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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4answers
181 views

The exsistence of IBM’s Deep Blue

How would IBM’s Deep Blue fair against modern day champions like Carlsen? Was it decommissioned after Kasparov's game?
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4answers
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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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2answers
627 views

In what cases is it good to play the Maroczy Bind in the Symmetrical English?

I'm thinking about playing the Maroczy Bind with White in the Symmetrical English (1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 - notice that I start with 1. Nf3). But I don't know exactly in what cases I should play it. So I ...
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1answer
201 views

Importance of memory in chess

I know that creativity and calculating skill are the paramount characteristics for chess success, with luck basically non-existent, but just how important is memory? I suppose that pattern ...
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10answers
13k views

What are the things that a 2000 player knows that a 1800 player doesn't know?

I'm stuck at 1600-1800 in chess.com. My rating fluctuates within that range. There must be something that I still don't understand that is already understood by a 1900-2000 player. So I am asking for ...
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2answers
899 views

Against the Slow Slav, after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3, is the 4... a6 Chebanenko still good for Black?

Someone told me that: Against the move order 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 or 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3, the move 4...a6 is averagely effective. Against the move order 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3, the move 4...a6 is extremely ...
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3answers
399 views

Which type of openings generally lead their users not to waste much time on the clock: sharp/aggressive/tactical or positional/solid/quiet openings?

I’m only asking this question out of curiosity. The answers I’ll get won’t make me change my opening repertoire. OTB which type of openings generally lead their users not to waste too much time on ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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1answer
768 views

What are all the most common transpositions between the Caro-Kann Panov–Botvinnik Attack with 5...e6 6. Nf3 Bb4 and the Nimzo-Indian Defence?

I would like to know what are all the most frequent transpositions between the two following openings: . The Caro-Kann Panov–Botvinnik Attack with 5...e6 6. Nf3 Bb4: [StartPly "12"] [FEN ""] ...
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4answers
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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
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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 ...
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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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1answer
243 views

Can the Nc3+e3 Chebanenko Slav, the Exchange Slav and the 4...Bg4 Slow Slav transpose into each other?

I would like to know if the following three variations can transpose into each other? The Nc3+e3 Chebanenko Slav: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 a6 The Exchange Slav: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 ...
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1k 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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4answers
2k views

When to push centrals pawns?

Lets consider you have e4 d4 pawns with white or e5,d5 with black. When your opponent challenge your center with e5 or d5 with black, or with e4 or d4 with white of course his pawns are protected. How ...
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7answers
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For Black, against the Caro-Kann Advance Shirov variation 4. Nc3 which move tends to lead to the most positional, slow, solid and strategic positions?

I'm a 1800 Elo player that likes positional, quiet, drawish, slow, boring and strategic openings. As Black against 1. e4 I play the Caro-Kann. But there is one variation of the Caro-Kann that I ...
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4answers
250 views

"Breaking" crowded positions

White moves. Is there a systematic approach to tackling such crowded formations? I don't see an efficient way to progress, aside from charging to trade figures in order to thin the population. [FEN "...
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1answer
981 views

How many possible positions are there in chess? [duplicate]

How many possible positions are there in chess? Please be exact.
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2answers
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Soundness of the King's Indian Defence

It is rarely seen at top level nowadays, but in the times of Fischer and Kasparov vs. Karpov matches, it was a very popular opening for Black. I heard that Kramnik made Kasparov stop playing KID and ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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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1answer
390 views

In the Caro-Kann Panov-Botvinnik Attack 5... e6 6. Nf3, what are the differences between 6... Be7 and 6... Bb4 ? Which one is more solid and quiet?

In the Caro-Kann Panov-Botvinnik Attack 5... e6 6. Nf3, I am hesitating between 6... Be7 and 6... Bb4 [StartPly "11"] [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 (6.....
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2answers
402 views

Can someone describe a good/easy mental procedure to choose the best move here?

This is kind of like magic to me. Once they show you it becomes obvious :) :( Can someone point out a good/easy strategy that a player can mentally train/use to decide what is the best move here for ...
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2answers
158 views

Normal draw positions in the endgame KQPKQ with a bishop-pawn?

Suppose, in the endgame queen + pawn vs queen (KQPKQ) , the stronger side has a bishop-pawn (c-pawn or f-pawn). The weaker side cannot win the pawn, nor has a perpetual check, nor can play on ...
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5answers
894 views

Struggling to find a good opening with black? (Fide Elo 1950)

Okay so, I'm rated around 1950 on the FIDE rating list, and I struggle finding a good opening with black so basically my game with white is more or less perfected (3 different openings where I learned ...
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1answer
491 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 ...
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4answers
451 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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2answers
1k views

What are some popular anti sicilians and what are their respective strengths and weaknesses?

