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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4
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3answers
254 views

To what extent is the openness/closedness of positions determined by white? By black?

Say I am playing as white and I strongly prefer closed positions while my opponent strongly prefers open positions. To what extent do I have control over this? Will the game more likely end with a ...
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1answer
48 views

What are the benefits and the drawbacks of the Sicilian defense [duplicate]

I am learning to play chess, and I am focusing my attention on the Sicilian defense. Many people says is one of the best openings against e4 when playing with black, and I think also it is a good ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Longest Sequence For Any Piece To Reach A Certain Square

What is the longest sequence of moves (by both White and Black) wherein White attempts to move one of their pieces from one square to another? Assume Black makes every move optimal towards the purpose ...
7
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3answers
555 views

In the Dutch Defense, why does white play b3 and Ba3?

In the Stonewall Dutch Defense, why does white play b3 and Ba3? Should I try to avoid it, or does it not matter? [fen ""] 1. Nf3 e6 2. d4 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O Bd6 6. b3 O-O 7. c4 c6 8. Ba3
2
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1answer
39 views

Analysis of a position in order to find the best move

I am trying to learn to play chess, but it is not an easy task. I am playing as much as possible and try to watch games an reading in order to learn. I am playng on Chess.com, and a lot of times I ...
2
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3answers
218 views

Analysis of a position of a low rated player in order to improve

I am a beginner in chess, and I am trying to learn how to play well. I am rated 800 in Chess.com, so I have a really low rating, and I am trying to improve it. I was playing a game and I have been in ...
4
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2answers
104 views

Improving my skills is getting harder

I am new to chess and I am playng mostly online at sites like chess.com. Now I have a rate around 800, so it is still low, but my problem is that improving my skills is getting hard. The arrival to ...
3
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1answer
157 views

What is the farthest away a game can be from a guaranteed checkmate?

What is the maximum number of moves away from checkmate that a player can be where checkmate is guaranteed? There are many positions that are a guaranteed win for a player if played perfectly right? (...
2
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3answers
134 views

Are there any moves in the opening stage that are perfectly sound but not book moves?

In the opening stage, are there any moves that are perfectly sound but are not book moves? Here a book move, is defined in Wikipedia as follows: Opening moves that are considered standard (often ...
23
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5answers
12k views

Has anyone attempted to characterize chess mathematically?

From years of being student, researcher, and practitioner of chess, I feel like it possesses completeness and elegance that are found in mathematical proofs and theories. Thus, it seems only natural ...
3
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1answer
125 views

Anderssen's 'immortal game'

I came across Anderssen's 'immortal game': [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Bc4 Qh4+ 4. Kf1 b5 5. Bxb5 Nf6 6. Nf3 Qh6 7. d3 Nh5 8. Nh4 Qg5 9. Nf5 c6 10. g4 Nf6 11. Rg1 cxb5 12. h4 Qg6 13. h5 Qg5 14. ...
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11answers
6k views

Chess Tournaments Without Studying Theory?

I have played chess since a very young age and my tactics are very developed in my opinion. However, I never bothered to read chess related books about opening or related theory. This often leads to ...
0
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2answers
106 views

Longest non-cooperative game of chess [closed]

Typical arguments for the longest possible game of chess take a form something like this. 1) Each player moves their knights back of forth 49 times 2) Each player moves one pawn forward one square ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Why is 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 b6 so unpopular?

Why is the Sicilian line with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 b6 almost never played at any level, nor considered in books and similar? It seems logical to me, and after the usual 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Bb7, the Bishop is ...
3
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5answers
182 views

When can king and pawn win against another king and pawn?

Assume such a situation: Both players (Black and White) only have two pieces, that is a King and a Pawn. They have the liberty of placing them according to their wishes on the first row of their side ...
1
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1answer
120 views

Does White have any feasible way to break through this positon?

I recently played as Black in a 1+0 blitz game on Lichess in which the below postion was reached. [FEN ""] 1. e4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. d4 d5 4. e5g Nfd7 5. f4 Nb6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Bb5 Bd7 8. O-O g6 9. Bxc6 ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Pushing the e-pawn

I am having trouble understanding why the move e5 which I played in the position below is not correct according to Stockfish (6th move for White) I am not doing this move by winning a tempo, but I ...
4
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2answers
355 views

Conceptually, what makes the Sicilian opening sensible for black?

We all know the Sicilian as shown below, is one of the most famous and commonly employed openings in chess. But compared to the other replies, which tend to be more about fixing the center (such as e5,...
7
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5answers
2k views

Introduction to the Sicilian

I am trying to work on my openings and start playing the Sicilian as a response to 1. e4 but I am slightly overwhelmed by the huge amounts of resources available. I am rated around 1850 FIDE and I ...
5
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1answer
248 views

How is endgame theory developed?

First of all, I am explicitly not asking for a list of endgame principles, nor am I asking for resources to study endgames from. My question is: How does one develop endgame theory? The main ...
2
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3answers
421 views

Novice - Capitalizing on players not knowing their openings?

I am a 1400-rated player currently working on my theory and understanding of openings. I am good at learning lines, much more so than others at my rating. But I'm less sure on where/how to learn the ...
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5answers
216 views

Why aren't 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bh6, and 1.e4 b6 2.d4 Ba6 considered by theory?

As the title above, why aren't 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bh6, and 1.e4 b6 2.d4 Ba6 (or eventually beginning with 1.d4) for Black not even considered by theory? Isn't the eventual early trade-off of White's strong ...
4
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3answers
474 views

Of all the possible legal chess games, how many end in white win, draw and black win (assuming 50 move rule)?

If both sides make moves completely randomly but legally, how many different games are there? Since 50 move rule applies, this number should be finite (but HUGE). For example, there are 20 possible ...
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1answer
148 views

Is this the longest possible series of consecutive captures?

