Trading Pieces

All kids have it. The bad habit of trading every chance they get. It’s as if the minute an opportunity to trade arises a little Pavlovian bell goes off and ring ring “Must Trade” replaced all logical thought.

It is not always time to trade pieces. It is only time to trade pieces when it is favorable to trade pieces, and when you have no other choice but to trade pieces because not trading would lead to less favorable circumstances. Some examples of when if might be time to trade pieces are: you are up material; you will have the two bishops if you trade, but your opponent will have a knight and a bishop, or two knights; you will double your opponent’s pawns by trading pieces; you are coming out better in the trade, for example you trade your knight for his rook; trading improves the position of your pieces or makes the position of your opponent’s pieces inferior. An example of favorable piece placement would be a knight on an outpost–that is–a knight well into your opponent’s territory that is supported by one of your pawns, and cannot be kicked off that square by one of his. And example of a poorly placed piece is a bishop stuck forever behind pawns that are on the same color and cannot be moved. So trade not just because you can, but because you gain an advantage or because by not trading you incur disadvantage.

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