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nathanman22 68 ( +1 | -1 )
General Rules and Guidelines for Multiple Takes... Okay, so you are in a position where you have two possible pieces that can make an exchange, and you don't know which piece to take with. The result will not be a higher loss (for instance, you don't take with a queen to get a pawn or something like that), but will result in either a final placement (last exchange) or a equal exchange. What piece should you take with? What are some guidelines and rules to help guide those of us who struggle with knowing what is the best capture? I'm looking for some guiding principles and ideas behind captures involving multiple possibilities, in general. Any assistance is welcome!

Thanks.

-Nathan
wschmidt 77 ( +1 | -1 )
I think the question is so general that any answer is hardly going to be helpful. Without knowing something about the position on the board you''re pretty much left with banalities like, "Capture with the piece that results in the maximum activity for all your pieces" or "If possible, capture with the piece that is more poorly placed than the other" or, Capture with the piece that will make the most sense on that square". Or some such.
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Unfortunately, this is a bit like the grandmaster advice I remember reading awhile back about which rook to move to the open file: take as much time as you possibly can analyzing which rook you think should go to the open file - then move the other one.
wschmidt 77 ( +1 | -1 )
I think the question is so general that any answer is hardly going to be helpful. Without knowing something about the position on the board you''re pretty much left with banalities like, "Capture with the piece that results in the maximum activity for all your pieces" or "If possible, capture with the piece that is more poorly placed than the other" or, Capture with the piece that will make the most sense on that square". Or some such.
*
Unfortunately, this is a bit like the grandmaster advice I remember reading awhile back about which rook to move to the open file: take as much time as you possibly can analyzing which rook you think should go to the open file - then move the other one.
ionadowman 266 ( +1 | -1 )
nathanman22... ... I think wschmidt has a point, and maybe the way to tackle this (and get the most benefit from this thread) is to bring in some examples from past play. Did you have such a situation in a past game in which you felt that you had made just such a mistaken decision?

wschmidt does raise a related point about choosing which rook to occupy an open file. What principles are involved here? You might recall that in the opening game of his defence of the World Title, Capablanca moved the wrong rook, and eventually lost the game, so the decision isn't always easy. However, that particular topic might be better discussed in another thread (but I am aware of wschmidt's point in mentioning it here).

To return to the central question, let's take a simple example. In the following diagram, White might decide that it would be a good idea to induce the exchange of knights on d5:
w

Suppose play goes 1.Nd5 Nxd5. How ought White recapture (2.exd5 or 2.Rxd5)?

Well, 2.exd5 does establish a Q-side pawn majority for White, and Black's bishop doesn't look very happy, but Black has now a K-side majority that might become more active than White's on the other wing; and, even more significantly (I feel) Black backward d3-pawn has now been masked from any frontal attack down the d-file.

After 2.Rxd5, White will soon double rooks on the file, and can start thinking about conducting a general advance of the Q-side pawns, and/or manouevring his bishop to where it will bring added pressure on Black's d6. Indeed, there is something to be said for moving the bishop before doubling the rooks, e.g. if Black moves a rook to d8 as his second move, say 2...Rfd8 3.Bb6 Rd7 4.Rad1 Rac8 5.c3 or 5.Bc5!?).

Suffice to say that the rook recapture seems to offer a more concrete subsequent target for White to aim at, whilst depriving Black of much counterplay beyond some ineffectual swiping down the c-file. The piece recapture on d5 is much more often preferable to a pawn recapture if it means Black is going to be left with a backward pawn on an open file.

Just one example among many one might have suggested...
Cheers,
Ion
ccmcacollister 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Another Generality ... "Capture first with the unit of smallest value" . EG. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 then according to this axiom, the play would be exd4 not 3...Nxd4 if capturing.