25 votes

Bad Stockfish evaluation

Stockfish isn't a perfect chess-playing entity, and you've found a position where it's unable to tell is a draw (at least until the 50 move rule kicks in and helps it prune). These positions are ...
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  • 21.1k
17 votes
Accepted

Assessing an early c4 against white's Stonewall structure

Good question! The positional priorities in this position do not really lie in whose bishop has more prospects, but rather in the emerging pawn structure, potential pawn breaks, and either side's ...
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  • 11.8k
11 votes

Bad Stockfish evaluation

It helps to understand that engines don't really go off of "strategy", so much as they look several moves into the future, evaluate the score of the position, and find the optimal move set. The great ...
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  • 396
10 votes

Assessing an early c4 against white's Stonewall structure

First of all, your plan of keeping White's queenside blocked doesn't quite work out in any case: After e.g. 1...c4 2. Qe2 Qc7 3. b3 b5 White can simply continue attacking your pawn chain by 4. a4 and ...
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  • 5,774
8 votes

Assessing an early c4 against white's Stonewall structure

Some points: White's "bad" bishop is already locked behind their pawns, your move doesn't change that, it's a feature of the opening white is playing. Long term white could go for Bc1-d2-e1-h4, or ...
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  • 25.8k
8 votes
Accepted

Why is the f6 pawn break in Advanced French so important for black?

I am new to french (so forgive me if the question seems elementary) I've just came across the pawn break f6 for black in the french advance variation, and I find the pawn break quite dubious for me ...
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8 votes
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Short and long term plans in a closed game in the Sicilian Defense

Before we talk planning, you can see from the diagram arrows that the tactical line 12.Nxd3 followed by c4 is available. A trade of c&b pawns for Whites e&d pawns = the center is Blacks; not ...
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  • 6,073
7 votes

Assessing an early c4 against white's Stonewall structure

The other answers were great, but I think you could sum it up like this : the player who has built the stonewall is looking for a locked center so that he can benefit from the time to build up an ...
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6 votes
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How to play in a Closed Position?

It would help to see a specific example of your games. Normally closed positions refers to positions with a closed center where the central (e and d pawns, sometimes also c and f pawns) pawns are ...
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  • 20.3k
5 votes

How to play in a Closed Position?

Closed positions are a very different type of game, but if you understand them then there is no reason to avoid entering them. Generally, the best idea in closed positions is the play on the sides of ...
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5 votes

How to determine if a position is open or closed in a "rigorous" fashion?

As a chess player who currently studies computer science, I found this question very interesting so here's my thoughts on the topic. You already know how chess books categorize open and closed ...
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  • 181
5 votes

Why is the f6 pawn break in Advanced French so important for black?

Playing ...f6 is less common in the Advance than certain other French lines (such as the 3... Nf6 Tarrasch). As with most thematic moves to open the position, the f6 break has to be timed correctly or ...
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  • 7,378
5 votes

Why is closing the center by White generally considered a concession?

The pawn advance reduces the potential, what is done cannot be undone and Black uses the information to set up accordingly. This is probably the broadest and most general explanation. In the end, ...
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5 votes

Assessing an early c4 against white's Stonewall structure

...c4 is generally bad because it releases the tension on White's d4-pawn. This makes it much easier for White to get away with pushing e4, since the e3-pawn doesn't need to support the d4-pawn ...
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5 votes

To what extent is the openness/closedness of positions determined by white? By black?

In general White has more freedom of choice due to going first. He can play a move that is slightly suboptimal and still be around equal. But if Black does the same thing, he could quickly find ...
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5 votes

To what extent is the openness/closedness of positions determined by white? By black?

This is a very complex question. First, by nature of moving first, white can clearly control whether the game is open, or not, more than black can, but black does have a say next. If white plays, 1. ...
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  • 31.9k
5 votes

What are the benefits of having a space advantage in a closed position?

Michael Stean, in his "Simple chess" introduced the idea of the "capacity" of a given Pawn structure. How many pieces can live inside it without getting in each others way. If your ...
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  • 7,412
4 votes
Accepted

Pros and Cons for black in Queen's Gambit Accepted

A super-abridged guide to the QGA (Queen's Gambit Accepted) is that Black temporarily cedes the center with dxc4, and hopes to develop rapidly while White recovers the pawn (you'll want to look up ...
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  • 525
4 votes

To what extent is the openness/closedness of positions determined by white? By black?

Both players have some control. Neither one alone can dictate it. If they try they risk getting an inferior position albeit of the type they want. One example is the hedgehog type openings. They ...
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  • 2,131
4 votes
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How to play around outposts?

I think the main idea od .. d5 here is to undermine the outpost. Hence the followup should not be a quick .. d4, but rather trying to keep pressure on e4. I don't like .. d4 for more than one reason:...
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3 votes

How to determine if a position is open or closed in a "rigorous" fashion?

In the end the distinction between open/closed position is subjective and as you noticed there will always be some overlap or positions that don't fit perfectly into either category. What exactly do ...
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  • 20.3k
3 votes

Reversed Sicilian - What's wrong with my plan?

8. ... h6 was unprovoked. Until White threatens to double Q+B on a c1-h6 diagonal, or places the piece ag g5, there is no reason to weaken the Kingside. The plan calls for immediate 8. ... f5, e.g. 8.....
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  • 1,547
3 votes

The London System: Can it be broken?

"Main lines" of the London System (with ...d5) start off with 1. d4 d5; 2. Bf4. There is an important line to learn when faced with 1. d4 d5; 2. Nf3 Nf6; 3.Bf4 (which of course can arise via ...
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  • 739
3 votes

The London System: Can it be broken?

I would recommend looking at games of Eric Prie as white. He plays the London a lot. http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1122821205 is a long thread and agood introduction to its ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Why is b3 a blunder?

I wouldn't call it a blunder, as White still has a large advantage after 1.b3. But more efficient is 1.dxc5 Bxc5 2.Bd2. Here White's attacking the knight, but has only spent one tempo developing his ...
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2 votes

The London System: Can it be broken?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wh5MspHH8A I play this against the London and have had much success with it. In fact, one of my opponents simply stopped playing the London against me because he ...
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  • 21
2 votes

The London System: Can it be broken?

You should counter the London System with 1.d4 g6 2. Nf3 Bg7 3. Bf4 c5 4. dxc5 Bxb2. Or 1. d4 g6 2. Nf3 Bh6 (Reverse Guatemala Defense). Since white usually loses without his dark squared bishop, you ...
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2 votes
Accepted

Is there any transposition available in between QGA and other openings?

One transposition white can try is from the French Exchange variation (if you know your opponent plays the French). [FEN ""] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 dxc4 (4... Nf6) 5. Bxc4 It ...
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2 votes

Closed Sicilian Problem if Black Fianchettoes His Light-Squared Bishop

I think one of the biggest issues with the Closed Sicilian is that many players of the white pieces often feel that they should somehow be able to roll Black off of the board. However, if Black seeks ...
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