Every piece on the board has an inherit value. A point system relative to the strength of that piece. It is essential for Chess players to know the relative value of the chess pieces in order to judge a trade of pieces. Below are the most commonly used values.
These values are based on their strength in endgames and should be handled with care. Pawns are worth a single point, which is why many players don’t even consider them pieces, and why giving up a pawn or two for better positioning or rapid development is common.
Knights and Bishops are worth three points each, making them equal in value. However, one does become more valuable than the other as the game progresses. Depending on the position, especially of the pawn structure on the board, trading a Bishop for a Knight may not be worth it and could hurt you as if your Bishop you just traded was actually worth more than the Knight you exchanged for it.
Trading Pieces Based on Value
Before starting a trade the expected outcome of the resulting endgame has to be considered and thought through carefully.
If you watch Grandmasters play, you’ll notice that just one single pawn can mean the difference between winning and losing, but two Knights are probably not enough. In addition the Bishop is more powerful than the Knight, especially in conjunction with the other Bishop.
Trading pieces based on these values without thinking about the final result may lead to the following position (in which it is Black’s turn to move).
In the endgame, a King and a Knight is generally more powerful than a King and a Bishop. If the Bishop is a Bad Bishop, then that Bishop is basically useless, an entombed piece. If the Bishop is good, it’s easy to make it bad by placing any pieces on the opposite colored square. However, the Knight can always be a threat. Especially with those deadly Knight forks.
This post on Chess piece value is one of the more important lessons to grasp for beginners. If you wish to continue, you can move on to the next lesson about Defending or removing the defender.