I dislike the positions in the sicilian in which both sides kamikaze each other. What are some popular anti sicilians which will bring the black players out of their comfort zone?
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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?
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1answer
223 views

Longest DTC in the endgame KQPKQ depending on the place of the white pawn

I remember some statistics by Guy Haworth from the endgame KQPKQ (queen + pawn vs queen). One of the statistics was the maximum DTC depending on the place of the white pawn (due to symmetry, it can ...
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4answers
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The Ponziani - What are the plans?

We live in a strange country. Instead of having championships for all group ages(U10, U12, etc) they just place everyone in a tournament and ship the top people of each group-age. I am third best in ...
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9answers
101k views

Is the number of possible chess games infinite?

This question is somewhat related to Can the total number of possible wins/draws/losses be calculated?, but slightly different. There is a recent TV show episode that claims that there are "more ...
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3answers
7k views

What are some good books on the Caro-Kann which propose a Black repertoire based on positional, strategic, solid, boring and quiet variations?

I'm a 1750 Elo player, and 6 months ago I bought the book Grandmaster Repertoire: The Caro-Kann by Lars Schandorff, and I was disappointed. In my opinion, the repertoire proposed in the book is too ...
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4answers
1k views

Is there an opening where both knights get behind c4 and f4 pawns?

I like to get my knight behind c4 and I don't mind exchanging that pawn, I just don't like it to get stuck behind my knight, therefore I often play the English opening. Is there an established ...
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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
325 views

Chess As It Relates To Elaborate Endgame Strategies [closed]

Not sure if this is relevant to chess, so please redirect if necessary. But I figured I would get the best chess-based response here. How would one apply the principles of chess to everyday life? ...
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1answer
397 views

In the Delayed Open Catalan, what is the best move after 7. Ne5 c5 8. dxc5 Qc7 9. Nxc4 Rd8?

I'm building my White repertoire. After 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Ne5 c5 8. dxc5 Qc7 9. Nxc4 Rd8 we reach the following position: [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/...
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2answers
368 views

Is this assumption correct or not?

Take a look at this position: [FEN "4k3/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/4K3 w - - 0 1"] This is a popular chess "tabiya" at our club. The young students play it quite often actually. I placed this ...
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1answer
1k views

Queen vs rook & knight with all pawns

I'm going through a chess tutorial (Shredder). One of the exercises begins where all pawns are in their starting positions. I have a queen and my opponent has a rook and a knight, again all in ...
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3answers
342 views

The beauty of chess

Many times one can read in chess magazines the world "beautiful". Comments like "that move/combination/execution/problem/solution was beautiful" are our daily bread when we read game analysis. What ...
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6answers
5k views

Does black really have a disadvantage?

Most people say chess is a draw, and it is quite believable, white is but a tempo up, and skill plays a lot of part in the game. But even the most skillful agree that blunders are made, in some games ...
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2answers
1k 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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14answers
35k views

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
2k views

Is there a refutation of the Muzio gambit?

Is there a 'refutation', i.e. a defense for black that leads to a guaranteed advantage assuming perfect play, against the Muzio gambit? [StartPly "11"] [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5....
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5answers
2k views

Top sources for opening theory

Can anyone recommend any good sources such as periodicals, websites, or what not to stay up to date on the latest opening theory? I am willing to pay if the source requires such. How do the top ...
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3answers
505 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 ...
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3answers
389 views

Who is the winner between two powerful computer opponents?

If we suppose to have 2 powerful computer, that are able to calculate all moves in some seconds, who will win, the black or the white? Or the game will always be draw? (let say we have a unlimited ...
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2answers
5k views

Is there an easy way to detect a draw in a King + Pawn vs King endgame?

I know the basics of opposition, but I am struggling to evaluate positions for drawishness in King + Pawn VS King endgame. A lot of times it is useful to know whether you should make an exchange. For ...
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2answers
941 views

In the Delayed Open Catalan, after 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Ne5 c5 8. dxc5 Bxc5, which move should I play?

In the Delayed Open Catalan, after 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Ne5 c5 8. dxc5 Bxc5, we reach this position: [Title "White to move"] [fen "rnbq1rk1/pp3ppp/4pn3/...
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2answers
405 views

Is there a comprehensive coverage for Lasker variation of the Scandinavian defense?

Recently I was trying to improve Scandinavian defense in a way that I can reach "Viking" setup ( ...0-0-0 + ...Nc6 + ...Bg4 vs d4 ). I am trying out various move orders, and have stumbled upon one ...

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