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150
votes
28answers
170k 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 ...
80
votes
9answers
39k 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?
74
votes
16answers
24k 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 ...
71
votes
7answers
17k 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 ...
63
votes
12answers
17k 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 ...
53
votes
21answers
27k 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 ...
52
votes
15answers
15k 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 ...
52
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
49
votes
10answers
39k 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?
47
votes
14answers
19k 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 ...
46
votes
7answers
19k 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 ...
45
votes
13answers
18k 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 ...
44
votes
6answers
4k 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....
43
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
43
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
43
votes
10answers
16k 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 ...
41
votes
2answers
7k 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/...
40
votes
17answers
9k views

How do you keep chess fun when your opponent constantly beats you?

How do you keep chess fun when the only person that wants to play against you beats you all the time? I am struggling to want to keep playing, because I get smashed all the time, and it is not fun ...
40
votes
8answers
10k views

What are pros and cons around banning castling?

Vladimir Kramnik has proposed on chess.com that castling be banned for the good of the game. What are the kinds of objective points that might be made for & against this idea? Based on these, do ...
40
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
39
votes
6answers
17k 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 ...
39
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
39
votes
11answers
21k 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. ...
39
votes
13answers
36k 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.
38
votes
8answers
4k 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.
37
votes
5answers
14k views

Is it sportsmanlike to waste opponents' time by giving check at the end of the game?

In Blitz games, with very little time left for both players, is it acceptable to keep on checking the opponent and waste their time and win the game on time? Is that true sportsmanship?
37
votes
15answers
176k 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?
35
votes
11answers
8k 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 ...
35
votes
6answers
11k views

Do you say “good game” after a game in which your opponent played poorly?

Suppose you win a game in a noncompetitive way, when you know your opponent cannot feel good about his play. Maybe he dropped his queen early, to a simple tactic that should have been evident for a ...
35
votes
15answers
27k 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 ...
35
votes
14answers
15k 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 ...
35
votes
5answers
45k 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 ...
35
votes
2answers
11k 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"...
35
votes
6answers
18k 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 ...
35
votes
10answers
18k 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, ...
35
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
35
votes
4answers
8k views

Tournaments for adults only?

Are there any over-the-board tournaments open only to persons over 18? Everywhere I go it's like a school field trip, more than half the players are from some elementary or middle school, all parents ...
35
votes
9answers
37k 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 ...
35
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
34
votes
3answers
15k 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 ...
34
votes
2answers
20k 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 they do not make a new move, as a new move would ...
33
votes
17answers
32k 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
13k 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
32
votes
9answers
18k views

Is it rude to ask my opponent to resign an online game when they have a lost endgame?

I really don't know if I am correct when I ask my opponent to resign when I am at a 1800-1900 ELO level. I have an Asperger disorder. To me ,endgames are more clear to play than middlegames, and the ...
32
votes
11answers
8k views

How can we make chess community welcoming to women/girls?

How to make chess community and environments more welcoming to women/girls? Chess is not a sport/game of choice for most women. The following two nice answers discuss why -- one, two. These are ...
32
votes
12answers
10k views

What should I do when I have no ideas and no strategies?

I'm really a beginner in chess, and I just know the rules. So many times in the game I have no idea what should I do. None of my pieces are in danger and I don't have any strategies. What should I do ...
32
votes
2answers
4k views

Demystifying Seirawan-Kasparov 1983 king and pawn endgame

I am currently studying the Tarrasch Defense 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5, and naturally I've stumbled upon many Kasparov games as he frequentloy and quite successfully employed this opening throughout ...
32
votes
5answers
21k 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
13k views

Game ended with a handshake

In a amateur game, black offered a handshake and white shook hands with him and neither spoke any word and the game ended. Later they had a dispute whether the game is a draw or a win for white. Black ...

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