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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11
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
101 views

Why are retreating moves unintuitive?

Apologies if this is a poor question for the site and feel free to close it if it's too vague or not appropriate for this site: I've heard commentators (IMs/GMs) on chess tournaments (from the Opera ...
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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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14answers
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An aggressive opening for Black against 1. e4

I am a novice at chess. I am around 1400-1600 chess rating. I have struggled to find any sound aggressive openings for black against E4. As white I play the Scotch Gambit which I have great success ...
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2answers
137 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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2answers
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In the books Wojo's Weapons, why was Wojo occasionally known to say “I'm too lazy!” when asked why he didn't play 1. d4 instead of 1. Nf3?

In Wojo's Weapons: Winning With White (Volume 1) by Jonathan Hilton and Dean Ippolito, it is written: Wojo's move order to reach any opening position almost always started with 1. Nf3 and then ...
6
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2answers
233 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 &...
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0answers
124 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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6answers
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Beginners question: The double pawn

Question: Are there rules of thumb that every chess player should know about the double pawns?
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4answers
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Starting positions in Chess960 where black is definitely worse

In article in wiki about chess960, it is stated that: It has been argued that two games should be played from each starting position, with players alternating as White and Black, since some ...
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1answer
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What is the longest proven forced win (including 50 & 75 move rules)?

What is the longest (currently discovered) number of moves for a forced mate position where players will use both the 50-move draw rule and the 3-fold repetition rule if it will help them avoid losing?...
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4answers
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What is the longest forced win with 3 to 6 pieces (ignoring 50 & 75 move rules)?

I am wondering, what endgame, with 3 to 6 pieces, has the longest checkmate with optimal play? Right now, the longest I'm aware of is the two knights versus one pawn endgame, which in certain ...
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4answers
796 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? (...
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1answer
116 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
129 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 "...
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6answers
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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 ...
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1answer
105 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 ...
7
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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 ...
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2answers
480 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 ...
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3answers
2k 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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4answers
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What are good openings for White during a blitz game?

It seems as though White can easily dominate the tempo in a blitz game through a strong, aggressive opening. Is this the case? What openings are strong for White when there is a short time limit (e.g.,...
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2answers
378 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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2answers
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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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5answers
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In the game of shogi, what is the meaning of “sabaki”?

I'm reading the book Sabaki at a glance by Madoka Kitao. It's a very nice book with many good examples one can learn from. The problem I have is that I am left with only an intuitive understanding of ...
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3answers
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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
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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 ...
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2answers
217 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
123 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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4answers
3k views

How to break through their “Great Wall of China”

It's my move as White. I have no idea what to do. I feel like I'm going to get squashed to death. What would be my best move or strategy in situations like these? [FEN "r2q1rk1/4b3/p1n1p1b1/...
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1answer
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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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5answers
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1. e4 e6 2. Nc3 - how should Black respond?

I had White deviate from the French main line in a blitz game by playing: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e6 2. Nc3 Since this line is not discussed in the Wikipedia article on French defence I am thinking that ...
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1answer
230 views

What effects would being able to capture while castling have?

Capturing an enemy piece while castling has been illegal for many decades, and the concept has been solidified in chess history. But what effects would it have if it were allowed? First, some ground ...
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2answers
248 views

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

I recently played as Black in a 1+0 blitz game on Lichess in which the below position 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
312 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? [FEN ""] 1. e4 d5 exd5 Qxd5 Qh5 Qxa2 Qxh7 Qxa1 Qxh8 Qxb1 Qxg8 Qxb2 Qxg7 Qxc2 Qxf8 Kd7 Qxf7 Qxc1 Ke2 Qxd2 Kf3 Qxf2 Ke4 Qxf1 Qxe7 Kc6 Qxc7 ...
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1answer
391 views

What is the highest number of en passants possible?

Out of curiosity, how many en passants can theoretically be done by both sides? Additionally, what is the quickest sequence to reach that amount?
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3answers
430 views

Is an Arabian mate possible without the king’s help?

Can an Arabian mate be enforced without the king's help in this position? [FEN "r6k/8/8/8/8/8/8/K6n w - - 0 1"]
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3answers
328 views

What are the quckest helpmates delivered by the 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? The said piece has to deliver the checkmate on the ...
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5answers
448 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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3answers
475 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 ...
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1answer
133 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 ...
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5answers
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How can one become a very good chess player without studying chess or openings?

I heard that Capablanca never liked to bother with openings, would never study chess or read books. Despite all this, he became world champion. Is this an exception to the rule? Have times changed ...
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2answers
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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
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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.
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4answers
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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
125 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
1k 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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4answers
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At what point does the opening end, and middle game begin?

Just curious if there's a set of guidelines to determine when a player can call the opening pretty much done, and move into the middle game. I know some rules of the opening that would apply are All ...
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1answer
690 views

What is black's best sixth move in the Sicilian Grand Prix?

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bb5 Nd4 6.O-O Nxb5 is most common. [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bb5 Nd4 6.O-O Nxb5 (6...a6) Instead of 6...Nxb5 if black plays 6...a6, it ...
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3answers
3k views

Is the Evans Gambit declined good for black?

According to this answer, Evans gambit is not popular anymore. I looked at it and I don't see anything wrong with it. I can't go over all the variations here, but you could look for an article or a ...

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