Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions about the particular terminology used in chess

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4 votes
1 answer
219 views

Confused about the central and side pawns - which are which?

We all know that the "center" comprises of the four squares that are in the very middle of the board - d4, d5, e4, e5. Keeping this in mind, which are the central pawns, exactly, apart from ...
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1 vote
1 answer
85 views

What does the "GMS" abbreviation mean here?

I was wondered what the abbrevation meant here. https://ratings.fide.com/profile/2027895/chart "Period RTNG GMS RAPID RTNG RAPID GMS BLITZ RTNG BLITZ GMS" From the context it seems a ...
3 votes
3 answers
753 views

How does centipawn scoring work?/Why is a higher (positive) score horrible while a lower score is better?

I'm a total beginner in Chess. I've known the basic rules for at least 20 years, but have never played it somewhat serious. Only toddler-level. I recently started trying to learn how to play properly. ...
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6 votes
2 answers
417 views

When did the term "tabiya" start being used by players?

I was surprised to learn that the word "Tabiya" comes from the Arabic language. I know of no other Arabic terms in chess and know that most of its terminology is Russian or Yiddish: E.G. ...
6 votes
2 answers
816 views

What is the difference between Blackmar Gambit and Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, or are they the same?

365Chess lists the move order 1. d4 d5 2. e4 as Blackmar Gambit But the same move order is named as Blackmar-Diemer Gambit on chesstempo.]2. Which of these is more reliable (or correct)? The reason ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the Botez gambit?

A friend of mine told me about this term used when you lose your queen, the Botez gambit, named after Alexandra Botez. It seems this term has arrived to casual, not necessarily young, (on-line) ...
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15 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why are capturing key moves "frowned upon"?

Wikipedia's article on Babson tasks says: However, Yarosh's problem has a small flaw: the key is a capture, something which is generally frowned upon in problems. (The "key" of a chess ...
0 votes
1 answer
156 views

What is the name of this mating motif?

Anyone know the name of this motif? I have seen it several times, but never knew the name. Source Polgar 5334 problems. Can one classify this as a Legal's trap motif due to the famous Queen sacrifice(...
18 votes
14 answers
4k views

Is there an equivalent to “a knight on the rim is dim” in other languages?

When explaining chess to beginners, I often use the famous rhyme, “a knight on the rim is dim”. Is there any equivalent (rhyming) phrase in other languages? I will accept any answer which shows at ...
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5 votes
2 answers
162 views

When to do minority attack and majority attack?

So I learnt about minority attack few months ago where you push pawns on minority side to create weaknesses on opponents pawn structure but recently I have also been seeing some masters casually ...
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is a move called a "book move", if it leads to a familar book position but objectively speaking, this move is obviously inferior?

For example, after 1. Nf3 e5?, the move 2. Nxe5 is objectively the best continuation. However, the move 2. e4 leads to a familiar opening position. In this case, do we call 2. e4 a "book move&...
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1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Meaning of the phrase "the same player has the move"

What is the meaning of the phrase "the same player has the move" in the sentence below "Two positions are by definition "the same" if the same types of pieces occupy the same ...
9 votes
1 answer
771 views

Does this pawn structure arising from the Caro-Kann Advance Variation have a name?

I was looking at some positions arising from the Caro-Kann Advance variation with an early c5 by black, and was wondering if this was a common structure that I could easily find model games for, or ...
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4 votes
1 answer
499 views

Where does the name of the Guatemalan Defense come from?

I recall reading a story that the Guatemalan Defense (1. ... b6, 2. ... Ba6) is named after a game of correspondence chess that was played between (presumably some chess team representing) Guatemala ...
4 votes
1 answer
342 views

What is "Hybrid Chess"?

According to the latest FIDE rating regulations: 2. Laws to be Followed      2.1 Play shall be governed by the FIDE Laws of Chess or the Regulations for Hybrid Chess Competitions So, "hybrid ...
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18 votes
5 answers
5k views

Are pawns pieces? [duplicate]

I thought I heard somewhere that pawns are not pieces but just called pawns. Then, I heard from some other places that they are. I think they are but what is the exact definition of a pawn?
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the difference between a waiting move and zugzwang?

