57 votes

Why wasn’t Rashid Nezhmetdinov a grandmaster?

Rashid Nezhmetdinov, aka “Super Nezh”, was clearly GM strength, having a plus score in the 20 games he played against World Champions, including a plus score against his friend, Tal. He was also a ...
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  • 32.1k
41 votes
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Shortest stalemate in serious tournament game

Yes, there has been a stalemate in a serious game that is under 30 moves long. According to Tim Krabbe's "Chess Records," the fastest such game happened in 27 moves. [Title "Sibilio-...
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25 votes
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How is Kasparov vs Shirov 1992 a victory?

Shirov resigned: the thinking was that despite both sides left with pawns and a knight, the advantage went to Black. Black has an extra pawn and Black's pawn chain is mutually supporting. White is ...
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  • 1,225
23 votes
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Does the new Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit" resemble any real life chess master?

The character Beth Harmon is purely fictional. The series is based off a book by the same title by Walter Tevis. The author had a tendencie to base books drawing from personal experiences but he wasn'...
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  • 2,115
18 votes
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Did Fischer really have a 180 IQ?

From Quora: What was Bobby Fischer's IQ? (2018): Short answer: In 1958, when Fischer sat a Stanford-Binet test at the age of 15, his score was 180-187. But in today’s terms, Bobby Fischer’s IQ ...
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17 votes
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The Game of the Century - why didn't Byrne take the rook after he forked Fischer?

Short answer: Since after the bishop recapture on f8 (and not the rook recapture!) white is tactically and positionally completely busted, with 5 active black pieces against a completely exposed king ...
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  • 11.8k
16 votes
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Who were the first GMs, and how did they become GMs?

In order to qualify for the title of Grandmaster, a player must achieve three Grandmaster norms. That is not accurate. The regulations for the award of FIDE titles are given here. There are two ...
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  • 77.7k
14 votes
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Who are the seconds of famous players?

Just to get started, of the top of my head: Magnus Calsen worked with Jon Ludvig Hammer, Laurent Fressinet, Ian Nepomniachi, Peter Heine Nielsen, Michael Adams, Simen Agdestein, Garri Kasparov. He ...
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13 votes
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Top player with the lowest drawing rate

Looks like I am late to the party. Anyway: Free PGNs of many top players are available here. Almost all 2700+ players are there. As for women, only a few from very top are there. These PGN files have ...
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  • 3,642
12 votes

How is Kasparov vs Shirov 1992 a victory?

Black has (almost) three connected passed pawns which will be unstoppable. White is not going to promote his pawn without the king, which is far away and likewise is not going to get a passer on the ...
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  • 20.4k
11 votes
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Are there any chances that the Fischer who reappeared in 1992 was not the real one?

At the very least we know that in 1992 a man that looked and sounded like an aged version of Bobby Fischer played Boris Spassky in a match, and won it. Assuming that this old man was actually not ...
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  • 7,547
10 votes
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Who was the last Indian player to beat Vishy, and when?

The answer is: Yes Krishnan Sasikiran vs Viswanathan Anand FIDE World Cup-C (2002), Hyderabad, rd 2, Oct-05 King's Indian Attack: Yugoslav Variation (A07) 1-0 http://www.chessgames.com/perl/...
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10 votes
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Which classical players' games should I check if I want to analyze positional players?

Smyslov Fischer Karpov Keres Anand Kramnik
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  • 1,969
10 votes
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Does anybody knows about how the Polgar sisters were trained?

The Polgar sisters: Training or Genius? by Cathy Forbes states that the main studying was the flash card method. (Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games by (the father)Laszlo Polgar [https://b-...
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  • 5,131
10 votes

Have there been any titled North Korean players?

I tried searching for players by countries in ratings.fide.com's advanced search feature but i couldn't seem to find the north korea country there After some research, I found this player: Roza ...
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9 votes

Does the new Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit" resemble any real life chess master?

I take it you're referring to Beth Harmon, the protagonist of the series. There's no single chess master that resembles her, but various masters resemble her partially: In the fact that she's female: ...
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  • 22k
9 votes
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What is the legend of Ossip Bernstein, who supposedly played chess to save his life?

The written sources appear to be: An obituary on Bernstein by Edward Lasker (a friend of Bernstein) in the April 1963 issue of Chess Review, which is described in the link below, including a scan of ...
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  • 845
9 votes

What is the Botez gambit?

Botez Gambit: A joke term for when you give away your Queen, intentionally or unintentionally, without adequate compensation (also known as blundering your Queen). According to Brian Towers♦, GM Ben ...
8 votes

Who are the seconds of famous players?

Surprised this doesn't exist somewhere. A few: '51 WC: Ragozin and Flohr for Botvinnik, and Alexander Konstantinopolsky for Bronstein. '72 WC: Lombardy for Fischer, Geller, Krogius and Nei for ...
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8 votes
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Chess players who committed murder

Claude Bloodgood, the popularizer of the Grob (1. g4), must be far and away the most famous. At one stage his USCF rating was second only to Gata Kamsky! It doesn't get much worse than murdering your ...
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  • 77.7k
8 votes

What is meant by "nerves" in chess?

Yes to both questions. At the highest level of any sport/game/activity, there is an extreme amount of pressure. Being in a foreign city, the quest to find the best move, the knowledge that most ...
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  • 5,131
8 votes
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On what basis were players chosen to compete in the Magnus Carlsen Invitational 2020?

Magnus Carlsen had the major saying in the selection. There was no "objective" qualification of any kind, besides the hope to create an interesting line-up. Firouzja was included because he beat ...
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  • 1,290
7 votes

Has a highly-rated GM ever lost to a low-rated opponent who didn't go on to become a GM?

There is a book called "Great Chess Upsets" by Reshevsky, but unfortunately most of the games are not upsets at all, but one famous player against another. Reshevsky himself, in his first major ...
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7 votes
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Youngest and oldest active player

The answer to your question Korchnoi is alive. And playing! He played a match against Wolfgang Ulhmann last week (15-16 February 2015) in the Veterans section of the Zürich Chess Challenge. He won ...
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  • 3,223
7 votes

Complete game Troitzky-Vogt?

Not to rain on your hopes - but the problem you're looking for at first appeared in: Troitzky, A. (1924), 500 Endspielstudien, Verlag Kagan, Berlin Troitzky was an impeccable note-taker when ...
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  • 1,225
7 votes

Nationality of the Azerbaijan Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov

I have read a lot about them over the years, and I have never heard anything that would lead me to believe that they are anything but true Azerbaijanis, and have both played under that flag forever. ...
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  • 32.1k
7 votes
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Contemporary Alekhine Defence Players

Ivanchuk has played several games in the Scandinavian variation of the Alekhine. You can find the games for example here, if you sort by black Elo.
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7 votes
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How old was Judit Polgár when she learned to play chess?

In her TED talk Giving checkmate is always fun, Judit Polgar says (t=0:59): My mother taught me the first moves when I was about five years old...
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  • 3,223
7 votes

Which classical players' games should I check if I want to analyze positional players?

Alexander Alekhine Aron Nimzowitsch Emanuel Lasker Akiba Rubenstein Siegbert Tarrasch And many, many more! You can analyze some of their games here!
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