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What does it mean to be an opening theoretician, and how does one achieve this status? Does it imply that one should not be an active tournament player? Apart from opening theoreticians are there middlegame and endgame theoreticians, too? Why are most theoreticians from eastern europe?

  • Related: chess.stackexchange.com/questions/1606/… – Cleveland Apr 23 '16 at 18:07
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    The last question may have something to do with the Soviet chess school, which was funded by Soviet. Soviet covered most of eastern Europe, and resouces spent on chess education were plentiful. Naturally, the study of chess theory would become more culturally accepted as something respectable. – Scounged Apr 23 '16 at 20:43
  • "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't do these, do research." – Tom Au Jul 27 '16 at 8:20
  • Actually, @Tom, doing research involves offering your ideas up for criticism by the sharpest minds around. Applies to chess theory. – Philip Roe Sep 22 '17 at 15:22
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A theoretician is someone who has created a new opening, middlegame and / or endgame variation. You don't have to be a grandmaster to become one, and not all grandmasters are ones.

It may not apply if your variation is not tactical or is useless.

I don't think it matters where a theoretician comes from, as everyone has different chess experience, and whether you are an active tournament player or not.

People who have written about chess theory in general are chess theoreticians.

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Its just like in mathematics when one doesn't need to be a university or college graduate student with a "Batchelor of Science in Mathematics" to be a " mathematician. " All that counts is " New Idea," a workable or applicable " mathematical ideas " Ideas that works, mathematically. Same goes apply to aspiring "chess theoretician."

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    Actually I would hardly be able to name any "mathematician" who wouldn't have some degree in mathematics or in science. At least for the last 100 years, i.e. after Srinivasa Ramanujan joined Cambridge. – Evargalo Sep 22 '17 at 12:13
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What does it mean to be an opening theoretician, and how does one achieve this status?

From wikipedia:

Those who write about chess theory, who are often also eminent players, are referred to as "theorists" or "theoreticians".

So to be an opening theoretician you have to publish some opening theory. Being a famous player would help sales/credibility, but is no essential.


Apart from opening theoreticians are there middlegame and endgame theoreticians, too?

Absolutely! The same wikipedia article discusses chess theory across the phases of the game.


Why are most theoreticians from eastern Europe?

Based on an analysis of number of grandmasters per capita, more are located in eastern Europe, implying that chess is more popular/better promoted there. Therefore peripheral activities, such as publishing articles about theory, carving pieces for sale, making chess clocks etc. are more likely to thrive there.

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