I can't see the difference between a waiting move and zugzwang.
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-2 votes
1 answer
178 views

Why is 'Elo' sometimes capitalised to 'ELO'? [closed]

Why is 'Elo' as in Elo rating system sometimes capitalised to 'ELO' when it's a last name and not an acronym? I notice people don't say GLICKO, for example. Some (heavily downvoted) reddit posts: ...
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0 votes
2 answers
205 views

What is the meaning of 'fighting draw' vs 'draw by theory' in re Chess960?

I remember reading in some YouTube comment that Chess960 will lead to less draws or something. There was a comment response saying that it seems about the same. Then the original commenter replied in ...
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4 votes
2 answers
145 views

Variant where each pawn promotes according to its file

Somewhere I came across a description of street chess played in India (I think) with a number of non-standard rules. One of them was that when a pawn reaches the 8th rank, it must promote according to ...
3 votes
2 answers
190 views

King's Indian Attack - "pet lines"

I am reading about the King's Indian Attack (aka Barcza System), and article says that this system is "rarely used at the highest levels except to avoid certain pet lines". I wonder what are ...
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12 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is an "ugly" move?

In the video "ugly defense", GM Grigoyan called the move Knight g3-h1 an "ugly move", though objectively speaking, Nh1 may be the best move for white in this position. [fen "...
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20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Definition of "theoretical" in chess context

I am a novice who has only picked up my first chess book recently. I want to study some common opening positions, and pick a line to go with & practice for the time being. While investigating the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
97 views

Name for the "folding magnetic chess set" variant?

Does anyone know the name of the chessboard variant where you fold a standard board along the line between the d-file and e-file, to get a double-sided 8x4 board? A piece on top can move past the edge ...
3 votes
1 answer
130 views

Does this bishop sac when your knight is pinned to your queen have a name?

This is a common tactic in various openings. It goes like this: A bishop pins your knight to your queen You sacrifice your bishop with check to attract the king forward You give a check with your &...
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4 votes
1 answer
228 views

What are these types of OTB events from the USCF?

Looking into OTB tournaments, I see that the USCF allows you to filter searches for the following types: Heritage Event American Classic Grand Prix Enhanced Grand Prix Junior Grand Prix National ...
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15 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is a pawn hook?

On my question (Why is 11. .. h6 such a bad move?) someone commented that I should read about the concepts of hooks. One definition that I found was: A hook is an advanced pawn which can be exploited ...
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4 votes
0 answers
310 views

What's the etymology behind the Great Snake Variation?

This is called the Modern Defense: [FEN ""] 1.e4 g6 This is called the Modern Defense: [FEN ""] 1.d4 g6 This is called the "English Opening: Great Snake Variation": [...
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1 vote
0 answers
119 views

Better-known term for "cyclic" zugzwang?

What's the term for a zugzwang position P where White is winning, with or without the move White's best way to win from P is to execute a tempo-losing manoeuvre which leads back to P with Black to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
310 views

What's the etymology behind this chess opening?

This line is called the Brooklyn Variation of Alekhine's Defense: [FEN ""] 1.e4 Nf6 2. e5 Ng8!? How did it get its name?
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2 votes
3 answers
209 views

Is there a name for this mating pattern?

What's the name of the mating pattern starting with the move 21...Ng4!? [FEN ""] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. d5 e6 4. e4 exd5 5. exd5 d6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. Bb5+ Nbd7 8. a4 O-O 9. O-O b6 10. Bc6 Rb8 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
893 views

What does columns 1-24 mean?

I was reading Modern Chess Openings by Nick de Firmian, and found "columns 1-24 deals with 2...exf4 " in relation to a theory table. So what does "columns 1-24" mean?
4 votes
4 answers
196 views

Is there a term for when each player captures a sequence of pieces without recaptures?

There is a situation that arises occasionally, where each player goes on a rampage through the other player's pieces (often using a queen), never stopping to recapture or defend. It usually ends when ...
5 votes
2 answers
968 views

Is there a term for an attack - similar to a pin or skewer - on pieces of equal value?

