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  1. 07 Feb '13 15:14
    I've been looking round on the net for an explanation of the chess piece values, how are 1,3,3,5,9 derived? and i can't find one.

    It seems quite a tricky question when you try and calculate it, i have done these tables, which you might laugh at, they don't give 1,3,3,5,9 but its the closest i can get.

    They show the number of available squares for each piece on each square...

    Pawn
    23 24 25 25 25 25 24 23
    2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
    2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
    2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
    2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
    2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
    3 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
    0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

    Bishop
    0 7 0 7 0 7 0 7
    7 0 9 0 9 0 9 0
    0 9 0 11 0 11 0 7
    7 0 11 0 13 0 9 0
    0 9 0 13 0 11 0 7
    7 0 11 0 11 0 9 0
    0 9 0 9 0 9 0 7
    7 0 7 0 7 0 7 0

    Knight
    2 3 4 4 4 4 3 2
    3 4 6 6 6 6 4 3
    4 6 8 8 8 8 6 4
    4 6 8 8 8 8 6 4
    4 6 8 8 8 8 6 4
    4 6 8 8 8 8 6 4
    3 4 6 6 6 6 4 3
    2 3 4 4 4 4 3 2

    Rook
    14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
    14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
    14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
    14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
    14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
    14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
    14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
    15 14 14 14 14 14 14 15

    Queen
    21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21
    21 23 23 23 23 23 23 21
    21 23 25 25 25 25 23 21
    21 23 25 27 27 25 23 21
    21 23 25 27 27 25 23 21
    21 23 25 25 25 25 23 21
    21 23 23 23 23 23 23 21
    21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21

    King
    3 5 5 5 5 5 5 3
    5 8 8 8 8 8 8 5
    5 8 8 8 8 8 8 5
    5 8 8 8 8 8 8 5
    5 8 8 8 8 8 8 5
    5 8 8 8 8 8 8 5
    5 8 8 8 8 8 8 5
    3 5 5 5 7 5 5 3


    Calculating the value of the pawn seems the most tricky, it doesn't lend it self to these tables like the other pieces do.

    But according to this system a knight is worth more than a bishop, the sum of the bishops board is 280, the knight is 310

    Can anyone derive the values another way?
  2. 07 Feb '13 15:50
    There is lots of interesting stuff on this subject on Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_piece_relative_value

    However as you get more experienced you come to rely on piece valuations less and less. For example it's amazing how often Grandmasters will sacrifice a pawn or the exchange in order to improve the mobility of their remaining pieces (i.e. not for any obvious tactically reasons).
  3. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    07 Feb '13 15:56
    Originally posted by e4chris
    I've been looking round on the net for an explanation of the chess piece values, how are 1,3,3,5,9 derived? and i can't find one.

    It seems quite a tricky question when you try and calculate it, i have done these tables, which you might laugh at, they don't give 1,3,3,5,9 but its the closest i can get.

    They show the number of available squares for each ...[text shortened]... of the bishops board is 280, the knight is 310

    Can anyone derive the values another way?
    I'm not sure how you would incorporate other tangible considerations like the limited range of the Knight's movement, etc. into your tables.
  4. 07 Feb '13 15:58
    I've seen that article, and a few like it but there no workings out.

    it has got

    N=4 B=3½ R=7 Q=13½ K=4
    used by a computer
    (Hooper & Whyld 1992:439)

    which seem to be a similar result to the tables, but in general it has bishops equal to or worth more than knights.....
  5. 07 Feb '13 16:01 / 1 edit
    Correct Fat Lady. Good players often depend on or use their weaker opponents
    following the Knight = 3 Rook = 5 table.

    I think that interesting graph shows you simply how important central control is.

    The pawn is indeed a tough one. You need to do the numbers for passed pawns,
    and centralised pawns etc...
    It all comes down to judgement.
  6. 07 Feb '13 16:10
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I'm not sure how you would incorporate other tangible considerations like the limited range of the Knight's movement, etc. into your tables.
    i think the knight and bishop tables might hold true, but more for a computer then a person. its easier to use a bishop, but the knight has more moves and it always has them unless a same coloured piece is in the way. But true most values put the bishop higher.
  7. 07 Feb '13 17:04
    Perhaps you need to build in something to represent being able to control squares a long way away, for example a bishop on a1 can move to h8 (providing nothing obstructs it).

    Also, something to allow for the fact that the two bishops are on opposite coloured squares.
    e.g. bishops on a1 and b1 control 14 squares, whereas knights on a1 and b1 control 5. You'd need to calculate the average number of squares covered by all possible combinations of two bishops (on opposite coloured squares) and all possible combinations of two knights (which will sometimes both attack the same square).
  8. 07 Feb '13 17:21
    I propose this table
    all pawns pieces: somewhere between absolutely useless and gamewinning.

