Chess Piece Values
People often argue about chess piece values, the relative worth compared to one another. The following story may bring us closer to understanding what they are worth.
Michael's new chess game was on his desk in his room. There, a few days, since his ninth birthday, lived thirty-two pieces in harmony. But no one can live this way indefinitely.
One day the Queen said, "I am the most important piece in the game! I can move in all directions!". "What are you talking about?", intervened the King. "Without me the game would not have any sense! I am the opponent's target to win! I am the most important!". "You?", cried the Knight, Surely I am the most important! I can jump over any piece I want!". "You are right! You're right!", said the other Knights, "We are the most important!". In that narrow room there was a boundless silence. This was broken by the four Bishops who shouted in unison, "We are the most important! If we stand side by side when the opponent's King is in a corner our team wins!". "Come come!", said the Rooks, "We help the King to safety and bear down on key files! And who is it do you think that breaks into the enemy camp to take out enemy Pawns!".
There was a romp .... Something unexplained! Suddenly, a voice was heard in the room. "Even if I'm not part of your game I would advise you not to argue! Each piece has its purpose in the game. If just one piece is missing the game cannot be played. The voice was that of the old dice game that was part of the table. Although he spoke with such wisdom, the chess pieces paid him no mind.
But behold, one day a queen got laryngitis. And so terrible was the cough that it scared even the most fearless king. The cough worsened to pneumonia and the queen was urgently taken to the hospital. The King accompanied her throughout the hospitalization. The Pawns had to make the food, the Rooks had to buy medicine, the Bishops had to take care not to lose any personal belongings and the Knights carried fresh water to the Queen.
While all of the pieces worked for the health of the Queen, Michael had just returned from school after spending time playing around town. And as he went so, he had bumped into his best friend, John. Michael asked, "You want to come to my house to play a game of chess?" "Of course! Thank you so much!", cried John. As Michael's house was not far, the two arrived soon. When they opened the chess box, what did they see? All of the pieces were missing. Michael was looking desperate, and John's gloomy voice said, "You wanted to tease me?" "No way!", cried Michael. "Then why do I not see any chess piece?", demanded John. Michael insisted that he was no less perplexed and invited his friend to a game of backgammon instead.
The chess box was put back up on the shelf. And when the quarrelsome pieces returned from the hospital, they had to spend the night outside. They got back into the box quietly the next day and behaved themselves. When Michael opened the box, surprise! All pieces, the Queen, the King, and the rest were in place. And the pieces were surprised when they heard him tell his mother that the day before he was unable to play chess because he could not find the pieces in the box. So they began to ask each other:
- Rook, why didn't you stay home?
- Knight, why didn't you stay here?
- King, where were you all day yesterday?
- Bishop, where did you run off to?
- Pawn, why did you leave your station?
And each answer was:
- I took care of the queen.
Seeing this, the chess pieces understood that without even one piece, the game cannot be played. The old dice game was right. Too bad they did not listen.