out of position attacking one of my corners. I'm not convinced at the moment that giving up a bishop for a rook (in the absence of a master plan) is a good idea.

    Just want to get some opinions for other players as to what they do when presented with this opportunity.
  2. 03 Feb '05 20:49
    Wellsir.......if i can get your rook for my bishop, I'll pretty much do it every time, and if I can do it twice, the game is guaranteed to be over for you. But sometimes it might not be a good idea. Sometimes. Sometimes giving up your queen for a pawn or even a single tempo is a good idea, too, depending on the position and such. Mostly I just like to drink and play chess, and make fun of my opponents when I win....sometimes.
  3. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    03 Feb '05 23:36
    Originally posted by mickeyt
    Before I started playing on RHP against limited range of opponents I used to swap my bishop for an opponents rook at every available opportunity. However lately I feel this is not neccesarily a good idea.

    Obviously it depends on the situation but losing a bishop seems to cut down on my attacking options quite dramatically while leaving my opponents attac ...[text shortened]... to get some opinions for other players as to what they do when presented with this opportunity.
    I always take the opportunity to win the exchange (my B for their R) unless I can see an extremely good reason not to. The reason has to be really, really good though. The Rook in endgame is much stronger than the Bishop.
  4. Standard member ark13
    Enola Straight
    04 Feb '05 00:48
    Yeah,
    You should almost always prefer a rook over a bishop unless you see an immediate winning attack with your bishop on the board, or you need your bishop to defend yourself. It's true that bishops a certainly better attacking pieces in the opening and middlegame, but if you can't pull off that attack you'll probably lose bishop vs. rook in the endgame. I find that it's always better to have a material advantage even if sacrificing a small positional one, because then you are always willing and eager to trade down. Which in a way increases your attacking options. If you are able to attack to a point where you can force the trade of some material, when you're up a rook to a bishop that may be enough to win. Sure it may take longer to win in the endgame than in an all out attack but it is certainly safer.
  5. 04 Feb '05 03:48
    I agree 100% with the consensus here. The rook is clearly better in the vast majority of situations. The reason is based in the endgame advantage the rook has over the bishop, and the fact that the bishop is entombed on the same colored squares forever. The rook is a stronger attacking piece than the bishop, but it takes a little longer to clear the pathways for it. That is probably why you noticed the bishop's attacking power earlier in the game.
  6. 04 Feb '05 05:38
    thx for the advice guys. That is certainly the way I used to play just the last 4-5 games confused the issue for me. I think they ended early and thus the rooks never really got into the game, which got me thinking. Must stop that!

    cheers
  7. 04 Feb '05 07:36
    There is a reason that a bishop is 3 and a rook 5 points!

    Learux
  8. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    04 Feb '05 11:34
    Originally posted by mickeyt
    thx for the advice guys. That is certainly the way I used to play just the last 4-5 games confused the issue for me. I think they ended early and thus the rooks never really got into the game, which got me thinking. Must stop that!

    cheers
    Yes; once you win the exchange, as this trade is known, you want to start exchanging off as much material as you can. Because such trades become advantageous for you, your opponent has fewer options; he must retreat if trading is the only other option, unless he has an immediately devestating attack. You can start to control the game by threatening him with the endgame.
  9. Standard member ohfreak
    El Freak0
    04 Feb '05 15:37
    I've had a couple of situations arise where I had the opportunity to win the exchange but was hesitant because of an already-existing weakness on the light squares. The queens were still on the board and there existed a ridiculously open diagonal right to my king. I ended up winning both games, but it seemed to take quite a few moves before black's initiative ran out of steam and I was able to start trading off... with a couple of mild slipups it can turn ugly, fast.

    With a pre-existing weakness on the light or dark squares, I can understand why you might be a bit concerned about losing your primary defender of them there squares!
  10. Standard member thesonofsaul
    King of the Ashes
    04 Feb '05 16:31
    Recently I declined an oppertunity to force a complicated exchange that according to point value would have favored me (a rook and two bishops from me for my opponents queen and remaining rook) . I was even already up an exchange, but this complicated trade would have left my opponent with a passed pawn and me with no middle pieces to threaten it. It would have been a thorn in my side for the rest of the game. Position adds alot to value; that passed pawn would have immeasurable value!

    ... --- ...
  11. 04 Feb '05 17:12
    Originally posted by Learux
    There is a reason that a bishop is 3 and a rook 5 points!

    Learux
    It's best not to consider chess entirely in such material terms, even though that's basically what computers do! Of course, a rook is stronger than a bishop in most positions, not least because the rook is likely to be much stronger in the endgame. However, my experience is that in many middlegame positions a bishop and pawn can be a rough equivalent of a rook.
  12. 04 Feb '05 17:56
    Interestingly enough there are situations where bishop is more valuable than rook (e.g White: Ka1, Bg1 Black: Kh8, Bg8, pawn h7 If White had a Rook on g1 instead the bishop it would be a draw, but now he can play 1.Bd4 . However these are quite specific positions. As a general rule, Rook is the better piece:mainly because K+R vs. K is a win and K+B vs K is a draw.
    Which reminds me of the beautiful Troitzky's study : White: Kd5,Be3, pawn g6, Black: Kf8, pawns e7, h7. White to play and win...
  13. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    05 Feb '05 00:56
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    Recently I declined an oppertunity to force a complicated exchange that according to point value would have favored me (a rook and two bishops from me for my opponents queen and remaining rook) . I was even already up an exchange, but this complicated trade would have left my opponent with a passed pawn and me with no middle pieces to threaten it. It w ...[text shortened]... . Position adds alot to value; that passed pawn would have immeasurable value!

    ... --- ...
    The more complex and assymetrical the trade, the less one can use the point value to evaluate the trade. Winning the exchange is much less complex than this situation; but you do have a point.
  14. Standard member ark13
    Enola Straight
    06 Feb '05 18:14
    Another example of taking the point value of pieces too far:

    Often on a kingside castle (usually in the Roy Lopez or Italian) white is given the oppurtunity to trade a bishop and a knight for the f7 pawn and a rook.

    But does he usually do it, no! Why not, it's 6 points for 6 points and you get the black king out of position and mess up his pawns? Because white having made that exchange will flounder in the middle game, being effectively two minor pieces down, because the rook isn't very active. Sure, if he makes it to an even end game he'll do all right, probably draw, but it will even be diffucult there, because he has one less piece. That is one less time he can attack or defend pawns and that makes a difference is the endgame. Yes, he won't get his pawns taken because only one of the bishops can attack a pawn at a time (because they're opposite colors) but while he defends that one the other bishop can snack on another.

    Moral:The point values are only a guide line, before committing to an exchange you must consider how it may benifit/hurt you in different stages of the game.
  15. 30 Mar '06 22:26
    Rook for bishop is a good advantage, but not fatal by any means. If you can, all things being equal, DO IT. But it doesn't mean the game is over.