Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions about the particular terminology used in chess

7
votes
1answer
931 views

Is a gambit still a gambit if it's calculated through to the end?

I recently gambitted a knight (I call it a gambit as I gave away a knight without being able to take back). However I had calculated through all the possibilities and five moves or so later I have an ...
5
votes
2answers
165 views

Can't understand a sentence from Nimzowitsch's Chess Praxis

In the chapter "Centralization" of his Chess Praxis, Nimzowitsch writes The mechanics of centralization can be seen in the way that, after the necessary restraint of a possibly mobile opposing ...
3
votes
2answers
174 views

What types of pawns are there in chess?

I’ve heard of a few types of of pawns in chess gameplay. These include passed pawns, thorn/fawn pawns, promoted pawns, and and en passant pawns. But that is all I can remember. What other kinds of ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Was the value of thorn pawns fully appreciated in decades past?

Many videos on YouTube channel "Kingscrusher" which discuss the play of new neural-net engines like Leela Chess Zero focus considerable attention upon the development of "thorn pawns" which are pawns ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Where does the phrase “Botvinnik moment” come from?

In his analysis of the first game in the 2018 world championship, Antonio Radić says that on move 9. ... b7-b6, Carlsen took six minutes to make a move that he probably already knew: And now ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

How to describe two knights defending each other?

How to describe two knights defending each other? Linked knights? Doubled knights? In Chinese Chess, two 马 (horse/knight)s protecting one another is quite common, and there is a standard ...
2
votes
2answers
184 views

Does this rook endgame have a name or known original analyst?

The position is analyzed in many endgame works, but to my knowledge hasn't been given a name as other similar endgames (e.g. "Vancura's position") have. Two of the most authoritative works, Nunn (...
6
votes
3answers
153 views

Must chess studies be composed?

My question is on the definition of the term "study." If there is an interesting endgame position that occurs in a real game between two real players, and the position is later posed to somebody who ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

What is the name of this mating pattern?

Recently I delivered the mate shown below. Does it have a name? [fen "1r5r/2p3pp/2R5/1pkPpp2/2b1P3/2K2P2/6PP/R7 w - - 0 1"]
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What term is used to describe the following situation?

A situation where the movement of the opponent's pieces gets more and more restricted as the attack develops. The opponent can't make moves easily without losing something.
4
votes
1answer
375 views

What kind of gun is Alekhine's gun?

This question is about chess linguistics. Alekhine's gun is the pattern where the queen is placed behind two rooks. Who came up with the phrase? Is it clear which kind of gun they had in mind? In ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “penned in” mean in Chess?

Bishops are worth more than knights except when they are penned in. What is meant by penned in? Does that mean that they are blocked by other pieces?
5
votes
1answer
129 views

Why is it called the Max Lange attack?

Why is it called the Max Lange attack and not simply the Lange attack? After all, we don't have openings called the Richard Reti opening or the Wilhelm Steinitz defense or the Frank Marshall attack. ...
7
votes
5answers
369 views

How to determine if a position is open or closed in a “rigorous” fashion?

I am creating a set of chess positions to be used [as a data set] for a project. It's based on supervised machine learning, but I need to have labeled data (see more italicized text below) before any ...
2
votes
1answer
747 views

Is there a name for non-pawn pieces? [duplicate]

I'm trying to describe chess to a person, and one of my sentences was: "Two rows, one with pawns and another with [non-pawns]" What would the collection of King, Queen, Bishops, Knights and Towers ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

Is the expression 'fixing pawns' or 'fixed pawns' - a proper term to describe blockaded pawns?

I feel this 'fix' terminology may have come as a direct translation from Russian chess literature (so I see it used in Dvoretsky's books); is 'fixed' really a proper English term to describe pawns ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

beginner chess terminology: opening is white's and defense is black's?

absolute beginning self-learner here, asking trivial terminology: xyz(placeholder) opening is speaking of white's play and zyx(placeholder) defense is referring to black's play, is that correct? or ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a “club player”?

I often see this phrase being used in chess articles, apparently used to distinguish these players from professional chess players, grandmasters, etc. But what exactly are they? What Elo range? Only ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What does it mean to call a line “sharp”?

I am a chess newbie and I was watching a video on four knights opening and the person was discussing another variation and he said that one is dramatic and quite sharp. From what I saw, it seems "...
0
votes
2answers
135 views

What does “best five out of eight” mean?

The following dialogue is between two chess players at the end of a game. Does it mean "you have lost 4 games so far, what is your idea about going for the 5th game and developing the competition to 8 ...
3
votes
5answers
241 views

en passant vs in passing

In Lasker's Manual of Chess (written 1932 or earlier) I have just read the phrase 'in passing' referring to the en passant capture. I wonder if this expression is old-fashioned or still in use. ...
3
votes
3answers
395 views

What is a “big pawn”?

I've seen the term "big pawn" come up a few times (such as here and here), but I can't seem to trace down an exact definition. What is it?
5
votes
1answer
346 views

What does “U2000: ($600 b/25) $250-150-100.” mean?

When looking for tournaments I keep finding myself confused by abbreviations used (I just found a reference which has been slightly helpful). This one for example is from a Marshall club tournament in ...
8
votes
3answers
850 views

Pieces, pawns and chessmen

In English as far as I know, pawns were once not pieces. A player had eight pieces and eight pawns which, together, totaled 16 chessmen. When did this usage change? Why? And (if you happen to know) ...
5
votes
2answers
284 views

What does chess theory refer to?

