Chess

That convenient little table of piece values that we all learn as beginners - pawn = 1, knight or bishop = 3, rook = 5, queen = 9 - can lead to a good deal of confusion. Particularly where material is unbalanced but nominally equal, these figures should be regarded as only an approximation. Piece values are far from absolute; they change as the game progresses.

Today's game offers an example of one of the most unequal fair exchanges, that of two minor pieces for a rook and a pawn or two. While a rook and a pawn may be a match for bishop and knight in an endgame (especially if the pawn is passed, and the minor pieces have no stable squares in the centre of the board), you generally need at least a rook and two pawns to match two minor pieces in the middlegame, for the simple reason that rooks need open lines if they are to function to their full effect.

In this game, White's combination just after the opening led to a position in which he had rook and three pawns for two pieces, but several of his moves then suggested that he was taken in by the fact that 5+3 is so much bigger than 3+3. White's 16.c5, 19.h4, 20.Bxc6 and 21.f3 were all poor moves, contriving to create a position in which White's pawn structure became too rigid. Instead, he should have been playing to open the game with f4, (as the game went, 19.f4! would have been much better for White) then get his centre pawns moving.

Black took advantage of all this to build up a K-side attack, culminating in 33...Nxg3! when 34.Rxg3 Rxh4+! 35.Kxh4 Qh6 is mate.

White: Simon Williams

Black: James Cobb

Hampstead Masters 1998

1 c4 e5 21 f3 Kh7

2 Nc3 Nf6 22 Kh2 Rg8

3 Nf3 Nc6 23 Qd2 Nh5

4 g3 Bc5 24 Rg1 f6

5 Bg2 d6 25 Rac1 Be8

6 d3 0-0 26 e3 f5

7 0-0 a6 27 d4 e4

8 Bg5 h6 28 f4 Nf6

9 Bh4 g5 29 Rc3 Bh5

10 Nxg5 hxg5 30 Kg2 Bf3+

11 Bxg5 d5 31 Kh3 Rg4

12 Nxd5 Be7 32 Ra3 Nh5

13 Nxe7+ Qxe7 33 Qe1 Nxg3

14 Qd2 Qd6 34 Qa5 Qh6

15 Bh6 Bf5 35 Qxc7+ Rg7

16 c5 Qe7 36 Qd8 Qg6

17 Qg5+ Bg6 37 Qg5 Qf7

18 Bxf8 Rxf8 38 Qd8 Qh5

19 h4 Qe6 39 Rc3 Qg4+

20 Bxc6 bxc6 40 Kh2 Nf1+

White resigned

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Design Consultant - Kitchens & Interiors

    £12000 - £14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This bespoke furniture and inte...

    Recruitment Genius: Solar PV Surveyor

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Corporate Security Officer

    £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This provider of commercial security solution...

    Recruitment Genius: Design Consultant - Kitchen and Interiors - OTE £45,000

    £17000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This bespoke furniture and inte...

    Day In a Page

    A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

    A Very British Coup, part two

    New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
    What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

    What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

    Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
    Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

    Are you a 50-center?

    Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
    The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

    Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

    The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
    Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

    Hollywood's new diet trends

    Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
    6 best recipe files

    6 best recipe files

    Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
    Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

    Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

    Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Atwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works