All Questions

24
votes
12answers
20k views

What is the worst opening move, and why?

Grouping of initial moves of a chess game are well known, though I've never seen analysis of the worst possible opening move, any thoughts? If so, please provide more than just a move, but the exact ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there endgames which could be forced wins if not for the 50-move rule?

Wikipedia's article on the fifty-move rule states: In the 20th century it was discovered that some positions of certain endgames can only be won in more than fifty moves (without a capture or a ...
35
votes
8answers
3k 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.
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Does 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 have to be a bad opening?

There seems to be a pretty nifty attack for White after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6: [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 fxe5 4.Qh5+ g6 5.Qxe5+ Qe7 6.Qxh8 I've played as White with this opening several times, ...
12
votes
6answers
908 views

What are some helpful chess tactics training websites?

I like http://chesstempo.com and http://chess.emrald.net Are there any others?
16
votes
6answers
9k views

Why is the King's Gambit not played often?

I have observed that the King's Gambit is usually not played at international level. Is there any specific reason for this?
15
votes
5answers
1k views

When and why was the notation changed from descriptive to algebraic?

When I was young I used to play chess with the the old form of notation KB (King Bishop square number), even books used to have the same notation, then later found that everyone was using algebraic, ...
13
votes
5answers
798 views

Is Chaturanga/Shatranj an early form of chess or is this altogether different?

I had heard from someone that Chess evolved from Chaturanga then Shatranj. Are there any pointers towards this? I would like to know counter arguments as well, if any.
6
votes
1answer
337 views

How to assess chess game composition?

Most chess literature offer sets of moves based on themes, but do not offer a method of accessing your performance in composing sets of moves relative to the flow of the game itself. What would be ...
11
votes
2answers
712 views

How can I to hold on to the pawn plus for black in the Queen's Gambit Accepted?

A few years back I used to play with a player who always accepted the queens gambit pawn and used to hold on to it and sometimes win with the pawn plus. Is there any specific variation that can be ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best defense against Marshall Attack?

I have usually found the Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez to be very potent and very hard to counter. [fen ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 Are ...
62
votes
5answers
12k views

When is castling possible?

Is castling possible if any of the squares involved in the castling are under attack, or is this a problem only if the squares moved through by the king are under attack and not the ones moved through ...
14
votes
2answers
602 views

What other games or chess variants are useful to improve your chess skills?

I know about Chess960, and you can play that online at lichess.org. Furthermore, I like playing Go as well. But are there any good variants and other ways to train that you use, and you know to work ...
117
votes
26answers
122k views

Very Aggressive Openings

One of my favorite openings is the King's Gambit. It is extremely aggressive, and makes for a sharp tactical game without sacrificing too much material. It isn't played at the highest level at ...
20
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Which chess website has the strongest players?

The debate on which is the "best" chess website tends to be subjective and thus is inconclusive. On the other hand, the site that has the strongest players should be objectively ascertainable provided ...
23
votes
9answers
3k views

Is it possible to force checkmate with King, Knight, and Bishop vs. King?

If a King, Knight, and Bishop are pitted against the opposing King, is it possible to force checkmate? I find it very hard to do, enough so that I'm not sure whether there's a clean method.
13
votes
7answers
771 views

What are good openings to study to get more experienced players out of their comfort zone?

Sometimes I end up getting the opportunity to play a friendly game with someone who has played a lot more chess than I have; these games seem more fun and interesting for everyone (and I seem to end ...
10
votes
6answers
350 views

What strategies should I be thinking about at the beginning of the game?

In the middle and the end of a chess game, there are visible consequences to almost every move you can make, there are more contraints limiting what is logical to move, and it is fairly ...
28
votes
5answers
51k views

What are some of the best sites to play chess? [closed]

What are some of the best sites for online chess? Free sites with friendly communities are better.
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Open source chess playing or pgn viewing libraries

Is anyone familiar with any open source chess libraries in any language that can do any of the following: parse PGNs and/or FENs calculate valid chess moves based on position process an entire chess ...
25
votes
8answers
14k views

Is there any free software to automatically analyze and annotate games?

I'm looking for free software that automatically analyzes and annotates chess games (post-mortem), preferably marking blunders, suggesting good alternatives, pointing out missed tactics (forks, pins, ...
10
votes
5answers
799 views

Relative value of chess pieces on queenside vs kingside

I've read a few variations on the relative value of chess pieces ( Q=9, R=5, N=3, B=3, P=1 ), but I've yet to encounter a variation in value according to the side of the board the piece is on. With ...
8
votes
9answers
757 views

What is the best way to free your queen as soon as possible?

We can open games in many ways (any of the pawns or knights) and then go ahead with different strategies. The queen being the most important piece, I would like to get it out in the field without ...
18
votes
9answers
5k views

Opening with knight

I recently came across a game purportedly played by Napoleon (white) where he opened with 1. Nc3, and went on to win. I've never seen another game that did not open with a pawn. Does a knight opening ...
16
votes
7answers
94k views

With only the King left, how can you get a draw?

Let's say I have only the King left. I've read several rules and posts of people saying there is a limit to the number of moves your opponent has to check mate you in, but there are some ...
11
votes
3answers
896 views

Skills required for blitz/bullet vs. correspondence chess?

I've started playing blitz/bullet (fast) games and felt like I was getting moderately good at it (1 - 10mn games), but then I switched to correspondence chess (1 - 5 days/move) and it seems to me that ...
23
votes
9answers
3k views

Is there a way to use handicaps in chess to bridge the gap between players of different skill levels?

Handicapping is routine in the Japanese game Go (my best game). The basic strength unit is one stone, and a one-stone difference represents a full level of difference in strength. I (about a 1500 ...
32
votes
4answers
3k views

What are the consequences of an early a6 in the Sicilian?

Once I encountered an opponent who used a very early a6 in his Sicilian Opening. [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 What could have been his objective with this move and how should I have have countered ...

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