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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5answers
477 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 ...
2
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1answer
140 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 ...
10
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5answers
3k views

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
75 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
64 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.
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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
127 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 ...
2
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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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4answers
2k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
698 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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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, ...
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3answers
2k views

Maximum number of pieces on board in dead position

It is possible in a chess game to have a dead position in which both players have all eight pawns, one bishop, and a king--20 pieces total. If the two players' pawns are interlocked in "zig-zag" ...
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7answers
3k views

What proofs for refuted gambits are there?

I've stumbled upon this article a while ago, and I've also seen refutations for the Muzio Gambit (Joseph Kling & Bernard Horwitz - Chess Studies on Endings of Games). I'm wondering what other ...
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2answers
90 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 ...
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1answer
140 views

Benoni Defence Theory and Ideas [duplicate]

I have played the Benoni for a while, and I frequently play bad moves in the opening. How could I play the Benoni - Pawn Storm Variation safely?
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6answers
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How should Black defend against the Steinitz attack?

[FEN ""] 1. e4 e6 2. e5 This line of attack seems to break so many opening theory principles (don't move same piece twice, don't overextend, develop minor pieces ASAP) that I am surprised it's not ...
3
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3answers
256 views

Can Black equalize?

I am working hard on improving certain line, and no matter how much I try I get no headway. I am forced to delve into risky lines, so I am asking for help to determine if Black can equalize in the ...
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3answers
251 views

Can Black defend in this difficult position?

Can Black reach solid and defensible position in the below diagram? I understand that Black will have to apply "equalize over time" method, so to help posters keep the analysis brief, I am ...
7
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1answer
350 views

Can Black successfully finish this opening?

I am trying to revive an old line in the Scandinavian defense. Among the many lines I am analyzing, there is one position that looks promising. I will leave out the lines / opening moves, to keep ...
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2answers
873 views

A digital tree (with annotations) of all chess opening moves discovered by theoreticians

I am looking for a tree of sorts, like the one of Chessmaster XI, but with deeper analysis, like why is this move good. For example, e4 gets the center, with the idea of opening the bishop. e5 comss....
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3answers
889 views

In the Giuoco Piano, why is 4.0-0 currently so popular at top level?

[FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O In recent years, the move 4.O-O has taken over from 4.d3 almost entirely -- in my database of TWIC games, if I look at 2750+ games from the last ...
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1answer
371 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 ...
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11answers
28k views

What can I play against 1.d4?

I've been playing chess for some time and I've studied lots of theory, but I don't know what to play against 1. d4. I'm searching for something with good chances for black but without much theory. ...
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1answer
383 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 ...
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7answers
4k views

Which notable players in chess history successfully used dubious openings?

I am reminded of a famous game between Karpov and Tony Miles where Miles played 1...a6 against Karpov's 1. e4 and still won the game. [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq -...
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3answers
2k views

Is the pawns only variant a draw?

In the pawns-only variant of chess, each side starts with 8 pawns and a king on the usual squares, no pieces, with other rules being the same as in regular chess, including promotion. While general ...
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16answers
11k views

How to learn chess if you're still a 3-digit rating after a few years

I know how all the pieces move and I've learned about castling and en passant. But all I do is play online against other people and get wrecked because I don't know how to "play." I make ...
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2answers
1k views

Any reference material on the Franco-Benoni defense?

The Franco-Benoni defense is characterized by the black moves: [fen "rnbqkbnr/pp1p1ppp/4p3/2p5/3PP3/8/PPP2PPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 c5 The books I've read on the French defense ...
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5answers
2k views

The strength of Smith-Morra gambit

I am a beginning player in chess.(~1300 on chess.com/blitz: 5 and 10 minutes) And I mostly like to attack and favor fully open positions to closed and defensive. In response to e4, when the opponent ...
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1answer
2k 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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10answers
4k views

Is there value to learning openings as a new player?

Am a new player (had played before hadn't picked up a board for 3 years having never taken the game that seriously) and am going to try and commit to at least 1 rapid (10+5) game per day. Have made it ...
30
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11answers
41k views

Is chess a solved game?

