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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3answers
198 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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2answers
2k 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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3answers
567 views

Slav - Theory Heavy Book

I have come to the realization that studying opening theory is far and away my favorite aspect of chess. That being said I am looking for a comprehensive theory heavy book on the Slav. I would like ...
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1answer
957 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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6answers
2k views

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 ...
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2answers
568 views

QGD :: should Black fiancheto his King's Bishop?

A common line in the orthodox line of the QGD goes something like this: [FEN ""] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Here's the part that puzzles me. According to the database in 365chess Black's ...
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0answers
722 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
301 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
910 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

Is it possible to be a good chess player without theory?

I would like to be a very flexible chess player as in never in a uncomfortable position unless I did something to deserve it such as a blunder. I've concluded that the only way to do this is to avoid ...
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1answer
190 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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3answers
327 views

Theoretically, is the analysis of the moves more complex if the objective is to be the first to be checkmated?

I have seen variations of other board games or strategy games where the aim is to actually 'lose' the game by forcing your opponents to make moves. Applying this concept to the rules of chess, would ...
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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?
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1answer
364 views

Why does KQ vs. KP (flank pawn) on 7th draw?

Silman mentions that King and Queen vs. King and pawn on the 7th rank wins, except when it's a flank or rook pawn (and the king is far away from the action, i.e. 6th rank). The rook pawn case is ...
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4answers
1k views

Longest path for knight

Suppose the knight is on square X and he wants to get to square Y, and in order to do that he has to move N moves. how big could N be? Could that be solved using a mathematical equation? Say Nf3 ...
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2answers
987 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
222 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 ...
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2answers
567 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

What influenced the development of the King's Indian Defense?

The King's Indian Defense is characterized by the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6. (As opposed to 2. . .e6, with the intention of developing the Bishop to the Queen-side.) Black aims for a strong King-side ...
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3answers
463 views

How does one become a theoretician?

What does it mean to be an opening theoretician, and how does one achieve this status? Does it imply that one should not be an active tournament player? Apart from opening theoreticians are there ...
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1answer
671 views

Can White get a theoretical advantage against the Sveshnikov Sicilian in today's theory?

I'm looking for an opening expert or an experienced Sveshnikov player that knows the answer to this. The Sveshnikov has been increasingly popular and it has also proven to be very good for draws. ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the current theoretical state for the Chinese Dragon?

I use this line a lot, as it tends to lead to interesting games, and I was wondering whether any advances in theory have been made here. [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6....
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3answers
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Chess Logic - Tigran Petrosian's doctoral dissertation

I have recently learned that former chess world champion Tigran Petrosian earned a PhD title from Yerevan State University; the title of his dissertation title was Chess Logic. I would like to read ...
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1answer
190 views

Why is e6 “forced” in this position?

Larry Christiansen has played and analysed his four games against Chessmaster. At the 8th move, he shows a different possible continuation and says that e6 (shown below) is forced for black. I don't ...
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4answers
714 views

How does strategy change in the infinite variant of chess?

I've recently become interested in infinite chess (this presentation from Joel David Hamkins [updated presentation based on the link provided by JDH in comments; significantly more comprehensive than ...
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3answers
257 views

Opening theory overlooking simple moves?

What is the most obvious move, (or simple sequence of moves) long overlooked by opening theory in the last 50 years or so, completely changing the evaluation of a well-known position? EDIT: Well, I ...
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1answer
98 views

Possible chess positon after X ply?

I've started to code my own little engine recently and am now working on a perft function which simply sees how many moves there are. Trying to get correct results I searched online for the correct ...
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3answers
765 views

What is the best Black reply to 1. d4 in regards to getting an open game?

What is a good reply to 1.d4 that will give me an open game?
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4answers
2k views

What is the disadvantage of the move 3. ..h6 in the Queen's Gambit Declined?

One of my opponents keep playing 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 h6!? against me. Thus avoiding the main lines of the Queen's Gambit Declined that start after the normal 3) ..Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nc3 etc. Is ...
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2answers
682 views

How could I defend/attack in this situation?

How could I defend/attack in this situation? I feel that I'm in big trouble. [FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.e4 Nxe4 3.Bc4 Nxf2 4.Kxf2 d5 5.Bxd5 Qxd5 6.Ke1 e5 7.dxe5 Qxe5+ 8.Qe2 Bb4+ 9.c3 Nc6 10....
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3answers
3k views

In the Queen's Gambit Declined, after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6, what is the difference between playing 3. Nc3 and 3. Nf3?

