Questions tagged [theory]

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

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2
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1answer
110 views

Is it possible to measure play strength by analysing games of a player?

I am thinking on a way, most ideally on a software tool, what could get one of more games of a player, analise them, and gives an estimate on his play strength (as Elo/Glicko rating). Is it possible? ...
13
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2answers
2k views

What is the the idea behind this popular double pawn sacrifice line In the Evans Gambit?

I am learning a bit of Evans Gambit theory lately, and when exploring a Master level games database, I have found this surprising line. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. ...
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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 ...
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2answers
262 views

Will games be perfect, and most likely a draw, if both players get infinite time?

I have played a lot of chess games. The thing that always bothered me was that bloody clock. It looks as if the game is a game about who can think the fastest and it makes one nervous. Now, I know it'...
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0answers
158 views

Do main lines score significantly better?

Even at highest levels players make significantly but human mistakes. On the other hand there exist a great opening theory with lines studied in deepth, especially the mainlines. Isn't the precision ...
6
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1answer
130 views

As a Closed Sicilian player, is it impossible to avoid the Taimanov Variation without accepting an inferior position?

I'm a Closed Sicilian player and I like the setup with Nc3/g3/Bg2/d3 a lot for White, since it cuts out having to learn tons of theory I'd have to know otherwise against the Open Sicilian. However, I ...
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0answers
136 views

Best theory-knowledge rewarding openings?

I wonder which are the openings (for both White and Black) where an advantage (or at least equality against great players) is granted. Also, if you could refer to some good books / resources linked to ...
9
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2answers
367 views

Depth vs breadth of opening knowledge

When searching the web about how people learn about chess openings, I see many questions regarding the depth of the opening knowledge one has (with answers such as "I know some lines 20 moves ...
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2answers
202 views

Why is 1.g3 so much less common than the main opening moves?

1.g3 is by some databases one of the most successful opening moves, yet it is also much rarer than 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4 and 1.Nf3. Why? Related: Why do masters open 1.d4 more often than 1.c4? and Why is 1....
6
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1answer
559 views

Can a 2000 Elo rated player teach me middlegame play properly?

I have reached 2500 in the chess.com tactics trainer while I haven't study theory and my FIDE rating is 1637 (I reached 1930 in rapids a year in France). I want to study with a coach and there is one ...
5
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2answers
170 views

Franco-Sicilian Defense Theory [duplicate]

I am wondering what the main lines and point of the Franco-Sicilian Defense are for Black. I could barely find any theory about it online, and it' is my favorite opening as Black. As such, I am ...
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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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1answer
140 views

How did chess change over the 2010s and should I keep anything in mind for buying books from before 2010?

I presume I am being overly paranoid regarding this, and I definitely don't intend to turn away from older books at all, but were there any developments opening-wise, middlegame-wise, or endgame-wise ...
2
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0answers
114 views

Why reaching expert level is hard? [closed]

I was looking at the rating chart of Magnus Carlsen here's what I found: He learned chess at age of five(1995), On April 2001 his rating was 2064.Which means it took the best player in the world 6 ...
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5answers
1k views

How to avoid falling into unfamiliar traps in the opening stage?

I will be playing with a player in a few days and his level (1400ish) is slightly lower than mine (1500ish). However, he is very familiar with dubious gambits and opening traps and I can easily lose ...
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1answer
181 views

Number of distinct checkmate positions

What is the number of distinct checkmate positions in each of the following categories given the following conditions? We are not interested in whether the position can be forced or not or even what ...
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2answers
270 views

How many games of optimal chess are there?

Assume that we have weakly solved chess, in the sense that we have an algorithm that when used, allows us to force a win if possible, and if that is not possible, force a draw. Define a ply as optimal ...
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1answer
158 views

How many sensible games of chess are there?

Analytic procedures for estimating the number of possible games of chess typically reason that on each ply, a player has some limited number of sensible options, O, and the average game of chess lasts ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Which line(s) pose Black problem(s) in the King's Indian defense on the highest level of competition?

King's Indian defense is rarely seen in the highest level these days. Queen's gambit declined took over for now. I am trying to find out if there are any lines that put so much pressure on Black that ...
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3answers
189 views

How good is 1. e3 2. c4 as an opening for White?

How good is 1. e3 2. c4 as an opening for White? Afterward, developing the knight on b1 to c3, and developing the bishops too, it seems good. Castling is preferably done on opposite sides as well.
2
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1answer
206 views

Does anybody knows about how the Polgar sisters were trained?

I know they did a lot of hardwork and stuff like that but i just want to know what exactly process did they went through(books,how did they practice,etc),is there any biography on them?cause I just ...
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4answers
3k views

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 ...
8
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1answer
274 views

Why are retreating moves unintuitive?

I've heard IM and GM commentators on chess tournaments, from the Opera Euro Rapid to PogChamps 3, suggest that retreating moves, such as backwards knight and bishop moves, are unintuitive. I've felt ...
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2answers
134 views

What are some "quick start" openings?

First of all, I'm sorry if it looks like I didn't really research before asking the question, but I really did put in some effort and couldn't find a satisfying answer. My problem is, I don't want to ...
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2answers
167 views

Why does castling in the Four Knights: Double Spanish opening inadvertantly stop Bxc3?

So I am currently working through Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca and he said something I find opaque: following 1.e4, e5 2.Nf3, Nc6 3.Nc3, Nf6 4.Bb5, Bb4 "5.0-0 an indirect way of preventing 5.....
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0answers
131 views

Three pieces vs Queen in the opening [closed]

Please, does someone have good information on the Grünfeld Defence, Russian System, three minor pieces vs Queen variation?
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1answer
127 views

Guessing who has to play next

Assume an observer sees a chessboard in the middle of a game. At which point in a game does it become impossible to determine who has to play next between White and Black?
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1answer
107 views

Why is this a better move?

