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novacane 67 ( +1 | -1 )
exchanging pieces early in the game? I consider myself to be a beginner in chess, and since I usually play the opponents of a similar skill, I've noticed that a lot of times, they will take any opportunity to exchange pieces. For example if a bishop pins a knight to a king and I move a2-a3 to threaten the bishop, they will take the knight, rather than retreating with the bishop. The reason I'm typing this is that when I look at some games from good players, they usually retreat rather than taking up the exchange. The question is, why is exchanging pieces early in the game a bad idea? Especially if it ruins the pawn structure, like in the example above.
jstack 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Exchanging pieces In general the less pieces that are on the board, the more likely the game will result in a draw. Wrecking the pawn structure with BxN is not a bad idea, but you have to remember a bishop pair often is sufficient compensation for wrecked pawn structure...especially in an open position.
zdrak 67 ( +1 | -1 )
novacane, that's a very true observation.

In the same position, a novice player is more likely to play the exchange because it's a "simple" move which doesn't requite particularly deep planning.

Inexperienced players are very afraid of committing blunders, so they want to play it safe - "here, I take his knight, he takes my bishop - that can't be a blunder, right?"

While an experienced player is more likely to understand all aspects of the position and find a better move.

Of course that's just a general statement that doesn't hold true for all positions - sometimes exchanging pieces is the right move to play.
novacane 30 ( +1 | -1 )
What about exchanging queens early in the game? In the situation with an open d file, exchanging queens usually means that the defending side won't be able to castle. The only problem I see with that is that without queens on the board, a mate in mid-game is unlikely.
indiana-jay 114 ( +1 | -1 )

Exchanging pieces in the opening does not have to be a bad idea. Weak players tend to take the pieces because they just don’t know anything else to do. The first move objective is simply to “threat” the king (or queen). If then it is blocked and be threatened by the pawn, retreating the bishop should have an objective right? Weak players just don’t know why they have to do it (so they don’t).

Good players’ moves in the opening stage are well studied. They sometimes just do the moves without thinking. All moves and possible replies are remembered and well understood.

Exchanging queen early is not always a bad idea. It depends on your strategy. You’re right that a mate in mid-game is unlikely, and as jstack said, may easily lead to a draw. But is a draw not your intention? I used to exchange pieces early in the opening, because I didn’t want to think hard and I knew that I had a superior endgame skill than my opponent. Sometimes I did it just because I wanted to exercise with my endgames skill.
peppe_l 28 ( +1 | -1 )
OTOH Often "weaker" players refuse to exchange pieces - especially queens - because they feel it leads to "boring" positions where they have difficulties in finding a plan.

Basically exchanging pieces is not good or bad in general, its about specific positions.
werwolf 20 ( +1 | -1 )
Thats right Right you are peppe_l. It's all depends on position. I hate such abstract speaches as "bishop is stronger then knight" or "knight on the side of board stands bad". I'ts like dogmatic wiews of Tarrash.
metaphoriceagle 57 ( +1 | -1 )
I hate exchanging queens early in the game more than anything. It just sux! A game without queens in it's early stages is just rubbish. Queen creates a lot of opportunities and intersting positions in the game and without it a game will look doll no matter how good both sides play. Of course the above statement doesn't hold for all situastions but it does in most! I sometimes myself exchange queens earlier in the game if i'm up against a very dangerous and strong opponent. I just want to play a game with fewer risks.
tovmauzer 20 ( +1 | -1 )
If you think that you play... endgame better than your opponent, early exchanges could make sense even if they are not objectively strongest moves. But it is more related to OTB:)

But question is too general indeed.
hardcorepawn 30 ( +1 | -1 )
It depends who is exchanging. If a strong player offers you an exchange he is not doing it for your benefit. Often weaker players except exchange of stronger player because they think it is the right thing to do. There is a book that is entirely dedicated to exchanging pieces, not sure of the name though.
elovater 106 ( +1 | -1 )
Fewer pieces, fewer risks? I guess this is a formula many unexperienced players follow. But in fact the safest way to win without a fight for a strong player is trading off the well placed pieces of his opponent and play a technical endgame. So it's an important element of playing skill to know under which circumstances trading is OK. On the other hand the risk in a certain way even increases by trading off pieces. A small mistake can have great effects and you will have less opportunities to try to compensate it, maybe by complicating a worse position. So if you lose a pawn by mistake this won't be a great accident in a normal OTB game against an opponent of equal strength, maybe you can attack his king and win the game. If the same happens in a game with reduced material you'll have a huge problem.
By the way, I would not say a game without queens in most cases will get dull (of course it's a matter of taste, and - may be - of age). I always have to go down to my knees if I see Kramnik play such "dull" positions, winning positions that seemed well playable for his opponents. It's like magic.
budakkampung 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Exchange pieces.. Hmm.. I thinks it depends on pawn structure
As example : The Ruy Lopez- exchange variation and berlin defense.

I thinks it is good to exchange queen in exchange variation and go for early endgame..

And also when you play Maroczy Bind vs Sicilian .. it will be good too..

However its true that it will a little bit boring.

For attacking player ... exchange queen maybe is not a good choice... but for positional player maybe it may be good.

Thats all..
peppe_l 31 ( +1 | -1 )
Elovater Good post! I too am in awe of players like Capablanca, Karpov and Kramnik winning "dull" positions. The reason they win such positions is good chess understanding, recognizing and exploiting small advantages. No queens -> dull game? Quite contrary! Chess is not just attacking and tactical threats.

sr_ajedrez 107 ( +1 | -1 )
There should be many reasons for exchanging or refusing an exchange.In the way i see it in amateur play (such as any one under 2100 rating, for me) as long as is not a tactical blunder you can choose any. Perhaps is not the more ambicious move , or the move that keesp the advantage. But if you see the games as an oportunity to discover something interesting go ahead and have fun. See if u exchange a bishop for a knight and wreck your oponents pawn structure, objectively it might not be the best move , or the one that strives or gives you the advantage , but an statement has been made where you propose your oponent to use his 2 bishops againts your better pawn structures and knights. And a whole game is developed that way. In Theory one or the other might have an small advantage (usually) but the whole game has to be played. I think this is what Bronstein did in many of his not so famous games. Try not so objectively best moves to come up with positions where the creativity ,understanding an thenic of the players would tell, some times all of them or sometis 1 or 2 o them. Anyway Amateurs i think simply take because is simpler.

sr_ajedrez 9 ( +1 | -1 )
i saw all the misspells but i didnt feel like correcting them.have fun reading the post :)