"Pin" and "skewer" are fairly common terms in chess: A pin is a situation where a piece cannot move without exposing a more valuable piece to attack. For example, the Ruy Lopez ...
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Term for checkmate where every participating piece attacks exactly one square around king

I am looking for the term for a checkmate position which is an aesthetic feature for a chess composition. It is closely related to pure mate. I shall say that a piece (incl. pawn) participates in the ...
4 votes
0 answers
143 views

What does "control" mean in a chess problem? [duplicate]

When interpreting the instructions to a chess problem, is a piece automatically considered to "control" the square it's on, even if that square isn't threatened by any friendly piece, and an ...
4 votes
2 answers
295 views

Abbreviations like 't', 'm', 'zt', 'sf' in chess databases

I am just cleaning up the Event and Site headers in the games in my chess database. There are a lot of abbreviations there. I am relatively sure about the following: of, qf, sf and f – octo final, ...
17 votes
2 answers
4k views

What does "White is down a rook for a pawn" mean?

I am not a native English speaker and I'm learning to play online chess. I often find a sentence with this pattern. White is down a rook for a pawn. What does it mean? Could you elaborate on this ...
3 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the name of this unconventional opening?

You start by moving the knight's pawn on either side to b3 or g3. Then you do the same on the other side. Ideally, you fianchetto the bishops into both triangle pawn formations. [FEN ""] 1....
10 votes
2 answers
461 views

German chess composition glossary

I'm trying to look through some puzzles at http://www.wenigsteiner.de/, but there are some abbreviations I'm not familiar with that I'm having a hard time finding through Google; I guess they are ...
4 votes
1 answer
238 views

Correct definitions of chess terms

We have been assigned a project of writing a simple chess evaluation engine. The engine doesn't play chess and doesn't calculate variations - it just performs a basic static evaluation of input ...
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is meant by openings with lot of theory versus those with little or none?

I just started playing chess one week ago. I've done a bit of reading but can't find anything that explains what is meant by openings with a lot of theory versus ones with a little or no theory. Can ...
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Difference between chess puzzle and chess problem in this episode of The Queen's Gambit?

While a chess puzzle is any puzzle involving aspects of chess, a chess problem is an orthodox puzzle in which one must play and win or draw a game, starting with a certain composition of pieces on the ...
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3 votes
4 answers
393 views

Positions in which only a single long sequence of correct moves avoids forced checkmate sequences

So for n steps, one player can only choose one out of many moves, because all others lead to forced checkmate sequences. Only one path from the root to the leaves of the game tree avoids a certain ...
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1 vote
0 answers
48 views

Is there a term for the position where two knights support one another? [duplicate]

Is there a term for the position where two knights support one another? I thought I might have seen such a term somewhere, but now I can't find it.
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7 votes
3 answers
5k views

Does "juicer" mean bishop?

I watch many videos of Hikaru Nakamura and I hear very often the term "juicer." Is it a slang word to refer to the bishop?
2 votes
3 answers
622 views

Pawn gambits "For The Win"

Possibly confirmation bias, but I often find a game I've won involved the loss (intentional or otherwise) of a pawn, which has opened up a file for rook attack, particularly on b/g files. Is there ...
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4 votes
1 answer
224 views

What is meant by the term "challenging" a move?

I was reading Tal-Botvinnik 1960 and came across a term I had not heard of before. Tal says in the book, in exact words, "Why doesn't black challenge the move a4". For context, this was ...
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2 votes
4 answers
622 views

How does b4 fix pawns in this rook endgame?

Here, it is said that after 1.Re7 Rb8 2.Kd3 a6, white plays b4 to fix the enemy pawns. But I don't understand: how does it fix pawns? How is b3 any different? What does it mean to fix enemy pawns?
  • 2,495
4 votes
1 answer
130 views

Where does the expression "checkmate" come from?

While watching The Queen's Gambit my partner asked me: why do they say "checkmate"? But she wanted to know what is the origin of this expression, not its meaning. And I realized I didn't ...
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