Originally posted by znsho
Which is more powerful in an end game? Two pawns against a piece? Do the pawns win? If so, why not sacrifice a piece for two pawns in the middle game?
A pawn can become a queen (or rook), while a lone bishop or knight cannot force checkmate. However, in the middlegame with lots of pieces on the board a bishop or knight usually wields much more influence than two pawns.
Why not make this sacrifice? It depends upon concrete analysis of the position at hand. The sacrifice is often made, not only in the middlegame, but sometimes even in the opening.
I had an OTB game in which my opponent sacrificed a knight and then a bishop, each for two pawns. As the four passed pawns came rolling into my position, I felt helpless. In the end, his time expired when it was mate in 8, and as all I had was my king, the game was drawn.