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David Paulowich wrote on 2012-01-26 UTC

Ralph Betza wrote about piece values as follows: 'Surprisingly enough, a Commoner (a piece that moves like a King but doesn't have to worry about check) is very weak in the opening, reasonably good in the middlegame, and wins outright against a Knight or Bishop in the endgame. (There are no Commoners in FIDE chess, but the value of the Commoner is some guide to the value of the King).

What can you say about the poor Knight? It doesn't get any weaker as the game goes on, it's just that the other pieces get stronger while the Knight stays the same. In fact, it would be reasonable to conclude that the value of the Knight during the opening and middlegame exceeds its conventional value. In fact, that would explain why I have won so many games by allowing my opponent to 'win' a Bishop for a Knight in the early part of the game.'

That web page has inspired me to use the Silver General in several chess variants. Also, in a roundabout fashion, to create piece value systems on the 8x8, 10x10, 12x12 boards where the humble Knight is assigned a constant value, while the Rooks and Bishops gain strength on the larger boards.

Getting back to the Nutty Nights, their power is greatest in the early stages of the game, but they are extremely clumsy in the endgame. In my experience, the Remarkable Rookies are worth two points more than the FIDE army in the endgame. I am not ready to disagree with Betza's opinion that the NN and RR armies have equal chances of winning: both against each other and against the FF army.


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