Playing on chess.com against the first advanced bot, "Antonio", I've lost a game and looked at the analysis. The following is the state of the game not far from the beginning, where I had ...
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2answers
199 views

Patterns in Chess960 positions

I have two questions. Where can I find more studies like this Lichess one, please? I got it from this answer elsewhere on this site. The Lichess study is talking about this position [White "...
14
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3answers
3k views

What is the earliest queen move in any strong, modern opening?

I have noticed a tendency of weaker players to move their queen out very early (e.g. move 2-5), and conversely, a tendency for strong players to move their queen much later (usually later than move 5, ...
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2answers
607 views

How do you read this opening table presented in Modern Openings?

How do I read this table presented in the book "Modern Openings"? Specifically, what do the rows, columns and the dashed lines represent? Finally, there are also little letters like (a) ...
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3answers
2k views

Is there any obvious disadvantage of not castling in a game?

The opponent has the option of castling but can I still play a solid game without castling either side? I won some games in bullet time controls but only because position was too complex and opponent ...
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2answers
172 views

Is the Four Pawns Attack against the Alekhine opening promising for White?

The latest version of Stockfish 12 thinks that the Four Pawns Attack is the most promising variation for White against the Alekhine Defense 1.e4 Nf6, But it evaluated the position resulting from the ...
5
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1answer
230 views

Is it possible to reach King vs King by moving each piece at most twice?

I'm interested in short games that reach a King vs King endgame. Sam Lloyd reached King vs King after only 17 moves. This has since been improved to 16.5 moves. (See this and that.) One can show that ...
3
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1answer
243 views

3...c5 in the Advance Caro-Kann

Consider the following side line of the Advance Caro-Kann: [FEN ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 e6 5.a3 Bxc5 In master OTB games, the move 3...c5 is one third as common as the main move ....
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1answer
97 views

Classical Scheveningen: Why is ...Ne8 so rare in this position?

Black to move. This position from the classical variation of the Scheveningen occurs over 900 times in the Lichess database, yet ...Ne8 has been played only three times. The move seems strong: it ...
2
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1answer
173 views

Did the 2018 World Chess Championship feature any theoretical novelties in the Sveshnikov Sicilian?

I am interested in how the Sveshnikov theory developed in the last decade, and one of the biggest events heavily featuring it was the WCC match in 2018. Very few books on the opening were published ...
5
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3answers
328 views

Easy variation to learn with White against Semislav with not many lines and avoiding the Slav at the same time if possible

I'm looking for an easy variation to learn against the Semislav. Note that I play d4, c4, Nc3 against many openings. I tried to play the 5.Bg5 line but I felt that it was full of memorization: [FEN &...
5
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3answers
948 views

How good is 4. d3, the Anti-Berlin?

The Berlin Defense is drawish if we reach the Berlin endgame. Yet White doesn't have to go into the endgame, and can instead play 4; d3. However, I hear that the Ruy Lopez is getting less popular in ...
2
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2answers
86 views

How can chess be applied to other fields like politics or football tactics?

I just think that a strategy game such as chess can be applied to the real world and in that chess can make you a better strategical person, but how so?
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1answer
72 views

What is the theory if black goes 4 Nxc4 in evan's gambit?

Ive been learning the theory for this opening but cant find anything if black chooses this line.
13
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4answers
3k views

Is it good to have a tendency to exchange pieces?

This is how I am playing nowadays. I can beat ~1500 player 50% of the time (the rest is due to tactical errors): Play the opening (upto 12 moves) Don't blunder At the point where my pawns and pieces ...
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2answers
2k views

How long can a player hold off a draw by the 50-move rule?

Going by rules strictly about the board state, how long can a player theoretically hold off a draw by the 50-move rule? White will play as long as possible, and not want to lose. Black will claim a ...
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2answers
160 views

How many times can the king and its surrounding squares be attacked?

In a legal position, how many times can the king and its surrounding squares be attacked? There is a total of 9 possible squares to be attacked-the square the king is on and the eight squares ...
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4answers
2k views

How much do you actually learn from the book Modern Chess Openings by Nick de Firmian?

How much theory does the book actually cover and how far in terms of opening knowledge and building my opening repertoire will memorising every line of the book get me?
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3answers
1k views

Owen's Defence playability

The Owen's defence is a chess opening which starts with 1. e4 b6!?. This opening is playable if Black can get a quick c7-c5 break, where he has a pawn on e6, b6, and then he pushes c7-c5. However, ...
3
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2answers
96 views

Benoni setup defence

In the Benoni, there is a certain setup for White where there is a knight on g3, and a bishop on d3. White then starts a pawn storm with f4-f5, with a large attack. How am I meant to play against this ...
2
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1answer
377 views

Benoni Bc1-g5 move

In the Benoni, I often have opponents play Bc1-g5 as White, after I have fianchettoed my king's bishop. I don't know how to stop it. I know that it isn't the main theory, but I haven't found a way to ...
1
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1answer
505 views

Traxler Counterattack

I've had a few looks at the Traxler counterattack before. It seems fine for Black, but somehow the engine (Stockfish) says that White has a +2.57 advantage after Nxf7, but not much advantage after ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Stockfish is considering a move in a book by GM Mihail Marin as a blunder

In the book English opening volume 1 by Mihail Marin at this position [fen "3nrrk1/bppq2p1/p4p1p/2Pp4/1P1P3N/P1BQ2P1/5PKP/4RR2 w - - 2 21"] 1. Qg6 (1. Ng6) He suggests Qg6 whereas ...

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