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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15
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12answers
5k views

Is there a single best move in every position?

If it were possible to analyse every possible outcome of a position, would there ever be a single move that could be considered "best"? I know that this is how computers evaluate positions, but they ...
6
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1answer
482 views

Overprotection Of A Piece

What exactly is the logic behind the concept of “overprotection of a piece”? Wikipedia says that it "...provides greater freedom of movement for the pieces protecting that square." If the protected ...
15
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1answer
14k views

Maximum number of queens possible

I was thinking about what the maximum number of queens can be on the board after only legal moves. The theoretical upper bound would be 18, the original 2 queens plus 16 promoted pawns. However, to ...
2
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3answers
170 views

I read that Mikhail Tal claimed to have been able to see 50 variations ahead in a game. Any thoughts on this possibility?

Mikhail Tals' books on chess. Learning/analytic chess theory. Perception and intuition in the development of strategic and tactical chess play.
31
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14answers
39k views

Does white have an advantage?

It is often debated that white has an advantage over black. Some even say that with perfect play on both sides, black simply cannot win. Is there any research that backs up this claim, or is it mere ...
0
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2answers
130 views

Longest non-cooperative game of chess [closed]

Typical arguments for the longest possible game of chess take a form something like this. 1) Each player moves their knights back of forth 49 times 2) Each player moves one pawn forward one square ...
3
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1answer
105 views

Opening preparation

I have observed that I can beat the Lichess computer at level 5 most of the time if I use the computer hint function for the first 13 moves (basically the opening). If I do not so, I end up losing 6 ...
3
votes
2answers
245 views

Confused about timing of cxd5 and dxc4 in the Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD)

Recently I've been playing the Queen's Gambit Declined as my primary response to a d4 opening by white. While analyzing past games with engines, I've realized that as the game progresses, there's a ...
22
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2answers
6k views

What is the Dorfman method in chess?

On various occasions in commentaries or interviews, e.g. during the World Championship commentary with Peter Svidler and Anish Giri, I've heard the Dorfman method being mentioned. I then learned that ...
14
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8answers
10k views

Database of every possible move in chess

Imagine that there is a chess database of every possible move and position. This database contains all possible moves from opening to end game. If I played using my intuition against a chess engine, ...
19
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5answers
4k 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 ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Mate in N. What is the largest N known?

What known position has one side with a forced mate in N moves, with N the largest? I came across one with 517 moves using only 7 pieces, so there should be much be larger. (Ignoring the 50-move rule)....
-1
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1answer
151 views

What are the maximum number of pieces that can be checking a king at once [duplicate]

Was just thinking about this. It's easy to have two pieces checking the king via a discovered double check, but three is where it gets interesting. Finegold said in a video he was TDing for a game and ...
3
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5answers
1k views

Is It Good Or Bad To Trade Too Much?

One aspect of my style in chess is that I like to trade a lot. Is trading too much bad?
8
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2answers
965 views

1. e4 e6 2. d4 c5 - is this opening worth it?

While doing my spring cleaning, I came across an old book claiming to give a good opening chance for black. It's called the "Barcza-Larsen opening" and it is characterized by 2 .. c5: [fen ""] 1. e4 ...
4
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1answer
96 views

What's the best way to learn the French?

Recently, I have been very attracted to the French defense, as I feel as though it is perfect for my style. However, I am aware that the French is highly theoretical, which is why I need a good, ...
2
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3answers
452 views

Does rating increases in bulks or is it a steady increase?

I have been taking lessons from a coach since two months and I also played my first OTB tournament two months ago. Since then I have played around ten tournaments with an average of one or two ...
4
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3answers
784 views

I need to get rid of Black's light-square Bishop

I've self-taught myself Chess, and played against computers (as in the board shaped ones) and I quite quickly found an opening that isn't strong, but it is not bad. I'm fairly new at this "Algebraic ...
2
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3answers
238 views

Analysis of a position of a low rated player in order to improve

I am a beginner in chess, and I am trying to learn how to play well. I am rated 800 in Chess.com, so I have a really low rating, and I am trying to improve it. I was playing a game and I have been in ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

What is the longest amount of moves before an inevitable checkmate? [duplicate]

When most pieces are gone, inevitable checkmates often occur and are usually presented in the form x moves until checkmate. However, what is the biggest valid possibility of x. (By valid I mean that ...
5
votes
1answer
886 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
193 views

Is there a copy of Troitsky's analysis of KNN vs. KP online anywhere?

This is almost certainly public domain material by now (I believe it originates in a 1906 article), but I'm happy to buy it with or without Collection of Chess Studies if I can get it as a digital ...
9
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3answers
495 views

Second Troitzky line, where knight and pawn could be located?

I am trying to understand where the pieces should be located for the second Troitzky line (checkmate 2 knights vs a pawn in 50 moves limit) and fail to get it. So from wikipedia: Black's pawn is ...
16
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3answers
4k views

Why is 1. Nf3 not nearly as popular as 1.e4 and 1.d4?

The opening move 1. Nf3 is considered as a perfectly sound opening and it is popular, but not nearly as popular as 1.e4 and 1.d4. Here are my thoughts about this: In most openings, white will make ...
21
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5answers
6k views

What is 'space' on a chessboard?

