Questions tagged [strategy]

Questions relating to reasoning behind a move, plan, or idea

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14
votes
2answers
2k views

What is counterplay?

I hear this term in online commentaries. I have a vague sense of what it means: you earn yourself some good moves by ignoring a portion of the board and focusing on more promising parts of your play....
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3answers
944 views

Any tricks to defeat artificial intelligences?

I've been playing a lot against an old build of Chess Free on Android the other day and noted that the AI almost always chooses the safest course of play, boringly eeking out positional advantages. If ...
14
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6answers
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What is the best strategy for white in this position?

1n3r2/q4pbk/3p2pp/r1pPp3/1pB1P3/1P2BP2/2PQ2PP/3R1RK1 w - - 0 1 I was white in the diagram position in an OTB game I played recently. However, I couldn't find a satisfactory plan. Playing f4 is always ...
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10answers
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Can luck be used as a strategy in chess?

Consider below games where white looses a clean rook quite early in the opening but fights on hoping that they will be lucky and escape. Lucky enough, they escape and win the clearly lost game. [Event ...
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13answers
9k views

Is chess a game of skill or chance? To what extent?

I want to know whether chess is a game of skill or game of chance, and how much is the degree of skill or chance in terms of percentage. Edit (21 Feb 2014): Please make sure that your answer ...
13
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3answers
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Caruana vs Carlsen game 10 (WCC) why not 18…Nxb6?

In game 10 of the Caruana-Carlsen WCC, why did Carlsen (black) not take the terribly annoying and strong dark squared bishop on b6 on move 18 when given the chance? Instead, Carlsen moved the queen ...
13
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3answers
7k views

Strategy in Isolated Queen Pawn Positions

What should Black's plan be in Isolated Queen Pawn Openings like this one arising from the Caro-Kann Panov attack? [fen ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 e6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.cxd5 Nxd5
13
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3answers
624 views

Should I recapture the queen with my king or knight in the Scotch Game?

I watched the following video on the Scotch Game by NM Dereque Kelley, and he clearly points out that 3...d6 is not a good move on Black's part because it causes all sorts of problems, especially ...
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5answers
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Why is 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 b6 so unpopular?

Why is the Sicilian line with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 b6 almost never played at any level, nor considered in books and similar? It seems logical to me, and after the usual 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Bb7, the Bishop is ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Why is Kh8 the best move in this position for black?

Why is, according to Stockfish (depth = 28), Kh8 the best move here for black? This is a position from a game between Emanuel Lasker and Wilhelm Steinitz, 1896. Nb6 seems to be the natural move in ...
13
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2answers
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endgame with single Bishop or single Knight?

If given the choice should I opt for an endgame with a single Bishop or a single Knight? I understand Bishops increase in value in the endgame but is the disadvantage of covering only half the squares ...
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3answers
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Knight vs bishop endgame in Fabiano Caruana vs Hou Yifan 2018

I am currently studying the classical game of Fabiano Caruana vs Hou Yifan played in 2018. The game ended in a fighting draw, but for the most part of the ending, starting from move 55 onward (see ...
13
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5answers
849 views

Is this endgame winnable for white? (Knight vs two connected passed queenside pawns)

I would like to know if this endgame is winnable for white. Black to play. Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
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5answers
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Equalize - What does it really mean?

We often read or hear in books or video tutorials the following: "With this move, Black can equalize!". Some authors give 15-move or 20-move variations of some openings (e.g. Caro-Kann, Slav, Semi-...
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2answers
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Why do Chess GMs need coaches?

Today chess.com did an interview with Carlsen's coach. Someone like Carlen or Anand, why do they still need coaches? Their Elo is higher than their coaches, they can use engines to analyze the games, ...
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2answers
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What color squares should pawns be on with one bishop left?

This slightly confuses me. If I have one bishop left - let's say it is the light-squared bishop - ss it better for my pawns to be on the light squares or dark squares? Let's assume also that my ...
11
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4answers
833 views

My bishop is attacked by a rook-pawn, now what?

