All Questions

117
votes
26answers
124k 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 ...
70
votes
9answers
32k views

Why is it illegal to castle with both hands?

I was watching the match between Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Hikaru Nakamura and Nakamura used both hands to castle. Why is it illegal to castle using both hands? What's wrong with that?
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 ...
56
votes
15answers
21k views

Can I improve my chess? Or am I too old?

I am 25 years old. I have been interested in playing chess since my school days but I never played seriously. One year back I realized that I want to become good chess player and I started. Most of ...
54
votes
11answers
14k views

How do I analyze my game after playing?

What techniques do you use to analyze your games or other people's games? How much time do you spend on analyzing the game? Are there any tools (electronic or manual, such as a piece of paper) you ...
44
votes
20answers
22k views

What is the earliest possible age to start teaching children how to play chess?

My daughter is 4 years old, and she plays checkers very well for her age. She asked me if she can learn how to play chess too. So I am interested in what is the best age to start teaching her. Is it ...
43
votes
15answers
13k views

A purely self-trained chess AI

Insofar as I understand, it appears that, before moving, all strong chess software examines thousands or millions of possible, future positions; evaluates each future position according to some ...
43
votes
2answers
7k views

When (if ever) was it a rule that pawn promotion was optional?

I'm reading a very old chess book ("The Chess Pocket Manual" by G.H.D. Gossip, copyright 1894), and I find this passage in it's section on "The Laws of Chess": When a Pawn has reached the eighth ...
40
votes
11answers
14k views

Is it too late for me to start professional chess?

I am 25 years old. I play online chess regularly and I am rated about 1900 on chess.com. And I recently won a local tournament. Now I want to start playing professional chess. Here are some of my ...
39
votes
3answers
12k views

Win the game by just moving king?

How short can a game be in which (after the first move) one player moves only his King, and yet checkmates their opponent? (Assume that the players co-operate: i.e. this is a kind of "helpmate". This ...
38
votes
4answers
11k views

Arbiter ignored cheating, and I signed the scoresheet. Did I lose my right to object?

I am currently playing in an ELO tournament. Today, while I was playing, my opponent occasionally got up and walked around. At first, I did not care much. Then, I realized that some people were ...
38
votes
6answers
13k views

What are the actions one can do against Chess.com players who stop moving when they are in an objectively losing position and refuse to resign?

One of my opponents at Chess.com just stopped moving after falling into objectively losing position, refused to resign and made me wait for 20 minutes to claim a win by time. I've recently resumed my ...
38
votes
10answers
24k views

Why is stalemate a draw?

It is so difficult to force stalemate and sometimes unintentional too, so why is stalemate a draw? As the opponent doesn't have a further move, why is it not considered a win?
37
votes
14answers
17k views

How to make a 6 year old think more?

I have been teaching my 6 year old daughter chess for past 2 years. She plays reasonably well. She often defeats level 25 in Chess Lv 100 app and sometimes Level 6 in Chess.com app. So I am guessing ...
37
votes
7answers
12k views

How would you determine that the player is cheating in online chess?

There are a lot of online websites, where players can play chess in real time with each other. Most of the games are 5-10 minutes long. With the availability of chess software one can take an ...
37
votes
9answers
15k views

How do I learn to understand the middlegame?

I am trying to train tactics as well as my general understanding of the beginning/middlegame. I spent a good bit of time understanding endgames, per chessmaster recommendations and those I can ...
36
votes
11answers
19k views

How is Alpha Zero “more human”?

I have a possibly naive question about AlphaZero. I have seen it described as playing in a "more human" style than other computers, but whatever it does, it gains about 100 ELO points by doing it. ...
36
votes
5answers
3k views

Strategy in middlegame from boring positions

I get into these rather vanilla, or as I call them, boring positions. Not much is happening tactically, and I can't fathom what the right course of action should be strategically. Here is an example....
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.
35
votes
2answers
6k views

How is this position possible in a normal game of chess?

A friend of mine gave me this problem. It goes like this. In a normal game of chess, the white player checks the black's king with a rook and a bishop as in the following image. 8/8/8/8/8/7k/8/...
34
votes
5answers
3k views

The path of learning chess

I've decided to become a better chess player. I play every day online and sometimes with my friends offline as well. I've also started to study openings. It is very difficult to get the right ...
34
votes
4answers
4k views

Is this endgame (sort-of Q vs K) a draw?

I think the following endgame is a draw. [FEN "7k/5BpP/3K2P1/8/8/8/8/4q3 w - - 0 1"] My reasoning: I'm playing white. I will only move my king, always. Black's king cannot move. If the queen decide ...
32
votes
13answers
27k views

Can playing blindfold chess be learned or is it a natural skill?

Any blindfold players here? Just wondering if blindfold chess is a skill that can be learned by amateurs like me or a natural skill by chess GM's, IM's, etc.
32
votes
6answers
16k views

Suggestion for a good chess engine on Linux

I'm using GNUChess with the Knights client (Knights doesn't seem to be THAT mature; crashes are common). Is there any equivalent of Chessmaster on Linux? What about good clients to play on servers ...
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 ...
31
votes
5answers
6k views

Why is Carlsen criticized for poor preparation at World Chess Championship 2018?

