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Chess Game Pieces – Potential and Limitations

The value of Chess Game Pieces is not absolute and static, but relative to the position and changes constantly.

The energy level of chess game pieces changes often depending on the evolving chess position in your game. Sometimes a good bishop becomes a bad bishop or an active knight becomes inactive when it is caught in the corner. Then it loses center influence and becomes weak and might have no way to return and sometimes it gets captured in exchange for nothing.

There is constant change, like in life itself. A good king can become a bad king, having low mobility level when caught in the corner, and in the endgame this king will not be powerful and can not chase the opponents pawns.

Understand that everything is relative in Chess and nothing is absolute, and that there is constant Change of Chess Game Pieces Value!

Even your brain might fall asleep and you might still lose a winning game. So there is no guarantee that your mind will remain fully awake, alert and attentive. Even this is subject to change.

Positional Rules like >develop as fast as possible< are just guidelines for beginners. There are always exceptions to the rule. A doubled pawn must not be bad, but can be strong if placed in the center, where it controls a very important center square and prevents the enemy knight's intrusion.

A bad bishop can become strong if you move away his obstacles and a rook is not always stronger than a bishop or knight. It all depends if the rook is mobile or locked up and the knight might have a strong attacking position near the enemy king and this makes it stronger than a rook.

A temporarily bad Bishop with low mobility can become strong. A dead Bishop might come alive, because you pushed your pawns to the wrong squares.

Chess is like life. Nothing is sure and there are no guarantees that things will work the way you imagine.

Elements of Chess Game Pieces


Make sure that your pieces are flexible and have options. When you move ahead with a pawn and create a blocked pawn chain there is no way to return and the door is locked.

Piece Coordination

Do your pieces work well together? Or are they scattered and isolated all over the board?

Different colored Bishops

Different colored bishops in the endgame tend towards draw but in the middlegame you can start a so-called different-colored-bishop-attack. When you manage to place your bishop well and direct its power towards the opponents king, then you can use all your remaining pieces to launch an attack against the king on the square color of your bishop. This will give you the advantage because the opponent can not protect the squares that are of the color of your bishop as his bishop is of different color.

In effect he is a piece down (you can not count his useless bishop) and is likely to lose. It is just a matter of time so be patient and have confidence in the power of your different colored bishop. Even if you are a pawn down, this doesn’t matter much in those positions, you still are likely to win.

King Safety

Don’t move any pawns in front of your king.


The vulnerability of a queen is high. So don’t jump around with it aimlessly.
Don’t be afraid to trade queens if you gain a positional advantage.

Don’t trade queens if you are attacking the enemy king and the king is not protected well, but has high vulnerability. In this case keep the queen on the board to preserve future attacking potential. If you trade off queens the vulnerability of the enemy king will be reduced immediately as you are coming closer to the endgame where king centralization is effective. The opponents king just goes into the center and starts fighting like a minor piece (knight or bishop) and your attack is gone. His king is probably faster in the center than yours and you might lose because he picks up your pawns.

And remember, a queen alone is powerless. Don’t attack just with one queen. It can’t give checkmate on its own.

Space, Time and Speed

Pawn advances secure space. Centralize knights but put bishops on long open diagonals. They are faster and have more speed than knights. Centralizing a bishop is not very effective but centralizing a knight is great. Bishops work from behind the lines!

A knight is the slowest piece, so keep the position closed when you have a knight (or knights) and the opponent has a bishop (or bishops).

Sacrifice pawns only if you gain dynamics, space, speed or time in return.

Queen versus two Rooks

The rooks have greater mobility than the queen. They might attack a pawn and the queen cannot defend it but the rooks need to be coordinated.

Queen versus two Knights and a Bishop

If the three pieces are protected well and have targets (pawns) to attack then they are stronger than the queen. It all depends if they work well together or not. And it depends if there are many targets (pawn islands) to attack for the queen as the queen is very mobile and fast.

Doubled Pawns

Doubled pawns are not always bad! They can protect important squares in the center which compensates for being doubled. So don’t trade off your bishop for a knight just to double his pawns. You have given up your bishop pair if you do that.

I hope I confused you enough now, but I just try to free you from limiting belief systems that might stop you from evolving further in chess and reach the next level. I want that you use your own judgment and rely on yourself all the time. Compare different concepts and evaluate them while playing and understand the spirit and life of chess game pieces. Evaluate Speed, Time and Space if you can.

Chess requires constant questioning. Never forget that!

In life there are no fixed rules either. In certain situations you might have to act differently and rules have to be set aside.

Replay Game: The Soft-Placed Bishop – White has more Time and Speed.

Black is running behind in Time (tempi = moves) Black wastes some moves with his queen and runs behind in development. But he can’t afford to lose time (tempi) because White has sacrificed a pawn in the opening (played the dreaded Blackmar Diemer Gambit) and has more pieces developed anyway.

Flip Board: Press F-Key (or click e7 or d2 on top) Select a game: Click on grey bar

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