How To Evaluate Exchanges in Chess – IM Valeri Lilov (The Chess World)

Most beginners have problems improving at chess because they simply lack the foundation needed to build upon. They have bits and pieces of knowledge, but that’s not enough to see sustainable progress. Those beginners tend to study wrong things, in the wrong way. They are spending countless hours on openings and tactics, while what they really need is getting the fundamentals straight.

That’s where IM Valeri Lilov comes in with his Comprehensive Beginners course, and in this free preview, Valeri will show you how to decide whether to exchange a piece for another.

The art of simplification over the chess board is an aspect of the game that every player should learn if they want to improve their chess and reach higher levels. You’ll need to knowing which pieces of your opponent you need to trade and when is the best moment to do so. At the same time, you need to know which of your own pieces you should strive to keep on the board, and which pieces you can afford to swap off.

There’s more to exchanging chess pieces than simply their material value. For example, a bishop and a knight are roughly valued as equal, but if the position is open, a bishop can dominate a knight! Likewise, if the position is closed, a bishop isn’t very effective while a knight comes into its own.

When the game is in the early stages, a knight is more valuable because it can jump over other pieces. But as the game progresses, the bishop becomes the more valuable piece becayse it can cover and control many squares on the board. Likewise, a rook is not as valuable in the early stages of the game but can be deadly as the game progresses and lines get opened up. It is important to remember that a piece’s importance fluctuates during the game.

When To Exchange Chess Pieces

How To Evaluate Exchanges In Chess – Im Valeri Lilov (the Chess World)Let’s take a brief look at the first example that IM Valeri Lilov covers in the video. The game begins with a Caro-Kann Defense, with 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3, which you can see in the diagram on the left.

Here, Black has the option of exchanging pawns on e4. Should Black do it? What should Black consider? While a pawn in exchange is equal material, how does the position after the exchange suit each side?

How To Evaluate Exchanges In Chess – Im Valeri Lilov (the Chess World)Let’s see. 3. dxe4 4. Nxe4, and we hit the position on the right.

As a result of the exchange, White has moved a knight into a good central square. On top of that, White has a good central position, more space – all while Black has given up an important central pawn with no benefits! Clearly, the exchange was not worth it.

What about after 4…e6 5. Nf3 Bd6 – we have another chess exchange to consider. Should White trade the knight for Black’s dark-squared bishop? In general, the bishop is a little more valuable than a knight when the position isn’t closed as it exerts control over large areas of the board. Is it that simple? You’ll have to watch the video to find out!

Comprehensive Chess Course for Beginners

If you’re a beginner, or you’ve been stuck under 1400 Elo for a long time, IM Valeri Lilov’s Comprehensive Beginners Course is just the ticket for you. As well as covering the basics of chess, Valeri also explains concepts such as when to exchange pieces, how to have a successful middlegame, and how to attack effectively. Click here to get your copy with 35% off.


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