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Questions tagged [theory]

Theory commonly refers to the erudite study and the philosophy behind the moves in chess (like opening or endgame theory) but this tag can also be used for questions about the game theoretic study of the game itself.

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3answers
157 views

Do the King's side and Queen's side pieces have different values because of which square color they start on?

I wonder if the Bishop and Knight that start out on the same color square as the opponent's King, is worth more than it's twin on the other flank. And if that is of significance when making choices ...
4
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1answer
277 views

Would a chess game go on indefinitely if both players played the absolute best move each turn?

Just as the title says: Would a chess game go on indefinitely if both players played the absolute best move each turn? (assuming there is no draw) Or is it white that's going to win? Is it even ...
27
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3answers
4k views

Why is the Ruy Lopez a sensible opening for white?

As an amateur, I prefer the Scotch game as opposed to Ruy Lopez, since I feel that White loses tempo and Black seems to gain tempo with queenside counterplay in the main line. [title "Ruy Lopez"] [...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

2 Knights against 1 pawn (endgame)

Why is it important to leave the opponent's pawn in this situation? From over 7kk games only 426 ends with KNN against KP, of which 286 games (67.1%) is draw. In the two knights endgame, how should ...
9
votes
2answers
145 views

Why isn't 3.e4 more popular in the QGA?

According to the chess.com DB, 3.e4 is the third most popular reply in the Queen's Gambit Accepted - but why isn't it the most popular by a long shot? Isn't the entire point to remove black's central ...
5
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3answers
161 views

Theory: Things NOT to do in a concrete opening

My sources of opening theory are mostly focuses on things to do in it, and some ideas about why. What are good sources about things to avoid, and ideas that can't be developed in an opening?
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6answers
1k views

Feeling cramped in the Najdorf

I played this game recently at a tournament, and lost pretty decisively. I thought about it a bit, and I think it's representative of something that happens somewhat often in my games when I play the ...
6
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0answers
150 views

What is the longest variation analysed in opening theory? [closed]

There are many openings with long variations, more or less forced, in their body of theory which are recognized as playable by both sides : Marshall Attack and Schliemann Defense in the Ruy Lopez, ...
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0answers
26 views

Most possible moves at one turn [duplicate]

Given a game what are the most options at one time for a player. In the beginning you can’t move a rook, but say mid game what are the most moves someone could do?
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Modern defense Benoni setup with Ne7

I saw a DVD with GM Roman Dzindzichashvili, where he recommended, when white avoids the Dzindzi-Indian by playing 3. e4, that black adopt a Benoni setup but with the important difference of playing ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there rules for categorising all pawn-only endgames into won/drawn/lost?

If a situation containing only pawns and kings is displayed is there a simple set of rules for determining if the position is won/drawn/lost? I know for single pawn and double pawn endgames this is ...
4
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3answers
244 views

What is the theory behind Bishop's Opening, Philidor Counter-Attack?

What is the theory for this opening for black? [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 c6 I've started playing the Bishop's Opening because it is something ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Main Ideas behind Spanish Game, Cozio Defense

I've been practicing the Spanish Game so I can have better tournament results with it, Spanish Game 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 Spanish Game, Cozio Defense and I asked my friend to play the Cozio defense, ...
24
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8answers
3k views

Is preventing an opponent from castling considered an advantage?

All else being equal, if you have forced your opponent to move their king, thus preventing castling, would that be considered an advantage?
4
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1answer
284 views

Four player chess (team): is there some opening theory written somewhere?

I am an active player on four player team chess on chess.com (my Elo is currently 2095). I am planning to write something about theory of opening of this chess variant. Question is, do you know if ...
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3answers
267 views

What is zugzwang in chess?

