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Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions about the particular terminology used in chess

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"Fish" for a patzer

When I coined the German version "Blindfisch" for a patzer, in my Sturm und Drang youth, I maybe was influenced by "fish" (I read everything chess that I could get my hands on, so ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
79 views

Does the Giuoco Pianissimo also include the Italian Four Knights or is the Giuoco Pianissimo only when White plays Pawn to c3?

I searched on Google and all websites say that the Giuoco Pianissimo is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3. But after 4...Nf6, White has two options: c3 and Nc3. Does the Giuoco Pianissimo include both ...
Fate's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
136 views

How did the Omaha Gambit get its name?

I was recently playing the Vienna Gambit as white on chess.com and was surprised to see a variation called the "Omaha gambit." [Title "Vienna Game: Omaha Gambit"] [StartPly "5&...
Paul Martin's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

What Distinguishes Supergrandmasters from Grandmasters in Chess?

I have been following professional chess for a while and often come across terms like "grandmaster" and "super grandmaster." While I understand that both are titles indicating a ...
Iman Mohammadi's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
98 views

Is there a name for the pattern when a bishop on the fifth rank is driven back to the third rank by pawns?

I've noticed a common theme in games where a bishop placed on the fifth rank winds up retreating to the third rank as it's threatened by pawns. (as the black player this would be a bishop on the ...
Paul Martin's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
105 views

Opening name change of one game at Chess.com

Here are the first few moves of a game that I played at chess.com and the name of the openings is shown by the system: c4 (English Opening) c5 (English Opening; Symmetrical Variation) Nc3 Nc6 (...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 9,091
0 votes
0 answers
88 views

Common term to a position of an absolute pin or a potential discovery check

is there any chess term to describe a position where the opponent's king is shielded from a check by only 1 piece (regardless if it's your piece, which would make it a potential discovery check, or ...
d.k's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the terminology for a move which allows the opponent to attack two pieces without making another move?

In the position below (Short vs Ponomariov 2003), White has just played Re4-f4, which is allowing the g5 pawn to attack both the rook and the bishop. In general, what do we call a move that allows the ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 9,091
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

is there a name for the opening moves 1. e4 b5?

While this is a terrible opening which gives up a pawn for nothing I would like to know if it has a name. Wikibooks state that it is called O'Neill Gambit but its citations lead nowhere. The only ...
cmgchess's user avatar
  • 2,692
7 votes
1 answer
565 views

Where does the term 'fianchetto' come from?

I know what a fianchetto is, developing a bishop on the 2nd/7th ranks on the long diagonals. But how did the word 'fianchetto' come into play as a chess term?
carrizal's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
231 views

"Unclear" becoming outdated?

It was the Chess Informant who gave us "∞ - position unclear" (as we all know, a position can only be won, lost or drawn. Now that we have super-strong computers, I expect that ∞ will slowly ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

How exactly does bidding in armageddon chess work?

When discussing armageddon chess, I've seen the term "bidding" being used a lot. I understand the following: "In bidding armageddons, players usually communicate privately how much time ...
Arvo Ju's user avatar
  • 93
4 votes
1 answer
119 views

Term to distinguish between two categories of illegal positions

Consider these two categories of illegal positions. First, e.g.: Not having exactly one King of each color Both Kings being in check Pawns on the first or eighth ranks Second, e.g.: Having more ...
Joseph Sible-Reinstate Monica's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
66 views

"Safe advantage" and "unsafe advantage"

By a safe advantage, I mean it is easy for the side with the advantage to keep it. Winning the game is extremely likely under normal conditions. Example: KQ vs KN is a very safe advantage. By an ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 9,091
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does "end with an empty board" mean?

I got this statement from Fundamental Chess Openings by Paul van der Sterren, and I don't understand what it means to end up with an empty board: However, since the human brain and even the computer ...
Gonja's user avatar
  • 151
2 votes
1 answer
158 views

What makes an opening move the "mainline"?

After 1.e4 c6, 2. d4 d5, the move 3. Nc3 is called the "mainline". According to lichess's database, the move 3. e5 has been played more than 3. Nc3, both by masters and by non-masters. This ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 9,091
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why do all e4-c5 variations only have a single name (Sicilian Defence)?

I was wondering why e4-e5 openings have different names depending on the next move, but Sicilian Defence continuations are all just variations of the Sicilian Defence. Is that because they are ...
naneri's user avatar
  • 191
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Where does the term “cook” originate?

What is the origin of the term “cooked” for a chess problem with an additional, unintended solution?
Laska's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
238 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 ...
cst1992's user avatar
  • 151
1 vote
1 answer
263 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 ...
blademan9999's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
2k 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. ...
Opifex's user avatar
  • 151
7 votes
2 answers
636 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. ...
waltertrentkamp's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
990 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 ...
cmgchess's user avatar
  • 2,692
3 votes
1 answer
4k 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) ...
lodebari's user avatar
  • 3,373
16 votes
4 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 ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
195 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(...
miniHessel's user avatar
18 votes
14 answers
5k 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 ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 1,082
6 votes
2 answers
309 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 ...
Shreyash Talpade's user avatar
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&...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 9,091
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 ...
Justin Chan's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
828 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 ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 992
4 votes
1 answer
551 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 ...
Marc Vaisband's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
451 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 ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 98k
18 votes
5 answers
7k 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?
Andrew May's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is the difference between a waiting move and zugzwang?

I can't see the difference between a waiting move and zugzwang.
user30415's user avatar
  • 107
-2 votes
1 answer
261 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: ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,060
0 votes
2 answers
228 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 ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,060
4 votes
2 answers
161 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 ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
238 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 ...
ts.'s user avatar
  • 191
12 votes
1 answer
4k 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 "...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 9,091
21 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 ...
Jayeon Yi's user avatar
  • 313
6 votes
1 answer
197 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 ...
deep thought's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
184 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 &...
Devon's user avatar
  • 139
5 votes
1 answer
470 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 ...
Eric Wilson's user avatar
  • 1,267
15 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
maxmitz's user avatar
  • 675
6 votes
0 answers
595 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": [...
James Ko's user avatar
  • 1,977
3 votes
1 answer
186 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 ...
Rosie F's user avatar
  • 6,315
2 votes
1 answer
369 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?
James Ko's user avatar
  • 1,977
2 votes
4 answers
317 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 ...
James Ko's user avatar
  • 1,977
4 votes
1 answer
2k 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?
TheSpace3154518's user avatar