Questions tagged [theory]

Theory commonly refers to the erudite study and the philosophy behind the moves in chess (like the opening or endgame theory), but this tag can also be used for questions about the theoretic study of the game itself.

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3
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3answers
621 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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5answers
286 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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
583 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 ...
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2answers
507 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 ...
6
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1answer
163 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 "...
3
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3answers
320 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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2answers
543 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 ...
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3answers
482 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
396 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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2answers
554 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
684 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
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 ...
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0answers
53 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
804 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
433 views

What are unsolved problems in chess? [closed]

Are there any problems in chess that remain unsolved?
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2answers
96 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 ...
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1answer
4k 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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1answer
496 views

What is the maximum number of en passants possible?

Out of curiosity, how many en passants can theoretically be done by both sides and the fastest way to achieve that result?
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3answers
404 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
489 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 ...
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3answers
6k 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
959 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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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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3answers
200 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
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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0answers
854 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
313 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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1answer
3k views

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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3answers
1k 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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1answer
219 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
5k 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
1k 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
481 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
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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2answers
969 views

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

Something I have wondered about recently is the maximum number of passed pawns that is theoretically possible. What is the answer, and the fastest way to achieve that result?
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5answers
551 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
1k 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
232 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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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 ...
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2answers
605 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 ...
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3answers
966 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 ...
5
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2answers
241 views

Are certain tactics always good or does it really depend on the game?

I've recently joined chess.com at the suggestion from chess club. Something I've always struggled to understand with chess is why certain moves are "good" and why others are "bad" I got thinking ...
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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" ...
2
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1answer
192 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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3answers
263 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
102 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 ...
3
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1answer
706 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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