What is the Zugzwang? I have read this term in chess book but the term not much clear to me. Anyone know to to use this and what are the advantage of this?
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2answers
1k views

What are weak squares in chess; how can they help to mate another player? [closed]

I read this concept in a book but I didn't understand much about the concept. Can anybody explain this concept with an example?
5
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4answers
255 views

Formulating a Precise Definition of “Space” in Chess

Premise I have always enjoyed playing recreational chess, so I know the basics and some general tactics / strategies. It was only recently though that I have gone more hardcore, so to speak, with my ...
-2
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2answers
453 views

To what depth has chess been solved? [closed]

Starting from the starting position, how many moves deep have we analyzed the possible continuations?
3
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1answer
106 views

How do you 'calculate' compensation in chess

Here is another very difficult subject for me that I can't even begin to understand [ incidentally, although I've been playing chess for over 50 years, my current ELO rating is only 1300, hence these ...
18
votes
5answers
5k views

What is 'space' on a chessboard?

I know, I know, this sounds like a ridiculous question, but bare with me. As an example of my lack of understanding, let's take the advanced variation of the French defense. e4 e6 d4 d5 e5. The ...
0
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0answers
50 views

Improving game 1500~ rating [duplicate]

I don't know how can I improve my games. I know there are many tips for beginners and I've tried them all (almost, except the ones below) I am 1520~ chess.com and 1730~ on lichess at blitz games (5-7 ...
4
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2answers
230 views

How to analyse an endgame quickly?

I am a relatively new player (less than 1 year, ungraded) but I feel I have made good progress so far. I am playing competitively with players in the 1300-1500 region and would like to continue my ...
6
votes
9answers
2k views

1. c4 vs c3 Sicilian

I am a chess player ranked at around 1400. As white I play 1. e4 and am confident playing against most responses except for the Sicilian. I don't want to go into the main lines so I am studying the c3 ...
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0answers
65 views

Chess RSS feeds

Would anyone have any recommended RSS feeds for chess strategy? Specifically tactics, middle game and end game strategies. When I look on Google search I see a decent amount come up and would prefer ...
6
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2answers
342 views

In the Giuoco Piano, why is 4.0-0 currently so popular at top level?

[FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 In recent years, the move 4.0-0 has taken over from 4.d3 almost entirely -- in my database of TWIC games, if I look at 2750+ games from the last year, I ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Are certain tactics always good or does it really depend on the game?

I've recently joined chess.com at the suggestion from chess club. Something I've always struggled to understand with chess is why certain moves are "good" and why others are "bad" I got thinking ...
7
votes
3answers
954 views

Maximum number of pieces on board in dead position

It is possible in a chess game to have a dead position in which both players have all eight pawns, one bishop, and a king--20 pieces total. If the two players' pawns are interlocked in "zig-zag" ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

Why is e6 “forced” in this position?

Larry Christiansen has played and analysed his four games against Chessmaster. At the 8th move, he shows a different possible continuation and says that e6 (shown below) is forced for black. I don't ...
3
votes
3answers
225 views

Opening theory overlooking simple moves?

What is the most obvious move, (or simple sequence of moves) long overlooked by opening theory in the last 50 years or so, completely changing the evaluation of a well-known position? EDIT: Well, I ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Possible chess positon after X ply?

I've started to code my own little engine recently and am now working on a perft function which simply sees how many moves there are. Trying to get correct results I searched online for the correct ...
3
votes
1answer
401 views

Can White get a theoretical advantage against the Sveshnikov Sicilian in today's theory?

I'm looking for an opening expert or an experienced Sveshnikov player that knows the answer to this. The Sveshnikov has been increasingly popular and it has also proven to be very good for draws. ...
2
votes
1answer
234 views

Can you recommend a dynamic, concrete, or easy-to-play line against the London System?

I hate playing against the London because it allows 800 FIDE rated players to survive for 50+ moves. By the way, I play the Grunfeld against d4, the Sicilian Najdorf against e4, and the triangle ...
0
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3answers
184 views

Does rating increases in bulks or is it a steady increase?