I usually get into this position, where I just recently moved the bishop to g5 (or b5), and his response is moving h6 (or a6): Usually here, I only consider two possibilities: Take the knight ...
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5answers
3k views

Fianchetto bishop vs. normal bishop?

I have found the following disadvantages of the fianchetto bishop: 1) The diagonal it controls is often blocked by the knight in its natural square. 2) The diagonal it controls is often blocked by ...
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2answers
1k views

Why does Black want to trade off her King's Bishop in many d4 lines?

I feel that in many lines starting with d4, such as the Queen's Gambit Declined, or especially the Nimzo-Indian, Black is more than happy to trade her King's Bishop for White's knight on c3. For ...
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3answers
1k views

Why is c4 bad when playing the London against a King's Indian?

Recently I (rated ~1900 "classical" on Lichess) played the following opening: 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Nf3 O-O 5.Nbd2 d6 6.c4 [FEN "rnbq1rk1/ppp1ppbp/3p1np1/8/2PP1B2/4PN2/PP1N1PPP/R2QKB1R w KQ - ...
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4answers
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What are White's advantages against the Greco Defense?

After the first two moves of the Greco Defense [fen ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qf6 what should White's agenda be? I see that the wikibook Chess Opening Theory suggests 3. Bc4, but it doesn't go into ...
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2answers
13k views

What are the main ideas and goals in the Queen's Indian Defense?

There's no real surprise when it comes to the strategy for the King's Indian Defence: storm white's king side, maybe sac a few things, and mate (ideally). But what does a practitioner of the QID hope ...
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5answers
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Which openings give a winning pawn-structure in the endgame?

For example in the Exchange Variation of the Spanish 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6, White gives Black the Bishop pair, but gains a potentially winning pawns-only endgame. Are there other ...
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4answers
2k views

At what point does the opening end, and middle game begin?

Just curious if there's a set of guidelines to determine when a player can call the opening pretty much done, and move into the middle game. I know some rules of the opening that would apply are All ...
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3answers
2k views

Why is Bxh6 not preferred here?

[FEN "rnb1k2r/ppppqppp/4p2n/4P3/2PP4/2PB1N2/P4PPP/R1BQK2R w KQkq - 3 9"] I was just post-analyzing a game of mine with an engine and to my surprise in the position displayed above, it didn't even ...
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5answers
10k views

Is the Scandinavian Defence inferior?

As Black, I have never played the Scandinavian Defence, nor have I ever liked the Center Game for White. It seems like 1. e4 d5 wastes valuable time after 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 and Black's Queen must ...
10
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6answers
412 views

What strategies should I be thinking about at the beginning of the game?

In the middle and the end of a chess game, there are visible consequences to almost every move you can make, there are more constraints limiting what is logical to move, and it is fairly ...
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4answers
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Taking the knight on c6 in open Sicilians

Why is it generally uncommon (unsound?) for white to capture the knight on c6 in open Sicilians? For example (this is just an example; I'm not referring to this specific position, but similar ...
10
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5answers
611 views

Why do players attack one apparently unimportant square?

I've noticed one thing players tend to do in chess is concentrate on building up pressure on one square. I can understand early in the game if it's a central square like d4 or e5 and the king is ...
10
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3answers
760 views

Why should I try to put knights on weak squares when they can be taken easily?

Here you can see two weak squares-b6 & d6. That's what my chess book says, and in order to use these two weak squares, one must consider the moves Nf3-d2-c4. Actually, the story is more ...
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4answers
2k views

Is there a good method to come out with a plan during a game

I started to play chess more serious those days, through playing some tournaments. During all the games on those tournaments I face serious problems coming out with plans during the middle game, is ...
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4answers
4k views

Why is d5 the best move in this position?

What is the thought process behind playing d5 in this position?
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2answers
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How to play the Albin Counter Gambit

The Albin Counter Gambit starts 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4, and there is a well known and beautiful trap with a pawn to knight promotion if white plays e3. Recently players such as Morozevich and ...
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4answers
5k views

For White, which variation of the King's Indian Defence tends to lead to the most solid, positional, slow, strategic, quiet and closed positions?

