interesting chess discussion

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political Access
24 Jan 2002
which I created myself I might add

here it is

in chess, some sources will claim the king has infinite value since once lost the game is over (in normal chess the king can never be taken it can only be forced to move (check) with no move to make (a checkmate)

if it's the player puts the king in a box that is still in check the move is illegal and rescinded...the only penalty is you still have to move the king (touch rule)

if there are no moves for the king you can move any other piece you want, no penalty

in modern variations of speed chess if your king goes to a box where it can be taken you take it and the game is over

OK, that's just the set up for the discussion

so, some people will claim the king's value is infinite...while this might be true for the sake of intiinsic value you still have to assign an attack value of the king since it does attack at times...this is true for a number of reasons even though both people in the game will always have a king;

if your opponent's king is pinned and your king is mobile in the end game, in essence you have a piece your opponent doesn't have.

a formula has been demonstrated using 2.5 for the kings attack value...I don't know how they came up with piece values but there it is...grand masters have assigned differant values to pieces throughout time and we only have a "general" idea of what each piece is worth

in general a point equals the overall value of a single pawn's attack capability...this isn't alway fair because two "passed pawns" are more powerfull then a rook..on the final rank they might even be more powerful then a queen because they must be taken at all cost to prevent them from becoming a queen

so here's the interesting thing;

suppose I have a rook and 3 pawns

you have a knight and 1 pawn

if you add the pieces up minus the king you have 4 points and I have 8 points...obviously (all other things being equal) I am going to win this game...however it is not a "simple" win, that knight can trick you and add pressure you might not see

if you look at my percentage advantage I have double the power you have

therefore, if I exchange your knight for my rook I leave you with 1 pawn I have 3 points to your 1

even though I "lost the exchange" by "attack value" I really "won the exchange" by comparative attack value

I now have 3 points to your 1, before the exchange I had a 2 to one advantage

but not so fast

the king in the end game is an attack piece and the percentages change due to that king

assigning the king 2.5 attack points, added to my rook and 3 pawns comes out to 11.5

add the king to my opponents 4 points and he now has 6.5 attack points

6.5 is vs 11.5 is less then a 2 to 1 advantage if we didn't add the kings' value

my attack advantage was not as substantial as we thought

now if we trade rook for knight I am left with 5.5 attack points

my opponent would be left with 3.5 attack points

so you see, if we allow for attack capability of the king the exchange in this case doesn't make as much sense mathematically


if we don't trade pieces that knight adds more variables and trick maneuvers that you might not see because you are so far ahead you've relaxed

the three pawns to one pawn is such an easy win you should probably make this trade even though you are "loosing the exchange" in the mathematical analysis

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