Here are Chessbase's statistics after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 : Nc3 - N=116,000 - W=58.2% - Av=2152 - Perf=2176 Nf3 - N=54,000 - W=60.3% - Av=2239 - Perf=2264 . N = The number of games played W = White'...
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4answers
5k views

For White, which variation of the King's Indian Defence tends to lead to the most solid, positional, slow, strategic, quiet and closed positions?

I am a 1750 Elo player with a very positional, quiet and strategic style of play. I would like to know which variation I should play when, as White, I face the King's Indian Defence: 1...Nf6 2...g6 ...
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5answers
918 views

Do I have to follow the openings moves when the response is different?

This question concerns the opening. For example, in the Danish gambit: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 cxb2 5. Bxb2 white reaches the desired position. But what happens if the ...
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4answers
5k views

How do you teach chess to a beginner / rookie?

Recently, I got some students (beginners) in chess, and I would like to teach them how to play but I don't know where to start! They already know how to move pieces and some concepts on how to play, ...
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2answers
2k views

For White, which variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined tends to lead to the most solid, positional, slow, closed, quiet and strategic positions?

I am a 1750 Elo player with a very positional, quiet and strategic style of play. I would like to know which variation I should play when, as White, I face the Queen's Gambit Declined. The variation ...
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3answers
213 views

Are all KQvK positions winnable if it's not stalemate and Black can't capture on current move?

Are all KQvK positions winnable if the position isn't in itself a stalemate and Black cannot capture on the current move?
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3answers
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What makes chess engines so good at chess?

Computers are thought to calculate every possible move. However, for eg. there are about 20 possible first moves and 20 possible responses to that and so by this logic the no. of positions after for ...
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1answer
727 views

Caro-Kann, Smyslov variation : Can Black punish early 5.c4 in this position?

Recently I have posted a question about declining the Marshall Gambit in the QGD, and asked if Black can transpose into another solid opening, as one way of defense. After analyzing the first ...
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4answers
1k views

In the Classical Variation of the Caro-Kann, what is the most positional, strategic, quiet, slow, closed, boring, dry and solid variation for Black?

I am not sure what to play as Black in the Classical Variation of the Caro-Kann, after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 [...
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2answers
422 views

Rauzer Attack, Sicilian defense - why not play 6…Nxd4?

I'm just learning how to play the Sicilian and none of the books I have at hand shows this move. So I'm considering that this move is a mistake and there is some strong counterplay on white's part, ...
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2answers
989 views

In the Slav, after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6, what are all the differences between 4. Qc2 and 4. Qb3?

In the Slav, after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 : What are all the differences between 4. Qc2 and 4. Qb3 ? Which one of them is better to reach some Catalan type positions? Which one of them tends ...
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1answer
280 views

Question about KIA?

Why is the KIA preferably played when black has already committed to e6? What's the purpose of spending an extra move (g3) to develop the bishop to g2? What are the general plans and strategy that ...
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5answers
3k views

Why is it said that beginning with 1. Nf3 2. c4 avoids the Benoni but beginning with 1. d4 2. c4 does not?

I have read a lot of messages on different Forums about the merits of beginning with 1.Nf3 or beginning with 1.d4. And a very big number of people said essentially this: One of the advantages of ...
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7answers
4k views

What is the benefit of making the first move with a Knight?

I know that some moves from some opening can transpose to another. But if I move my knight first, does it have benefit to me? In my Houdini, it shows lower value than I move a pawn first. Best ...
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3answers
570 views

Najdorf poisoned pawn with or without 7..h6 8 Bh4

In the Sicilian Najdorf poisoned pawn variation what is the difference between including the moves 7...h6 8 Bh4 (as many top players do) and not including them? [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4....
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1answer
291 views

Chess as random process

Not sure whether this is more of a physics or a chess question. Looking at the evaluation graph (computer evaluation vs. move number) of a game of chess, I realized that there are some similarities ...
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4answers
233 views

Meaning and origin of 'theory' in 'opening theory'

What precisely does 'opening theory' mean? Generally when I see the word 'theory', I'd expect a conceptual move away from the particular towards the universal. That is, I would expect 'opening theory' ...
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2answers
294 views

How do I make my opening reportorie stronger, specifically my Grand Prix Attack against high level competition?

I saw the DVD Killer Grand Prix Attack from GM Gawain Jones. This helped a lot. However, I have some trouble with some concepts against 2 ...e6 lines. According to the DVD the second plan of the Grand ...
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4answers
298 views

What are some common tactics that arise when black has played h6?

What are some common tactics or ideas that arise when black has played h6 (or white has played h3) in front of his castled king? An example I have in mind is, in this position, white can win a pawn ...

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