    And we all went our merry ways 🙂

    Not very helpful,I know.Quite close to the pieces true value though
  9. 07 Feb '13 17:42
    The values of the pieces are only to give you an idea for the strength of every piece and they are related to the INITIAL POSITION ONLY.
    Once the pieces start moving none of the value boards that have been created can help you.The value of every piece is related not only to it's position but also to it's ability to coordinate with the other pieces.
    So there are cases where a centralised knight is strong and there are cases a centralised knight is not strong because combined threats can't be created.
    Forget the value boards and try to understand the, related to the position, value of every piece.
  10. 07 Feb '13 20:59
    The functional value of a chesspiece varies during the course of the battle.

    The functional value can be quantified as a number, which varies.

    That value of a piece is a function of the value of its target, and its ability to reach its target.

    That's why, for instance, in a closed position you may find the value of a knight more powerful than the value of a rook, or even the value of a pawn in certain endgame positions more valuable than a Queen.
  11. 07 Feb '13 22:44
    Originally posted by Roper300
    The values of the pieces are only to give you an idea for the strength of every piece and they are related to the INITIAL POSITION ONLY.
    Once the pieces start moving none of the value boards that have been created can help you.The value of every piece is related not only to it's position but also to it's ability to coordinate with the other pieces.
    So th ...[text shortened]... et the value boards and try to understand the, related to the position, value of every piece.
    I think the only pieces of value in the initial position are knights and pawns.
  12. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    07 Feb '13 22:58
    Originally posted by e4chris
    I've been looking round on the net for an explanation of the chess piece values, how are 1,3,3,5,9 derived? and i can't find one.

    It seems quite a tricky question when you try and calculate it, i have done these tables, which you might laugh at, they don't give 1,3,3,5,9 but its the closest i can get.

    They show the number of available squares for each ...[text shortened]... of the bishops board is 280, the knight is 310

    Can anyone derive the values another way?
    You would probably need to find a computer programmer that makes a chess program to explain how they value the pieces.
  13. 08 Feb '13 01:43 / 2 edits
    These are the values you get, depending on the pawns.

    if you say that each pawn controls one file, then they score 42 on average

    P 41.75 1
    B 280 6.71
    N 336 8.05 (N is 336 not 310 like i said earlier)
    R 898 21.51
    Q 1456 34.87


    If you say it has one square on its first move. but can be on any 3 of the squares infront after, 1,3,3,3,3 etc the central pawn is worth 124, this seems to give the best answer.

    P 124 1
    B 280 2.26
    N 336 2.71
    R 898 7.24
    Q 1456 11.74

    but it still looks wrong.
  14. 08 Feb '13 12:17
    Originally posted by Roper300
    The values of the pieces are only to give you an idea for the strength of every piece and they are related to the INITIAL POSITION ONLY.
    I don’t think it is related to the initial position. In the initial position, the major pieces feel more clumsy than the minor pieces. It takes more time to get the rooks into play, and bringing the queen out too early can lead to being attacked with loss of tempo. I also don’t believe that all pawns are equal to 1 or any other value - the central pawns are often more useful.

    Thread discussion…

    Giving the pieces numerical values is just a very crude guideline to help beginners who thoughtlessly swap rooks for knights, etc. It’s only to get them off the bottom rung of the ladder, after which it’s benefit becomes counterproductive the longer it is followed. And we shouldn’t look for any indepth reasoning behind such crude guidelines. People just considered things like, “on average, is a rook more effective than a knight?” or “on average, how many pawns would I need to compensate for a bishop”. The “on average” is key – every position will be different and we should avoid playing “on average”.

    Computers are different. They only ever think in terms of numbers for everything. What value do you give to open files, king safety or double pawns? I don’t know any but a computer needs to. Kauffman did some anaylsis using a big database of games in order to work out average pieces values. I believe this was used to help tune some engines such as Rybka. For humans it is interesting but of little practical value since we don’t numerate everything. e.g. I have an appreciation of when a car is better than a bike and vice versa without assigning them numbers, and I do likewise for the chess pieces.
  15. 08 Feb '13 12:31 / 1 edit
    I think the most useful thing about using the usual 1,3,3,5,9 point system is that it gives the player a pretty good indication about what is going to happen in the endgame if the game gets that far.

    So if you are likely to lose the exchange, then you're probably going to lose the endgame if it boils down to rook + pawns vs minor piece + pawns. This means that you'd better make sure you get a couple of pawns as well or else throw everything into an attack to ensure the game is decided before then!

    The single worst thing about this points system is that it encourages young players and other beginners to swap off a bishop and knight for a rook and pawn (usually by Bxf7+, Rxf7, Nxf7, Kxf7) because 3+3 = 5+1. They can't figure out why they then get battered in the middlegame, not realising that they are effectively two pieces down.