I am a 1750 Elo player with a very positional, quiet and strategic style of play. I would like to know which variation I should play when, as White, I face the King's Indian Defence: 1...Nf6 2...g6 ...
10
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4answers
570 views

Advance of d4 in the Ruy Lopez

I was White in this position, and Black had just played f6. [FEN "r1bqkb1r/ppppn1pp/2n2p2/1B2p3/4P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQ1RK1 w kq - 0 1"] I played c3 to prepare a push of d4 and strike the center. ...
10
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2answers
1k views

How do I respond to 8. g3?! in the 4. e3 Slav?

This is taken from a rapid game where my opponent threw me by playing 8. g3, coming out of book in the 4. e3 Slav: [FEN ""] [StartPly "17"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c6 ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Improving the endgame: Principles

I find I am weakest in the endgame, which is arguably the most important part of chess. Usually when I reach the endgame I have an advantage, often a pawn or a "winning" pawn formation, but I am not ...
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3answers
3k views

What is the best defense against Marshall Attack?

I have usually found the Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez to be very potent and very hard to counter. [fen ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 Are ...
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2answers
1k views

Finding a plan in the Archangels Spanish when white plays Be3 to exchange the dark-squared bishop

Black to play and find a plan: [FEN ""] [StartFlipped "1"] [StartPly "25"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. h3 O-O 9. Qe2 Bb7 10. d3 Ne7 11. Be3 Bxe3 12. ...
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2answers
476 views

Did it make sense for Lasker to play the Exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez in 1914?

In 1914, world champion Emanuel Lasker was trailing future world champion J.R. Capablanca in a tournament, meaning that he needed to win, not just draw, against Capablanca. He played the exchange ...
10
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3answers
284 views

Would you look for mate, if tactics to win materials are easier to spot?

I'm black, I defeated a 1830 very easily in a 11 + 10 game and I had plenty of time, but I played fast and didn't see mate, he was low on time. Analyzing with lichess engine [fen "2k2r2/ppp5/7p/...
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3answers
811 views

Counting attackers and defenders, which pieces count?

I've heard multiple times the idea of counting attackers and defenders in estimating whether an attack/sacrifice will succeed. However, I think authors are quite loose in counting who is the attacker ...
10
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1answer
5k views

How to handle the standard Bb4 (or Bg4 / Bg5 / Bb5) pin?

Here are two extremely common pins, given from white's perspective for clarity: A black bishop at g4 pinning a white knight at f3 to the white queen at d1. A black bishop at b4 pinning a white knight ...
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4answers
2k views

What's the goal of a minority attack?

I understand the definition of a minority pawn attack, is when one side has less pawns than other in a flank of the board (or any sector) and advances them to trade them with the oponent. The question ...
9
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9answers
944 views

What is the best way to free your queen as soon as possible?

We can open games in many ways (any of the pawns or knights) and then go ahead with different strategies. The queen being the most important piece, I would like to get it out in the field without ...
9
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7answers
486 views

How can I prevent games from dragging on?

How can I prevent a game from dragging on, taking 60+ moves to get anywhere near finishing? I mainly encounter this when playing people at or below my level (~1400). This never happens when playing ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Go for an isolated pawn

I am having trouble deciding whether I should allow getting an isolated by pushing d5. For instance, this is one of many such positions: [FEN "rn1q1rk1/pp2bppp/2ppbn2/8/2PP4/2N2N2/PP2BPPP/R1BQK2R w ...
9
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5answers
809 views

What opening is recommended if white is only playing for a draw?

If in a tournament game, white is only aiming for a draw, what openings and strategies will be recommended for him? I guess that the answer may depend on the following different mindset for black: ...
9
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3answers
662 views

How do I trap the queen once it pins my rook?

I am playing as Black in this game, and after 10. Qg4, I realize that White wanted my rook. I knew I could trap the queen once it went for the rook (11. Qxg7), but I forgot how. I went on to win the ...

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