Chess is a zero-sum game of limited decisions. The number of possible moves at any given point, and the number of possible states of the board, are all finite. Tic-Tac-Toe, is one of the easiest ...
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3answers
9k views

How should I play against the Philidor defense?

As white, I often encounter the Philidor Defense by black: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 I usually play Nc3 or d4 on the next move, but is this the best move? What are some lines (advantages or ...
27
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11answers
11k views

How do you win with a queen against a rook?

What's the technique behind the moves of the stronger side in order to win? Are there situations where the side with K+R can force a draw against K+Q? I've read plenty of examples of K+Q vs K+R, but ...
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7answers
1k views

Please help me understand the f6 break in the French defense

I'm really struggling to understand this move to be honest. Even after carefully reading a similar question posted here, I still just don't get it and, more importantly, when it's good to play the f6 ...
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2answers
221 views

Why is my theoretical knowledge is not coming to any use?

For the last few months, I have been reading "How To Reassess Your Chess (I expected at least this book to work), "Simple Chess," "The Art Of Attack," some ending book, "...
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2answers
134 views

Unable to confirm theoretical evaluation

Theory claims equality for Black in the below diagram. My engine claims White is better and demolishes the line with convincing moves. Since I have old laptop, with 2GHz dual core CPU, I was ...
6
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1answer
218 views

Why is the Budapest Defense considered not fully sound or even dubious? What theoretical difficulties arise for Black?

[fen ""] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Bf4 (4. Nf3 Bc5 5. e3) (4. e4 Nxe5 5. f4) (4. e3 Nxe5 5. Nh3) White can choose from multiple setups, most common are 4. Bf4, 4. Nf3, 4. e4 or even ...
2
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1answer
102 views

What is the idea behind this move?

I was watching Nepomniachtchi - Liren match on Chess24 Legends Day 2. After having a pretty significant advantage [+7.1 (Stockfish 11)], White [Nepo] has played g4, and according to the engine, the ...
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2answers
833 views

What is the maximum number of passed pawns in a position?

Something I have wondered about recently is the highest number of passed pawns that is theoretically possible. What is the answer, and the fastest way to achieve that result?
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2answers
1k views

How to calculate the number of positions in chess?

For layman, can someone explain how you calculate the number of available positions in a chess game, and how do you get the huge number of 10^120 or 10^46?
0
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1answer
197 views

Checkmate without check beforehand

[Title "fucccommies-Diam0ndJake, chess.com, 7/8/2020"] [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nc6 4. d5 Nd4 5. c3 Nxf3+ 6. Qxf3 Be7 7. Bb5 O-O 8. O-O c6 9. dxc6 bxc6 10. Bc4 d5 11. ...
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2answers
379 views

Rossolimo 3.Bb5 vs open Sicilian against c5-Nc6 sicilian

Many chess players nowadays recommend the Rossolimo against c5-Nc6 Sicilian: [fen ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 However, I find the open sicilian to be easier to play: [fen ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 ...
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4answers
1k views

Queen placement in the Dragon

[FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.f3 O-O 8.Bc4 e6 9.O-O a6 Here is a line from a game of mine. I made the movee 10. Qd3, but my computer program says Qd2 ...
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3answers
3k views

When moves are randomized, is there an inherent advantage to the player who goes first, or the player who goes second?

Imagine we are pitting two automated players (bots) against each other, but instead of thoughtful moves made by the players, they make completely random choices. I realize that this is not really the ...
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 ...
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2answers
1k views

What are the best books on (A) General Theory, (B) Calculation Process/Improvement?

I will introduce my request by saying that up until fairly recently I was completely oblivious to chess despite practicing as a kid, I have a clear understanding of the FIDE rules but that's about it. ...
3
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5answers
981 views

Endgame player vs middlegame player: Is the result inevitable?

I recently asked this question: Why Anand and Carlsen insisted on playing the same opening/defense FM Rauan Sagit answered: In my view, in terms of opening preparation, the Anand team failed to ...
4
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1answer
135 views

How to Create Positional Theory

I've been playing Kraton Chess, which is basically standard chess except there are 96 different possible starting positions that are similar to the standard starting position. All the rules of ...

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