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  1. Standard member SPDChess
    Chess Monk
    12 Feb '07 15:40
    Probably a silly question but I have played games where I have had a knight in the center then taken a pawn ( for White f7 or c7) which then allows me to trade knight for rook (forked).

    My question stems from the idea that that rook is more often than not buried in a corner for usually quite awhile and but the knight is at this point in the game in a very powerful position. Definitely a few times I have missed that knight and am sure could have done a lot more damage with it in the long run... however being at the level I am these types of 'thoughts' are just gut feelings so might be worthless.

    Anyway, thought I would ask around to see if its even worth me thinking about it or if I should just take the rook and move on

    Thanks,
    Steve
  2. 12 Feb '07 15:45
    The knight is in a very powerful position indeed, and that's why it can take the rook! An knight on an advanced post opens up a lot of tactical possibilities.

    Take the rook. There are a few exceptions, but in an endgame your opponent will have no trouble developing that rook and making the advantage over your knight very pronounced. If you can somehow prevent the rook from developing, then perhaps the advanced knight can place pressure elsewhere on the board. Perhaps it threatens a mate, for example.
  3. 12 Feb '07 15:49
    Originally posted by SPDChess
    Probably a silly question but I have played games where I have had a knight in the center then taken a pawn ( for White f7 or c7) which then allows me to trade knight for rook (forked).

    My question stems from the idea that that rook is more often than not buried in a corner for usually quite awhile and but the knight is at this point in the game in a ver ...[text shortened]... ven worth me thinking about it or if I should just take the rook and move on

    Thanks,
    Steve
    Generally yes - pawn + rook = 6 pts, knight = 3
    Just don't hurt your position too much trying to save the knight in the corner which is an easy mistake to make. If you have any doubts about the knight's safety once the rook's gone, just ignore it & concentrate on capitalising on your gain. Your opponent can sometimes weaken their position further by trying to trap or quickly take the knight.
    It varies on the position, yada yada yada, but in the early stages of the game - unless there is something even better (like a smothered mate or something) then yes.
  4. 12 Feb '07 15:52
    I have recounted this story previously but it is pertinent...


    I attended a lecture by GM Kaidanov once where he reviewed a classic game which involved the knight taking on f7 or c7 (I don't recal which). I do recall that on every move he asked the lot of us (all < 1400 USCF) what move white should play. Someone always suggested NxR and he always replied "You want ze knight, or you want ze game?" Naturally 12 moves later or so white forced mate.

    Based on that, I would say, if the position warrants (aka all your other pieces are in position to attack) go for the middlegame kill. If the position doesn't warrant it, take the rook and be happy with a long term material advantage.
  5. 12 Feb '07 15:56 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by SPDChess
    Probably a silly question but I have played games where I have had a knight in the center then taken a pawn ( for White f7 or c7) which then allows me to trade knight for rook (forked).

    My question stems from the idea that that rook is more often than not buried in a corner for usually quite awhile and but the knight is at this point in the game in a ver ven worth me thinking about it or if I should just take the rook and move on

    Thanks,
    Steve
    good question, the game should never be based on points, but based on position... most newbies to the game will take the rook, but a lot more experienced players will not take it if it leaves their position in a bad way, the main problem here is the rook becomes more powerful as the game goes on so its something you may regret if you dont take it - i would suggest thinking outside of the points system and evaluate your position before taking it and after taking it and work out which is more powerful...

    i recently saw a grandmaster game where the queen could have been taken by the opponents bishop, it never was taken and the player who won was the player who didnt take it, when asked why he didnt take the queen after the game he said, "there was a quicker way to checkmate"; that's the mind of a master there, probably 80% of players would have taken it
  6. Standard member ivan2908
    SelfProclaimedTitler
    12 Feb '07 16:00
    Knight might do better in the opening and the middlegame closed positions, but if you aren't able to exploit his abilities right away, you'll eventually switch to simple endgame where the opponent rook with slaughter your knight I think. There are too many exceptions to make a general rule, but if my opponent doesn't have any tactics or even good position after offering his rook, I would take it very happily!
  7. 12 Feb '07 16:01
    I am quite lazy and I'll probably take the rook in most positions, going for a kill in the middlegame is nice but it requires a lot more calculating than trading down and grinding a with material superiority.
  8. 12 Feb '07 16:37
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    good question, the game should never be based on points, but based on position... most newbies to the game will take the rook, but a lot more experienced players will not take it if it leaves their position in a bad way, the main problem here is the rook becomes more powerful as the game goes on so its something you may regret if you dont take it - i wou ...[text shortened]... to checkmate"; that's the mind of a master there, probably 80% of players would have taken it
    It is interesting to read these threads. Almost always the first reply to the question starts out "it depends on the position". This is such an obvious answer that I tend to assume that the person asking the question already understands this and does not need to be told it again.

