Piece values

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
soheil_hooshdaran
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Piece values

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:08 pm

Hi.
What's the basis for assigning numerical values 1-3-5-9 to pieces?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Piece values

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:07 pm

soheil_hooshdaran wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:08 pm
What's the basis for assigning numerical values 1-3-5-9 to pieces?
Lost in the mists of time I should imagine.

It seems to work as a broad rule of thumb for a basic evaluation. The earliest writings on chess theory were by Philidor and then later by Staunton. Did these authors propose theories of piece value?


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Michael Farthing
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Re: Piece values

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:08 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:07 pm
soheil_hooshdaran wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:08 pm
What's the basis for assigning numerical values 1-3-5-9 to pieces?
Lost in the mists of time I should imagine.

It seems to work as a broad rule of thumb for a basic evaluation. The earliest writings on chess theory were by Philidor and then later by Staunton. Did these authors propose theories of piece value?
Staunton: The Chess Players Handbook Chapter 4

Code: Select all

Pawn    1.00
Knight  3.05
Bishop  3.50
Rook    5.48
Queen   9.94

soheil_hooshdaran
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Re: Piece values

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:41 pm

"Chess:from beginner to GM" gives it the following way:
1-3-4-8

Francis Fields
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Re: Piece values

Post by Francis Fields » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:17 pm

There use to be a chess website out there that I can no longer find. Someone had analysed games with material imbalances and calculated the following:

pawn 1.00, knight 3.25, bishop 3.5, rook 5.0, queen 9.75.

I have seen an old chess book that says bishop plus one and a half pawns equals a rook. There is another chess book that says queen is worth 9 or 10 points.
"Politics is the enemy of the people who said that?" Samuel Johnson (the playwright not the architect)

Mark Ashley
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Re: Piece values

Post by Mark Ashley » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:56 am

I was listening to the perpetual podcast with Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan as guests which included a discussion about Alpha Zero. It was interesting to hear that AZ wasnt programmed with a numerical value for the pieces, raising the question as to whether or how that affected the way it played the game.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Piece values

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:13 am

Mark Ashley wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:56 am
It was interesting to hear that AZ wasnt programmed with a numerical value for the pieces, raising the question as to whether or how that affected the way it played the game.
It wasn't programmed with any rules at all. What it came up with is entirely self taught. It doesn't evaluate by notional pawn values either, giving assessments as percentage winning chances.

Actually a human could play with no piece values. You observe that at the start of the game, both sides have eight pawns, one queen, two rooks, two knights, a light squared bishop and a dark squared bishop. Whether or not notional values are assigned, the material is equal until you get unbalanced exchanges, even a bishop for a knight. Material values are just a first approximation to evaluating the relative worth of such exchanges.

Francis Fields
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Re: Piece values

Post by Francis Fields » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:36 pm

A bishop is worth more than a knight in most positions and used to be called the minor exchange.
"Politics is the enemy of the people who said that?" Samuel Johnson (the playwright not the architect)

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Piece values

Post by Joey Stewart » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:10 am

Mark Ashley wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:56 am
I was listening to the perpetual podcast with Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan as guests which included a discussion about Alpha Zero. It was interesting to hear that AZ wasnt programmed with a numerical value for the pieces, raising the question as to whether or how that affected the way it played the game.
If only it could actually give back some of its newfound learnings about how the game should be played then it might be worth something more than just another case of "oh look how much better computers are than humans.... at a very specific function... performed on the best hardware money can buy"
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

NickFaulks
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Re: Piece values

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:54 am

Joey Stewart wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:10 am
If only it could actually give back some of its newfound learnings about how the game should be played
Isn't that precisely what the interpretative work of Sadler and Regan is doing?

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Piece values

Post by MartinCarpenter » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:35 pm

They're doing high level interpretations of the results, which are obviously rather useful! All you can do anyway :)

There's absolutely no way to go back and work what internal representations Alpha Zero has created to use for things like piece values, king safety etc. That's just how neural nets are. A little bit like trying to work out how your own subconcious works.

They are trying to work out ways to produce neural nets you can interrogate but that's a good way off.

John McKenna
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Re: Piece values

Post by John McKenna » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:18 pm

We all know that the interrogation will produce the following answer -

8 (pawns) + 6 (2 knights) + 7 (2 bishops) + 10 (2 rooks) + 9 (queen) + 2 (king) = 42!
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Piece values

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:40 pm

"42"

And there may sadly be many who do not realise the significance of that...

John McKenna
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Re: Piece values

Post by John McKenna » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:57 am

Yes indeed, pity those who don't know it's the answer to "life, the universe and everything" (including, of course, why the chess king is to be valued at 2 notional pawns!)

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/yes- ... 51201.html
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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