# Point Value

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Point Value,
a piece relative value concerning its relative strength in potential exchanges based on human experience and learning. Common rule of thumb are the {1, 3, 3, 5, 9} point values for pawn (1), knight, bishop, rook and queen, also proposed by Claude Shannon in his 1949 paper Programming a Computer for Playing Chess [2] . In the evaluation of a chess program, the balance of material, the aggregated point values for both sides, is usually the most influential term.

# Theoretical Attempt

Jack Good in his Five-Year Plan for Automatic Chess, Appendix F [3]:

```A theoretical attempt to evaluate the pieces was made by H. M. Taylor in 1876 [4], reported by Coxeter (1940, pp. 162-165 [5]). The value of a piece is taken as proportional to the average number of squares controlled, averaged over all 64 positions of the piece on the board. This argument leads to the relative values of N, B, R and Q: 3, 5, 8 and 13 [6]. Coxeter (or Taylor) goes on to modify the argument by asking instead for the probability of 'safely' giving check, that is, without being en prise to the king, if the piece and king are both placed on the board at random. This gives the ratios 12, 14, 22 and 40. These values are good, but this modification of the argument is artificial.
```

# Basic values

Measured in units of a fraction of a pawn, for instance the common centipawn scale, allows positional features of the position, worth less than a single pawn, to be evaluated without requiring fractions but a fixed point score. Sample point values from various sources over the time, most were used in concrete chess programs.

Source Year Pawn Knight Bishop Rook Queen
H. S. M. Coxeter [7] 1940 300 350 550 1000
Max Euwe and Hans Kramer [8] 1944 100 350 350 550 1000
Claude Shannon [9] 1949 100 300 300 500 900
Alan Turing [10] 1953 100 300 350 500 1000
Mac Hack [11] 1967 100 325 350 500 975
Chess 4.5 [12] 1977 100 325 350 500 900
Tomasz Michniewski [13] 1995 100 320 330 500 900
Hans Berliner [14] [15] 1999 100 320 333 510 880
Larry Kaufman [16] 1999 100 325 325 500 975
Fruit and others [17] 2005 100 400 400 600 1200
Larry Kaufman [18] 2012 100 350 350 525 1000

The king value is often assigned a large constant such as 10000 centipaws, which is important to avoid king captures in certain implementations of SEE.

# Reciprocal piece values

Concerning a piece controlling a square, its value of attack might be considered as inverse proportional to its point value, which is an issue in aggregating of mobility or square control terms of different pieces.

# Forum Posts

## 2015 ...

Re: Pawn value estimation by Larry Kaufman, CCC, May 09, 2015