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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2answers
208 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
219 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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2answers
363 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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4answers
176 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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2answers
377 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
142 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/...
2
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5answers
167 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 ...
5
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1answer
304 views

What is the longest possible sequence of double checks?

Note: My frequent edits are to either upgrade what I have found or to fix an illegal position or a flaw. It is a known record for most number of mutual checks in a row. This made me wonder what the ...
4
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1answer
352 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 who asked this yet: What ...
6
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1answer
110 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
162 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
279 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
251 views

Is this the quickest way to clearing the board to two kings?

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
131 views

Is there a faster way to do horizontal castling checkmate?

See my former question about vertical castling here. Horizontal: wherein the rook attacks down a rank. I have composed horizontal castling checkmates for both the queenside and kingside (links below....
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3answers
161 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
157 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
209 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
234 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
189 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 ...
4
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2answers
224 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 ...
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3answers
252 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 ...
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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
42 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 ...
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1answer
270 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
195 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
73 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 ...
12
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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 ...
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3answers
205 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
317 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 ...
28
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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"] [...
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1answer
364 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
175 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
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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
236 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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2answers
199 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
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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
371 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
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1answer
133 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, ...
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8answers
4k 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
445 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
323 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?
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4answers
290 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 ...
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2answers
669 views

To what depth has chess been solved? [closed]

Starting from the starting position, how many moves deep have we analyzed the possible continuations?
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1answer
138 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
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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 ...
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2answers
319 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 ...
5
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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 ...