I hear some people say certain players only win because they know/memorized a lot of theory? I don't know the "official" term for these types of players but it makes me concerned because hopefully I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
455 views

What is a Gambit?

I am a chess beginner, having played over 500 games. I never understood about gambits, despite the fact that I am very good at openings. I always play queens opening, kings opening or knight opening ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Is prophylaxis a feature of the hypermoderne school?

Wikipedia mentions prophylaxis in the article of hypermodernism in chess. But is it really a feature of the hypermoderne school? I have not seen prophylaxis in any other book or article about ...
1
vote
2answers
204 views

What does 6 and 2 going mean?

I am watching an annotated chess game, and the narration goes like this: The game I am about to show you was played in the last round of an open tournament in Bad Weise, Germany. My score was 6 and ...
4
votes
1answer
262 views

Where does the word 'gambit' come from?

According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary, a gambit is a chess opening in which a player risks one or more pawns or a minor piece to gain an advantage in position. But I was wondering, why do we ...
4
votes
3answers
172 views

Hypermodernism definition

What are the features of hypermodernism? I know that one feature is controlling the center indirectly (f.ex. fianchetto), and letting the opponent control it with pawns. But I am not sure if there are ...
1
vote
2answers
399 views

What are Complication and Simplification in Chess?

I want to know whether I understood these concepts correctly. Complication: I think, in a given position, usually the side that is slightly inferior tries to make moves that somehow put considerable ...
11
votes
4answers
820 views

What is a blunder?

I am looking for a precise definition for a blunder. Computers often flag moves as blunders for any move that loses a point advantage or more. But what if I am completely winning and I decide to ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

On blunders in PGNs

Let us say that I commit a blunder in a chess game. One that is deserving for a ??, a mate in one let us say. My opponent misses it. With what mark should the move be written in a pgn? Left markless, ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What does it mean to win “by force”?

I occasionally see annotations/commentary where a move / line is said to make (for example) white win "by force". I am unsure if it has the general sense of "this move initiates a forcing sequence ...
9
votes
3answers
21k views

Is it technically a checkmate if the king is not in check, but all moves will result in check?

In other words, after white's move, black king is not in check. It is now black's move, but any move that black could make results in check. Is this a checkmate? Is there a chess term for this ...
11
votes
9answers
15k views

Is chess a sport? If yes, then why?

Sometimes (e.g. at some schools) chess is considered to be a sport. Is chess a sport? I view sport as a physical activity. For instance, if a doctor asks you "Are you doing any sports?" would your ...
8
votes
2answers
737 views

What is a logical move?

I'm not sure as to what constitutes as a logical move. Sometimes I hear that chess is a discussion using statements, arguments, questions and answers. Can someone explain to me what a logical move ...
16
votes
1answer
24k views

Why are the corner pieces referred to as “rooks” in English?

Various sources like those quoted in Wikipedia say that it's a mistake, or old-fashioned, to refer to rooks as "castles". Why is this, though? Other languages generally refer to these pieces as "...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Is there a name for the a position where King is on the first/last row and an enemy pawn is directly in front?

I'm trying to figure out if there is any name for this particular position so that it might be easier for me to research it more - not so much the rook as much as having king behind the pawn. I play ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there an origin or story of where the pieces that make a chess game got their name from?

I understand why there would be a king and queen but I would love to know where the idea to call pieces what they are - such as the Rook, Knight, Bishop and Pawn - came from. Is there any background ...
5
votes
1answer
191 views

What does [6/10]-611 stand for?

I am using Chess for Android app by Aart Bik. Fairly easy to use and understand (and difficult to beat). I get these numbers displayed below the noted moves and I think these are analysis symbols ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

What is a tabiya and what is their importance?

I've heard the term Tabiya used online though I've never really run into it in any chess book I've read. I have an idea of what the term means but I'm not sure I'm correct, so first I'll say what I ...
5
votes
3answers
139 views

What's the difference between “White is winning” and “White is better”?

Many times in literature there are statements like "White/Black is winning" or "White/Black is better". How does one differentiate between the two? How could it be possible for White to be better and ...
5
votes
4answers
687 views

What common patterns should I look for in chess?

When I started learning, I had lots of games that lost big material because not being familiarized with these sneaky attacks, I am talking about these: There are many more (two minor pieces being ...
7
votes
1answer
860 views

When was the term 'Super Grandmaster' first used?

According to the following wiki link, The unofficial title, "Super Grandmaster", is often used by players to refer to those with a 2700+ rating to distinguish the most serious world champion ...
9
votes
2answers
467 views

Did any authors ever try to adopt Hans Kmoch's pawn structure terminology?

In response to an earlier question, I mentioned the 1959 book Pawn Power in Chess by IM Hans Kmoch. One of the book's most well-known aspects it that it introduced a glut of less-than-useful ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the origins of the words 'zwischenzug' and 'zugzwang'?

I've heard chess analysts use the words Zugzwang (being forced to make a bad move) and Zwischenzug (making an intermediate move which improves the outcome of the next move) in commentary. Does anyone ...
12
votes
1answer
298 views

Does Boris Gelfand share his surname with a chess piece?

Boris Gelfand was just narrowly edged out by Anand in their match's rapid tiebreaks, and I thought I'd ask an oddball question related to him. The bishop chess piece is known by several different ...