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  1. 29 Mar '13 06:01
    Sure, they're better than bishops because they can control light and dark squares, but then so can knights.

    Then, just now it hit me. Knights can control from 2 to 8 squares depending on where they are on the board. Bishops from 8 to 15. No matter where you put the rook it's always covering 16 squares.

    I suppose the reason knights are "equal" to bishops (while covering less squares) because they can attack light and dark squares and can jump over other pieces and pawns.
  2. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    29 Mar '13 09:21
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    Sure, they're better than bishops because they can control light and dark squares, but then so can knights.

    Then, just now it hit me. Knights can control from 2 to 8 squares depending on where they are on the board. Bishops from 8 to 15. No matter where you put the rook it's always covering 16 squares.

    I suppose the reason knights are "equal ...[text shortened]... es) because they can attack light and dark squares and can jump over other pieces and pawns.
    Rooks have power in castling and protecting the whole back rank for the King. Rooks can also protect each other while moving to different squares, too.
  3. Standard member congruent
    Chess Player
    29 Mar '13 10:03
    Edward Lasker said "It is difficult to compare the relative value of different pieces, as so much depends on the peculiarities of the position...".

    Nevertheless, he said that bishops and knights (minor pieces) were equal, rooks are worth a minor piece plus one or two pawns, and a queen is worth three minor pieces or two rooks (Lasker 1915:11).

    Bishops are often more powerful than rooks in the opening. Rooks are usually more powerful than bishops in the middlegame, and rooks dominate the minor pieces in the endgame (Seirawan 2003:ix).
  4. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    29 Mar '13 13:29
    You can deliver mate with K+R, this isn't possible with N or B. Also, Rooks can be used to cut the enemy King off from moving freely across the board. In pawn endings, this is often the difference between Queening a pawn or not..
  5. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    29 Mar '13 13:40
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb You can deliver mate with K+R, this isn't possible with N or B.
    This reason alone makes rooks more valuable. The difference between a win and a draw can be a huge value, when defined as prize money in the last round!
  6. 31 Mar '13 15:22
    Rooks can pin and skewer, Knights cannot. The Knight fork is more famous and perhaps more common (where's greenpawn34 when you need him?), but the Rook can also fork enemy pieces.
  7. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    31 Mar '13 18:07
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    Sure, they're better than bishops because they can control light and dark squares, but then so can knights.

    Then, just now it hit me. Knights can control from 2 to 8 squares depending on where they are on the board. Bishops from 8 to 15. No matter where you put the rook it's always covering 16 squares.

    I suppose the reason knights are "equal ...[text shortened]... es) because they can attack light and dark squares and can jump over other pieces and pawns.
    The Rook covers 14 squares.

    It is not limited to one color (like the Bishop) or to short-range (like the Knight). That's another reason why it is generally stronger.
  8. Standard member hunterknox
    Hopeless romantic
    31 Mar '13 19:19
    And they can cut off an entire section of the board from the opponent's king in the endgame.
  9. 31 Mar '13 23:28
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    The Rook covers 14 squares.

    It is not limited to one color (like the Bishop) or to short-range (like the Knight). That's another reason why it is generally stronger.
    Before I said 16 squares, not thinking about the square they're on counts as rank and file simultaneously. So wouldn't it be 15 squares or do you not count the square they're on?
  10. 01 Apr '13 04:44
    Another reason is that the Rook can prevent something from moving, like if you have it on the seventh rank.
  11. 01 Apr '13 08:48
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    Before I said 16 squares, not thinking about the square they're on counts as rank and file simultaneously. So wouldn't it be 15 squares or do you not count the square they're on?
    You don't seem to count the square they're on for knights, why would you count it for rooks?
  12. 01 Apr '13 13:06
    I've noticed against computers in particular - if you have 2 rooks on e1 and d1 and opponents king in the centre you can sacrifice up to 2 minor peaces in the centre and create a 'long pin' that wins the game - 2 rooks in the centre are very powerful
  13. 01 Apr '13 13:16
    "(where's greenpawn34 when you need him.)"

    I don't think you need any help in this one and anyway I enjoy looking
    at some of the answers. RJ's is as obscure as ever.

    "Rooks have power in castling...."
    (The psychological power of castling is not to be underestimated.) 🙂
    I've not yet castled with a Knight or Bishop, but I will one day.

    Square counting.
    It's 14 for a Rook anywhere on a clear board. You are never attacking
    a square a piece or a pawn is on nor is it defending that square.

    But in gerneral terms square counting is a good indicator and guidline.

    Of course it always depends on the position on the board. Perhaps the thread title
    should have been:
    "Was wondering why Rooks are 'usually' more powerful than the minor pieces."

    I could show you show you from actual games and no doubt you could show
    me 100 positions where a Bishop or Knight is better than a Rook.
    But for each one there will be 100 positions where the Rook is better.
  14. 01 Apr '13 14:13
    All's I know is my castles are more better than my horsies
  15. 01 Apr '13 14:26 / 1 edit
    Here is a slightly silly 'killer rook' game 2 pieces down (one by accident 🙂 )
    but the king is in the centre vs two rooks and it gets smashed!
    look how week the minor pieces are in this game compared to the rooks.






    black should of knocked my queen of the board at any cost. This type of line is good against computers, even engines,
    they cling onto material in the face of a bad posistion.