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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3
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1answer
146 views

Three Knights vs one Queen, which is better?

Suppose the end game contains three knights and king only for white, and one queen and king only for black. Which side is considered to be in a stronger position? Value-wise, the knights are worth 9 ...
8
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1answer
550 views

Is this theoretical novelty double-piece sacrifice actually sound?

Working my way through Hannes Langrock's book on the modern Morra Gambit (second edition), I came across an interesting sacrifice that he believes is at best worth a draw. Indeed that's also Stockfish'...
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1answer
95 views

Sharp lines in the QGD, for black?

As a 1.e4 player who deeply enjoys sharp lines and studying/memorizing openings, I have always struggled with responding to 1.d4 since it leads to slow positional lines which usually have multiple ...
8
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3answers
7k views

Is there a mathematical theorem that you can use to win a chess endgame?

Have mathematicians created any theorem that determines the outcome of a endgame? If so, how could it be used to win a specific endgame?
12
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1answer
953 views

Why is this position in the 3.d4 d5 Petroff equal?

I'm trying to learn some theory about the Petroff and was reading about the 3.d4 d5 sideline. Eventually, the position below is reached. [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 d5 4.exd5 exd4 5.Qxd4 ...
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1answer
100 views

Is it computationally feasible to find a board with proven outcome, reachable in 2 plies?

As is well known, neither the 0-ply game, the starting state, nor 1-ply games, all of white's first moves, have rigorously proven outcomes. Not even first moves for white considered very bad (1. g4) ...
5
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2answers
814 views

Before Qe6 in game 6 of the 2021 World Chess Championship, was it really a draw?

In game 6 of the World Championship 2021 between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi, before Qe6 the engine says +0.9 at around depth 30/99, but I heard supposedly it's a (theoretical) draw. I know ...
-2
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1answer
67 views

"Strong ICCF players" What is your input into the game? [duplicate]

This question is directed to the experienced ICCF players. My question is basically what is the input that the human player has into the game. I was just wondering because with the use opening books, ...
13
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1answer
3k views

What are the advantages of keeping the identity of a second secret?

At the top levels of chess the identity of the coach/assistant is sometimes kept secret. What are the advantage(s) of this? I found: That mystery [second] turned out to be the intensely creative ...
5
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2answers
298 views

Could you recommend me game collection books of attacking players?

I have found a lack of aggression in my style and I want to study aggressive players' games to develop my style. Please recommend books that fulfill this purpose. I am an advanced player.
5
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1answer
126 views

How feasible is 7.Qa4+ in this Ponziani sideline?

Recently I played a game with a fairly standard Ponziani opening when something slightly interesting occurred. The game started as thus: [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.d4 Nxe4 5.d5 ...
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1answer
125 views

Why is 3...g6 the main line of the Pirc Defense?

I admit that I've only started taking chess seriously in the past few months, but I'm having some trouble wrapping my head around this bit of theory. To be crystal clear, when I refer to the Pirc ...
4
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2answers
203 views

What is the longest possible forced checkmate sequence?

As title says. My question is about legal positions (positions which could be reached in actual games), but if there is a known solution with an illegal position to start the sequence, I'd be ...
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2answers
218 views

Marshall Defense transposition to Gruenfeld

Can this move order be considered a good surprise weapon against 1.d4 players since the Marshall Defense is known to be dubious and now black is trying to transpose it to a Gruenfeld. From my ...
2
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1answer
122 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 ...
2
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2answers
271 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'...
2
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1answer
274 views

Do main lines score significantly better?

Even at highest levels players make significant, but human, mistakes. On the other hand there exists a great amount of opening theory, with lines studied in depth, especially the mainlines. Isn't the ...
6
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1answer
176 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 ...
9
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2answers
379 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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3answers
276 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....
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1answer
576 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
264 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 ...
4
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1answer
672 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
144 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
122 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
2k 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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2answers
229 views

What openings can I play against most openings?

I'm looking for a "universal" opening. One example is the King's Indian, which you can play against e4, d4, and several other openings. What other openings, for Black or White, can be played ...
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1answer
219 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
277 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
170 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
79 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 ...
0
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3answers
211 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
227 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 ...
11
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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
282 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
164 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 ...
4
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2answers
183 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
137 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?
2
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1answer
129 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
111 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
222 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, ...
3
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2answers
909 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) ...
6
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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 ...
1
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2answers
192 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
239 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
276 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
100 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 ...

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