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Worse than Worthless. A discussion of pieces with negative value, and the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity![All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
George Duke wrote on 2016-11-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Ralph Betza's classic brief on negative values. Few today know "nattering nabobs of negativity" (call it NNN) came from Spiro Agnew, who resigned as Vice President just before Richard Nixon resigned as President.

Yet it depends on the position. Betza's first example, Negative Relay Knight with no capturing power that relays its move to opponents actually as described still has blocking power, and we could make up a problem where it figures in a checkmate for owning side. But over-all there is average negative value in such a piece, and barring a weird specific combination in view, you just as well get rid of it but probably cannot. (That would be another study to design, namely show a case when it is worthwhile to capture a NRK.)

NNN are an experimental Chess Different Army and have enhanced Bishop and Rook to go with Negative Relay Knight. Is NNN equal in value to Colorbound Clobberers and to F.I.D.E. and to Nutty Knights and to Pizza Kings?

Under Strangeness in Asymmetrical Relay, Betza suggest further relay complications such as to move as a Rook or capture as a Bishop, and if your own piece is doing so of course it has (further) negative value.