Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions about the particular terminology used in chess

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3
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2answers
271 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, ...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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3answers
165 views

What defines a forcing move with major/minor pieces?

I have been taking various training tests and the answer almost always involves some sort of forcing move. Clearly attacking a king will always force a response but when another piece is involved (...
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5answers
4k views

What are key squares and critical squares?

What is the best definition of key squares in king and pawn vs king endgame theory? Please provide graphics if possible. Is there a difference between "key squares" and "critical ...
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4answers
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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2answers
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 ...
14
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1answer
4k views

How does the "French Defense, Winawer Variation, Fingerslip Variation" get its name?

Why is this particular iteration of the "French Defense, Winawer Variation" called the "Fingerslip Variation"? [fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. ...
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0answers
82 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 ...
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6answers
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How is "fianchetto" really pronounced?

I have heard "fianchetto" for four decades now, and I have always pronounced it "fēənˈCHetō", but I have heard many people also pronounce it "fēənˈketō". It is of Italian origin, so I am wondering if ...
2
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1answer
87 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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3answers
721 views

Chess strategy versus positional chess

If one master writes a book on chess strategy (example here) and another writes a book on positional chess (example here), are they writing more or less on the same subject? Do other major chess ...
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5answers
758 views

Why is the definition of check not circular?

If you want to determine whether a player is in check I think you would: 1.1) determine every legal move of the opposition; 1.2.) determine whether such a move threatens our king (i.e. could 'take' ...
4
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1answer
106 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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3answers
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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 ...
8
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3answers
751 views

Term for sacrifice that causes opponent to block an escape square?

A decoy or deflection typically lure an opponent's piece away from a square. What is it called when you sacrifice in order to lure/force an opponent to a certain square in order to prevent another ...
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0answers
131 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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3answers
7k 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 ...
2
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1answer
298 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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2answers
466 views

Is there a name for fork-protected pieces?

Sometimes the reason a piece should not be captured isn’t the recapture, but rather the threat of a fork because the capturing piece would find itself in just the wrong spot. The 1926 game between ...
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3answers
174 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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3answers
300 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 ...
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4answers
189 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 ...
4
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1answer
535 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?
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2answers
925 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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1answer
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 ...
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1answer
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What is a pure checkmate?

Recently I heard something about pure checkmate. This is a special kind of checkmate where each of the squares around the king has to be covered by just one single piece. One simple example of this ...
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1answer
181 views

Is there a name attributed to this type of checkmate pattern?

I was going over an old lichess.com game when I realized that the checkmating pattern seemed familiar. [FEN "5rk1/p4pp1/1p5p/2p4Q/2P3R1/P4q2/6RP/4r2K w - - 0 1"] Here it is boiled down, ...
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135 views

What does "control" mean in a chess problem?

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 ...
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4answers
380 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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2answers
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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? Also, know the queen as a lady or girl.
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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 ...
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1answer
360 views

What is a “dual” in chess problems, such as the Babson task?

I’ve read up on Babson tasks, and they mention that all known tasks are not perfect because there are duals. I’m not sure what this means exactly. What precisely is a “dual” in chess problems?
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1answer
249 views

What is this formation called?

I recently came across this formation at random. I vaguely remember reading about it around a decade ago. I want to know if this is a known play. [FEN "8/8/8/8/8/2NPPN2/PPPBBPPP/2RQKR2 w - - 0 1&...
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4answers
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....
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404 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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1answer
234 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 ...
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4answers
33k 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 ...
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5answers
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Is there a terminology for "the worst winning move"?

What do people call a move which maintains a winning position but is the worst among all such moves? For example, h8=N+ is such a move in the following game: [FEN "8/7P/6k1/8/8/8/B1K5/8 w - - 0 1&...
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3answers
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What are "full piece" and "half piece" in chess?

I'm reading Kasparov's Deep Thinking and I came across this sentence: In one computer championship, a machine blundered a full piece early in the game but its opponent declined to capture it. When I ...
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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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2answers
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What is a gambit?

I am a chess beginner, having played over 500 games. However, I never understood gambits, despite the fact that I am very good at openings. I always play the Queen's Opening, King's Opening, or the ...
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3answers
616 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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4answers
3k views

What is the meaning of "dead draw"?

I heard the term "dead draw" a lot, but I don't know its meaning and when a position is "dead draw".
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1answer
203 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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4answers
608 views

How does b4 fix pawns in this 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?
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2answers
212 views

Why is the 'classical' Nimzo-Indian called the Noa variation?

I recently played 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5, and it was coded as the Noa variation of the Nimzo-Indian. There was a Josef Noa of Hungary, who lived from, 1856-1903, but his recorded ...
4
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1answer
96 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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3answers
2k views

What defines the name of a gambit?

What defines the name of a gambit? To be obvious, if someone were to use a gambit often (of their own theory), you would name that gambit after them or so, right (like the Ruy Lopez opening)? How then ...
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2answers
813 views

Bishop sacrifices to prevent castling

I have neen playing a higher amount of online chess as opposed to club chess lately and something I have noticed is a significant increase in Bishop sacrifices to prevent kingside castling. Here is ...