I have been taking lessons from a coach since two months and I also played my first OTB tournament two months ago. Since then I have played around ten tournaments with an average of one or two ...
5
votes
2answers
219 views

Why does KQ vs. KP (flank pawn) on 7th draw?

Silman mentions that King and Queen vs. King and pawn on the 7th rank wins, except when it's a flank or rook pawn (and the king is far away from the action, i.e. 6th rank). The rook pawn case is ...
5
votes
1answer
198 views

Question about KIA?

Why is the KIA preferably played when black has already committed to e6? What's the purpose of spending an extra move (g3) to develop the bishop to g2? What are the general plans and strategy that ...
6
votes
3answers
291 views

Najdorf poisoned pawn with or without 7..h6 8 Bh4

In the Sicilian Najdorf poisoned pawn variation what is the difference between including the moves 7...h6 8 Bh4 (as many top players do) and not including them? [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4....
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1answer
178 views

Chess as random process

Not sure whether this is more of a physics or a chess question. Looking at the evaluation graph (computer evaluation vs. move number) of a game of chess, I realized that there are some similarities ...
3
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4answers
172 views

Meaning and origin of 'theory' in 'opening theory'

What precisely does 'opening theory' mean? Generally when I see the word 'theory', I'd expect a conceptual move away from the particular towards the universal. That is, I would expect 'opening theory' ...
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14answers
8k views

How to learn chess if you're still a 3-digit rating after a few years

I know how all the pieces move and I've learned about castling and en passant. But all I do is play online against other people and get wrecked because I don't know how to "play." I make moves like ...
6
votes
4answers
886 views

The strength of Smith-Morra gambit

I am a beginning player in chess.(~1300 on chess.com/blitz: 5 and 10 minutes) And I mostly like to attack and favor fully open positions to closed and defensive. In response to e4, when the opponent ...
6
votes
2answers
138 views

Is there a copy of Troitsky's analysis of KNN vs. KP online anywhere?

This is almost certainly public domain material by now (I believe it originates in a 1906 article), but I'm happy to buy it with or without Collection of Chess Studies if I can get it as a digital ...
0
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1answer
96 views

Would games played between two perfect players always end up on a draw? [duplicate]

Imagine a scenario where you have two perfect players (i.e. they can consider all the possibilities in a very short amount of time and they choose always the right movement). If they decided to play ...
2
votes
4answers
163 views

What are some common tactics that arise when black has played h6?

What are some common tactics or ideas that arise when black has played h6 (or white has played h3) in front of his castled king? An example I have in mind is, in this position, white can win a pawn ...
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vote
3answers
174 views

Are all KQvK positions winnable if it's not stalemate and Black can't capture on current move?

Are all KQvK positions winnable if the position isn't in itself a stalemate and Black cannot capture on the current move?
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votes
2answers
161 views

Should beginners learn some boring drawn games first?

I recently studied the game Aronian vs Caruana in the Sinquefield Cup 2016, and I was absolutely delighted ! Unlike most GM games, it made total sense to me. I understood why the pawns were moved, why ...
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2answers
721 views

King's Indian Attack - Middle game ideas

I've searched everywhere, however, I couldn't find what are ideas in KIA. I know about Neil McDonal "The King's Indian Attack: Move by Move" book. This book covers KIA against different openings. ...
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votes
4answers
2k views

Best books on middlegame strategy?

What are the best works trying to systematically summarize all middlegame themes and strategies: e.g. space advantage, pawn structures, exposed king, minority attack, isolated pawn, hanging pawns, etc....
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3answers
303 views

How to play for a win with White without fighting for an opening advantage

I know that there are practical methods of playing for a win with White without bothering with an opening advantage. In Kasparov's multivolume work on his predecessors Bent Larsen is described as ...
3
votes
3answers
675 views

Advice on how to draw with White

I read opening books a lot and they are always focused on finding a way to draw for Black and finding a way for White to play for a win. This makes me wonder why people are not writing opening books ...