I know, I know, this sounds like a ridiculous question, but bear with me. As an example of my lack of understanding, let's take the advanced variation of the French defense. [title "Advanced ...
5
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5answers
5k views

If there was perfect play from both sides, will it be draw or win for one?

If there was perfect play from both the colors, will white win because of the first move advantage or will it be a draw?
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 ...
23
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8answers
2k views

What should I do about the dilemma of castling early?

OK, it has been said that one of the opening fundamentals is to castle early, but I have a dilemma with this and it may very well be a natural dilemma that has to be dealt with or there many be signs ...
24
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5answers
6k views

Is it a draw by insufficient material if the board is K vs K, N & N?

It isn't possible to force checkmate with King vs. King, Knight & Knight. A checkmate position, however, is still possible to achieve, so does that mean the 50 move rule applies, or does ...
17
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9answers
17k views

Why is the light-squared bishop considered White's best bishop?

The same question applies to Black where the dark-squared bishop is considered Black's best bishop. This was from the book "Logical Chess Move by Move" by Irving Chernev where he quotes Siegbert ...
38
votes
7answers
4k views

When does the middlegame end and the endgame begin?

Is there any specific point where the middle-game ends and end-game begins? E.g. after x number of pieces are exchanged, or say 40 moves, etc.
-1
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2answers
313 views

Fixed games in chess-is it real or just a conspiracy theory? If real, how bad is it?

One famous case of fixed chess games is the Keres vs. Botvinnik World Championship 1948. I ran across this example while looking for other such chess games from history. It is known that Stalin was ...
2
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1answer
317 views

Where are the opening trends heading at the start of the decade?

Nearly every era has its opening trends like at the beginning of the millennia the Berlin started to become the trend and so much that e4 was starting to be avoided. With the 2018 world chess ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

How should white push for advantage in the Nimzowitsh attack of the Petrov's defense?

This line of the Petrov defense can often lead to opposite side castling and the general rule for that is attacks happening on both sides of the board. However, I noticed that it's very difficult to ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

King's Gambit - Falkbeer Countergambit

I like to play blitz games online (mostly 3, occasionally 5 minutes per player). When I play those, it is usually for enjoyment and getting into wild games - romantic chess, if you will. This ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 the 50 move rule applies, this number should be finite (but HUGE). For example, there are 20 ...
2
votes
2answers
611 views

Can you recommend a dynamic, concrete, or easy-to-play line against the London System?

I hate playing against the London because it allows 800 FIDE rated players to survive for 50+ moves. By the way, I play the Grunfeld against d4, the Sicilian Najdorf against e4, and the triangle ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 b6 so unpopular?

Why is the Sicilian line with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 b6 almost never played at any level, nor considered in books and similar? It seems logical to me, and after the usual 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Bb7, the Bishop is ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

King's Indian Attack - Middle game ideas

I've searched everywhere, however, I couldn't find what are ideas in KIA. I know about Neil McDonal "The King's Indian Attack: Move by Move" book. This book covers KIA against different openings. ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Doubt on how move as black after pawn in e5

I am still at the beginning in playing chess, and I often encounter the following situation. Consider this sequence of moves: [FEN ""] 1. e4 d5 2. e5 Presuming that I am the black player, how do ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Morphy Defence in Ruy Lopez

I don't get the point of Morphy's Defence in the Ruy Lopez opening: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 If White's purpose was to exchange Bishop for Knight and take the e5 pawn after it loses ...
5
votes
2answers
351 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
513 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
votes
3answers
353 views

To what extent is the openness/closedness of positions determined by white? By black?

Say I am playing as white and I strongly prefer closed positions while my opponent strongly prefers open positions. To what extent do I have control over this? Will the game more likely end with a ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the Reversed Sicilian / King's English 1. c4 e5 more of a positional and quiet opening or a wild and tactical opening?

The only thing that deters me from playing 1. c4 followed by a Kingside Fianchetto is 1...e5 the Reversed Sicilian (also called the King's English). I like quiet, positional, strategic and ...
-1
votes
1answer
482 views

What are the benefits and the drawbacks of the Sicilian defense [duplicate]

I am learning to play chess, and I am focusing my attention on the Sicilian defense. Many people says is one of the best openings against e4 when playing with black, and I think also it is a good ...
6
votes
4answers
954 views

What are all the possible combinations of openings which work well together? (like the Slav+Caro-Kann combo)

One well known very good combo is the Caro-Kann + the Slav: The main objective of both of these openings is to develop the light-squared Bishop to f5 before it gets locked inside the Pawn chain. They ...
15
votes
11answers
7k views

Chess Tournaments Without Studying Theory?

I have played chess since a very young age and my tactics are very developed in my opinion. However, I never bothered to read chess related books about opening or related theory. This often leads to ...
4
votes
3answers
653 views

In the Dutch Defense, why does white play b3 and Ba3?

In the Stonewall Dutch Defense, why does white play b3 and Ba3? Should I try to avoid it, or does it not matter? [fen ""] 1. Nf3 e6 2. d4 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O Bd6 6. b3 O-O 7. c4 c6 8. Ba3
8
votes
3answers
4k 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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