As of 2018-11-24, 11 games have been drawn at the World Chess Championship (WCC) 2018. A lot of commentators (in particular Alexander Grischuk) have attacked Carlsen for poor preparation. But ... 11 ...
31
votes
2answers
13k views

Is taking the opponent's king an illegal move?

In competition blitz games, making an illegal move and then pressing the clock forfeits the game if the opponent claims the illegal move as long as he does not make a new move, as a new move would ...
30
votes
8answers
15k views

If given infinite processing power, is there an algorithm that would play chess perfectly?

Does there exist such an algorithm where, if given infinite processing power, a computer could play chess perfectly so that it would never lose? If so, where can I find pseudo code for it?
30
votes
15answers
141k views

How many points is each chess piece worth?

I am a beginner at chess; please answer this for me: How many points is each chess piece worth?
30
votes
5answers
11k views

Why is the Ruy Lopez such a common opening?

The Ruy Lopez opening is characterized by the moves: [fen ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Why is this opening so popular? It does not appear to be particularly special/unique for white or black, so ...
30
votes
9answers
24k views

Is there a good online opening training software?

There are a lot of websites to train your tactics, but I can't find any for opening repertoire. I am looking for something similar to 'Chess Position Trainer' but online, where I can import a pgn file ...
29
votes
9answers
7k views

Are there any gambits involving sacrificing a piece?

My impression of the word "gambit" is the sacrifice of a pawn or several pawns at the opening stage of a chess game. However, based on the definition on Wikipedia, a gambit (from ancient Italian ...
29
votes
17answers
30k views

Good openings for a beginner (for white)

I am a beginner in chess and I like to play some of my friends who are basically at the same level. Usually who wins is based on who makes that one amazing (and lucky) move and quite frankly I want to ...
29
votes
12answers
12k views

What is the most effective way of reducing blunders?

Many people suggest tactical exercises as the best form of study for this purpose but I find that it only attacks the problem from one dimension (not making the strongest in a position). Analyzing my ...
29
votes
16answers
30k views

Are there mobile chess tutoring/training apps for Android or iPhone?

I'm looking for a Chess tutoring/teaching app that I can dip in and out of on my phone. At the moment I use Shredder Chess to practice when on the move (which basically involves repeating the puzzles ...
28
votes
14answers
9k views

How to learn chess if you're still a 3-digit rating after a few years

I know how all the pieces move and I've learned about castling and en passant. But all I do is play online against other people and get wrecked because I don't know how to "play." I make moves like ...
28
votes
11answers
3k views

Is allowing takebacks in friendly games a bad practice?

When I am playing friendly games with my brother, if one of us makes a big blunder that would make it pointless to continue playing, instead of quitting, we undo the move(s) to give a second chance (...
28
votes
7answers
5k views

Would studying the games of old players hurt my progress?

I was watching a video last night by Ben Finegold on Paul Morphy and some of his games. He mentioned that some current GMs would discount Morphy's ability since all of his opponents were "terrible". ...
28
votes
5answers
35k views

What is the average length of a game of chess?

I hope this is an appropriate question for this site as I've been wanting a reputable answer. Of course the length of games can vary wildly, but what is the expected number of moves until either a ...
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.
28
votes
2answers
6k views

Understanding AlphaZero

Very recently, the news came out that Alphabet's DeepMind research team have extended their machine learning engine to play both Shogi and chess. Apparently, after only a few hours of self-learning, ...
27
votes
9answers
29k views

What are some of the checkmates with very few moves?

I would like to learn about a few checkmates using very few moves. I know a one where you develop the knight and march it directly towards the King. Does anyone know the name of this mate and can ...
27
votes
10answers
5k views

How do chess openings work?

A recent question by xaisoft got me thinking about a problem I had as a novice player. When I first started to play chess, I thought that the moves in an opening were independent of the moves made by ...
27
votes
3answers
11k views

Can a piece pinned to my king put the opponent's king in check?

I was playing a game with a friend online. A situation came up where he put me in check with his bishop, and I moved my rook to block it. His king was on the g file and my rook was on g2. The website ...
27
votes
1answer
9k views

Why is there a 50-move rule and a 75-move rule?

By number theory, if the 75-move rule has been reached, the 50-move rule will also be reached. This has no meaning. It is like saying "I would buy this book if it cost under $60 and it costs under $40"...
27
votes
12answers
44k views

Most effective way to achieve a 2000+ rating in one year, starting as a 1600?

I currently play at around a 1600 level, and have stagnated in terms of rating improvements for quite some time. I have always played chess recreationally, occasionally doing tactics puzzles here ...
27
votes
5answers
17k views

How do chess engines “think”?

What I want to know is how engines are programmed to find moves. I'm sure they first calculate the most forcing lines such as captures and checks. But what about subtle, deep positional moves? They ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

How do I get a well-rounded understanding of chess openings?

So, it was inevitable. I am making progress in the middle-game. I understand positions better and my tactics continue to improve. My end games are still solid/superior for my skill level so I ...
27
votes
3answers
4k 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"] [...
27
votes
5answers
7k views

When and why was en passant invented?

Other than castling, the only "strange" move that chess pieces can ever make is en passant. It seems a little odd to me that someone thought that such a "different" move was so important to include ...

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