    All of us agree that if you see a forced line to checkmate that you should take that over any material or positional advantage. Likewise, if you see larger material advantages, generally take them over smaller material advantages. Even beginners already understand that it "depends on the position", although some may lack the discipline to ponder a few extra seconds.

    This grandmaster you speak of who said "there was a quicker way to checkmate" I am sure was interesting to watch, but I don't think any of us would really ponder the question about knights verses rooks if we saw a quicker way to checkmate. The question is only meaningful under the assumption that we don't see a quicker way to checkmate and that we don't have sufficient expertise to find more crucial developments.

    Under those conditions, I personally would take the rook with the knight. From there I can usually win over equally strengthed players, although it may take more moves than a grandmaster would take. But hey, who cares? A 75 move win counts the same as a 20 move win. I'd rather take a safe 75 move win than increase my risk of screwing up by going for a 20 move win.
  9. 12 Feb '07 16:57
    Originally posted by techsouth
    It is interesting to read these threads. Almost always the first reply to the question starts out "it depends on the position". This is such an obvious answer that I tend to assume that the person asking the question already understands this and does not need to be told it again.

    All of us agree that if you see a forced line to checkmate that you shou ...[text shortened]... ke a safe 75 move win than increase my risk of screwing up by going for a 20 move win.
    Ceteris paribus as an economist would say
  10. Standard member SPDChess
    Chess Monk
    12 Feb '07 17:02
    Thanks all for the input. I'm glad it turns out it wasn't a completely silly question. I will continue taking the rook of the time unless of course better move is present - i.e. mate ;-) or I think I can win in the middle game.
  11. 12 Feb '07 23:51
    Originally posted by techsouth
    It is interesting to read these threads. Almost always the first reply to the question starts out "it depends on the position". This is such an obvious answer that I tend to assume that the person asking the question already understands this and does not need to be told it again.

    All of us agree that if you see a forced line to checkmate that you shou ...[text shortened]... ke a safe 75 move win than increase my risk of screwing up by going for a 20 move win.
    I totally agree with this in principle, however it is the specifics of the question that make it interesting. One can always say "It depends on the position" which is always true, but by looking at a large sample of games and their outcomes it is sometimes possible to gather "general principles" based on the winning percentage of different variations. This gives us clues as to when to "look hard" for tactical opportunities and when to conserve mental strength and follow the "obvious path"

    Say you analyse all of the games in which someone has managed to get a knight on c/g7, I wonder, in what percentage of games would the best move be something other than taking the rook? 10% .. 30%? the percentage would tell you how much time in general to spend looking for other moves .. if NxR is the right move in 99% of cases then it makes sense to not spend much time looking at alternatives, however, if there is a better move in 30% of cases then it is worthwhile spending some time looking for one when the opportunity arises.

    Of course i have no idea what the actual percentage is .. my guess would be less than 10% .. it's surprising though how many times these "common sense" assumptions turn out to be wrong
  12. 13 Feb '07 00:08
    Read my thead "Ever feel dumb?" In that I planed out an attack on a rook with a double attack. Checking the enemy king with my bishop while attacking the rook. It should have been mate in one but I fumbled the ball and set up the attack on the rook. Could have cost me the game.
  13. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    13 Feb '07 00:11
    Here's an interesting exception to the rule:

    Kraai-Sarkar, Easy Bay FIDE Swiss '06

    White played 21.Bc6! and Black resigned. Why didn't he take the Rook?
  14. 13 Feb '07 01:39
    Off the top of my head, if BxR, BxB and white has to defend against
    Rh1#. If white plays f3, black plays Bd5, unpinning the Nd7 and
    threatening NxB, so white plays e4, covering the d5 square. But black
    plays Qc8, unpinning the N anyway. So black at least is able to play on
    a bit. With Bc6, black has no good move and white can build up
    extra pressure with Q or Ra1 at his leisure. I think. ;-)
  15. 13 Feb '07 01:48
    Originally posted by CrawlIce
    Off the top of my head, if BxR, BxB and white has to defend against
    Rh1#. If white plays f3, black plays Bd5, unpinning the Nd7 and
    threatening NxB, so white plays e4, covering the d5 square. But black
    plays Qc8, unpinning the N anyway. So black at least is able to play on
    a bit. With Bc6, black has no good move and white can build up
    extra pressure with Q or Ra1 at his leisure. I think. ;-)
    I think after Qd4 there is no way for black to avoid losing the knight outright?