Welcome back. Perhaps you'd like to tell me what you'd like me to call you this lesson.
Have you learnt all about DEFENDING, kiddo?
In every chess game you'll have the chance to make an EXCHANGE.
This is when you and your opponent play a series of moves in which both of you will take one (or more) enemy piece.
It's your job to decide whether the EXCHANGE will be GOOD or BAD for you.
The first thing you have to do is work out which pieces you are going to win and which pieces you are going to lose.
Learn the VALUES of the PIECES:
PAWN: 1 POINT
KNIGHT: 3 POINTS
BISHOP: 3 POINTS
ROOK: 5 POINTS
QUEEN: 9 POINTS
Then you add up the points for all the pieces you're going to win and all the pieces you're going to lose.
If you're going to WIN more points it's a GOOD EXCHANGE so go for it!
If you're going to LOSE more points it's a BAD EXCHANGE so don't do it!
If you're going to WIN and LOSE the same number of points it's an EQUAL EXCHANGE.
Sometimes it gets more complicated than that.
Look at this position and work out whether you would capture the Black Knight with your Rook.
The MOST IMPORTANT SKILL you need when playing chess is the ability to LOOK AHEAD.
If your Rook takes the Knight the Black Bishop will be able to take your Rook. So you win 3 points but lose 5. Sounds like a bad deal, doesn't it?
Can you work out how you can win two pieces for one in this position?
Yes, by taking on f2. But is it worth it? We have to work it out.
The Queen takes the Rook. Then the Bishop takes the Queen. Then the King takes the Bishop.
We win two pieces: Rook and Bishop. We only lose one piece: our Queen.
But if you count the points you'll see that we LOSE 9 points but only WIN 8 points.
So it's NOT a good idea to take on f2 in this position.
What do you think about this position. Again White can win two pieces for one, but he can start with either the Rook or the Bishop.
If he starts with the Rook, the Rook takes the Knight, the Pawn takes the Rook then the Bishop takes the Pawn. White wins Knight and Pawn (3+1=4 points) but loses his Rook (5 points).
But if he starts with the Bishop, the Bishop takes the Knight, the Pawn takes the Bishop, then the Rook takes with the Pawn. White again wins Knight and Pawn (4 points) but only loses his Bishop (3 points).
That's the end of the lesson, kiddo.
Guess what? It's time for a REALLY HARD EXAM about EXCHANGING.