Quite simply, is this the longest possible series of consecutive captures in a legally reachable, legal game? I composed this particular party myself. [FEN "q1kr2q1/1qnqnb2/2prp3/q2pK3/2P1P3/1QNQNB2/...
4
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5answers
236 views

Is learning the English Opening helpful for learning the Sicilian Defence? How about vice versa?

Is learning the opening 1. c4 e5 as white helpful in learning the opening 1. e4 c5? How about vice versa? Are the ideas behind the Sicilian Defence as black very similar to the ideas behind the ...
2
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2answers
276 views

Longest series of mutual “!” moves

Normally I'd pester the/a computer chess forum, but I couldn't register yet... On the Matplus chess forum, the following construction task came up. Both White and Black are on the brink of ...
6
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1answer
379 views

What is the longest possible sequence of double checks?

It is a known record for most number of mutual checks in a row. This made me wonder what the most number of possible double checks in a row is. Only one side can deliver a double check of course. I ...
4
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1answer
412 views

What are the shortest possible games with a) 20 Bishops, b) 20 Knights, and c) 20 Rooks?

The 18 queeens chess problem has already been brought up one CSE: Shortest possible game with 18 queens? That is a game where all 16 pawns are promoted to queens. But nobody has asked this yet: What ...
6
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1answer
123 views

Comparing 9…a6 to 9…b6 in the Panov-Botvinnik Attack

This question is motivated by a recent LiChess game where I was black where I played the Caro-Kann and white played the Panov-Botvinnik Attack: [fen ""] [Site "https://lichess.org/J9cdDkL5"] [Date "...
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4answers
189 views

Can someone make a puzzle in which a KNN vs. K checkmate is forced in the end?

No, I am not asking if a KNN vs. K can be forced if those are all that's on the board. It is well known that this is impossible. (I wasn't quite sure om if I should have put this in here or in the ...
4
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2answers
293 views

Piece And Pawn Only Massacre Games

Just another theory thought of mine. I believe I have found the fastest way for each variation. Am I right or am I wrong? EDIT: Now a sub-category of Piece Massacre is open in which pawn captures are ...
2
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3answers
264 views

Is this the quickest way to clearing the board to two kings? [duplicate]

Is 21 moves the least needed to get board down to 2 kings? My findings: https://www.apronus.com/chess/pgnviewer/?m=...
1
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1answer
174 views

Is there a faster way to do horizontal castling checkmate?

Horizontal: wherein the rook attacks down a rank. I have composed horizontal castling checkmates for both the queenside and kingside. Is there any possible way to make these mates go any faster? ...
2
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3answers
206 views

What is the fastest vertical castling checkmate for both the kingside and the queenside?

Vertical: wherein the rook attacks down a file. Since I like to know fast ways to do theoretical objectives in chess, I wish to know the fastest possible castling checkmate, for both queenside and ...
2
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2answers
175 views

What should be defined as an en passant checkmate?

Is there a general consensus amongst top chess players, composers, analyzists, and organizations, such as FIDE, for what exactly defines an en passant checkmate? Is there any history for it? As far ...
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2answers
235 views

Is 6 the limit for the most pawns possible on a single file?

As far as I can calculate, 6 is the limit for the most number of pawns on a single file possible. Is 7 possible at all, ignoring promotion? I only took into account using the edge of the board, not ...
4
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3answers
303 views

On the board: white king vs. black king with knight and rook. Could checkmate be done without the black king’s help?

Just something I randomly came up with. Sorry if it is a duplicate.
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3answers
231 views

What are the quckest helpmates delivered by rook, knight, bishop, and pawn?

What are the quickest helpmates, which is where both sides help administer checkmate to one side, delivered by the rook, knight, bishop, and pawn? Said piece has to deliver the checkmate on the final ...
5
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2answers
290 views

Can anyone recommend a Chess platform that, well, you better read further

I thought I might take a minute to share a project I started about 20 years ago. Essentially, I used my ChessMaster program to make a "Chess Explorer". In 1998, I noticed I could add notes into ...
2
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3answers
349 views

How does one know if a position is not reachable from a series of legal moves from the starting position?

If one of the following is true, a position is not reachable from the starting position by a series of legal moves: One side has two or more kings or one side has no kings; One side has a total of ...
19
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5answers
3k views

What is the theoretical maximal material difference of a dead draw which is not a stalemate?

I have noticed the following example, which should be a dead draw: I am wondering what is the theoretical material difference of a dead draw which is not a stalemate? (I am not asking about agreed ...
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0answers
43 views

Daily chess self-training plan? [duplicate]

Here I am asking suggestions on plans to systematically improve one's chess skills. I am aware of questions such as this one, but I am seeking advice based on the following criteria: I am willing to ...
2
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1answer
332 views

Is the queens gambit declined getting more popular than the slav?

Back when I used to study chess, like 10 years ago or so, all the text books and all the super GMs recommended either the slav or the semi slav against queens gambit, they said it's better than the ...
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3answers
213 views

What are unsolved problems in chess? [closed]

What I want to know is: are there any problems in chess that remain unsolved?
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2answers
79 views

Do someone found if there exists a ever winning side? [duplicate]

Have chess science advanced enough to determine if there is a a chess side that always win if both sides are given unlimited time to think for the next move? Note the question Is not dumb as might ...
13
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1answer
3k views

What is the least number of knights needed to cover the entire board?

I’ve seen the solutions to the lowest amount of queens, bishops, and rooks are needed to cover an entire board, as in they can attack all squares and are the only type of piece on the board. What is ...
3
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3answers
248 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
335 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 ...
29
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3answers
5k 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"] [...
3
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1answer
444 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 ...