51 votes
Accepted

Chess PhD topic in machine learning?

You have little chance in your dissertation of surpassing state of the art chess engines. Perhaps you could find a hook which hasn't been explored so much. One idea is to train your program to play ...
John Coleman's user avatar
  • 2,491
46 votes

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

There are many people who want to play chess with you. You can play chess online! Online sites such as chess.com and lichess.org will match you with opponents of similar rating so you should win about ...
CognisMantis's user avatar
  • 5,021
40 votes
Accepted

Why does the engine tell me to sacrifice a queen for bishop after a failed Scholar's mate?

It's basically a trade. After you take the bishop, if the opponent takes your queen with the knight, then your bishop is no longer blocked by the knight and you can take their queen too. The advantage ...
Ibrahim's user avatar
  • 524
39 votes

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

Very simple. Join a chess club and play people face-to-face. You'll improve rapidly after that.
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 96.6k
39 votes

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

There are lots of ways to play with a handicap in chess. One way is to give one player a starting material advantage, where the weaker player starts with an extra queen, or the stronger player ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
39 votes
Accepted

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

This is very hard to answer since the question is very broad, but in the opening, always ask yourself "what piece haven't I moved out yet?" If you move pieces twice or three times in the opening, and ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.5k
38 votes
Accepted

"Chess is 90% tactics" - should a player focus more on tactics in order to improve?

Although I agree that chess is 90% tactics when actually playing at the board, it really depends on where you are strenght-wise as to how much time you spend on tactics. By the way, when they use the ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.5k
36 votes
Accepted

Advice for breaking Lichess's 2000 rating mark

"PhishMaster's Complete Guide To Improvement": What to study, and how. Every player has times where they "plateau", and have trouble moving on, but they usually get past it eventually if they are ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.5k
36 votes

Why does the engine tell me to sacrifice a queen for bishop after a failed Scholar's mate?

As @Ibrahim explains, you'll win the queen back, but after that White can even take the pawn on f7: [FEN ""] [StartPly "10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Qf3 c6 3. Bxc4 Nf6 4. d3 d6 5. Bg5 Bg4 6. ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.8k
34 votes

How to improve from ~1200?

@Arka Mukherjee, I find most players under 2100 weak tactically, so at 1200, you are certainly weaker than you understand you are. I do not say that to be mean, but just as a very logical person, who ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.5k
31 votes
Accepted

Is there a trick to help kids know which direction pawns are going?

At 5 years old a child's brain is still very immature. The good news is that it is also developing very fast. The easiest and most effective solution is just to wait. Within a year or two the problem ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 96.6k
31 votes
Accepted

Why do points matter in trading pieces?

The point system in chess gives a rough indication of how strong each piece is. So the short answer to your question is, yes, a rook is more valuable than a knight, and so in the vast majority of ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 408
30 votes

Making my own chess engine for a college project

The number 1 goal is to make an engine that makes a legal move. The immediate next goal is to make an engine that calculates all legal moves - you can choose one at random. Next up is an evaluator - ...
MSalters's user avatar
  • 461
26 votes

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

The first thing to learn once you know how the pieces move is basic tactics and general strategy. Tactics: In certain positions it is possible to gain an advantage doing a certain move or sequence of ...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 20.8k
26 votes

Basic "mate in one move" puzzle - what am I missing?

You are absolutely right! The black king can move to d8 and e7 and then there's no follow up mate. Most probably there's a white queen/bishop on h4 to prevent the black king from escaping (which is ...
Abhyuday Vaish's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Should I learn openings as a beginner?

My suggestion for new or lower rated players follows from advice from GM Benjamin Finegold: "Stop giving away your pieces." Learning openings is fine, but at lower levels games are usually ...
SecretAgentMan's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

Would studying the games of old players hurt my progress?

The answer from SmallChess is good. There's also an illustrative tweet from Garry Kasparov on the subject: For beginning chess players, studying a Carlsen game is like wanting to be an electrical ...
Cleveland's user avatar
  • 7,574
22 votes
Accepted

What does it mean to ''analyze grandmaster games''?

I agree with you, more than your coach. Just analyzing a GM game, even with a computer, is not helpful just by itself if you have no idea what is going on. For example, just earlier today, I answered ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.5k
21 votes
Accepted

Improving the observation skill & making less blunders

I will go back to what Artur Yusupov, three-time World Championship Candidate, former top-10 player, and one of the greatest living trainers recommends in the first book of his 10-volume series. In ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.5k
21 votes
Accepted

Do grandmasters think on every move?

I will try to answer this in a different manner, the way I understand this topic. Do we think on every signal, turn, fork when we drive? Do we think every time we eat food or walk on the street? The ...
Vikrant's user avatar
  • 620
20 votes

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

If you can change your attitude from this being a competition that you are "losing" to this being a tutorial, that should help a lot. Every time you play a game, you get more famailiar with lines and ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
20 votes

Where can one find a complete chess curriculum?

The closest thing to this is a series of books by Russian-born German GM Artur Yusupov. This is what Yusupov wrote in the introduction: In 2004 I began a 3 year training programme in my chess academy....
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 96.6k
20 votes

Where can one find a complete chess curriculum?

In addition to the Yusupov series, another complete curriculum is the Chess Steps series. It is the official method of the Royal Dutch Chess Federation (source) and comes recommended by The Perpetual ...
SecretAgentMan's user avatar
19 votes

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

I recognize that attitude. Remember, first, that chess is HARD. That's why it took so long to get computers to be able to play it well. The rules are simple enough but understanding how those rules ...
CR Drost's user avatar
  • 291
18 votes
Accepted

How are the scores decided in Chess?

Those aren't scores; there are just three possible scores in chess: White wins, Black wins, and draw. Those are evaluations of the chess engine; a score of +0.62 means the engine thinks White's ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.8k
18 votes
Accepted

En passant for beginners

How can we teach this rule to a Beginner? (in a plain language or simplified way or associating any story to it) The history gives the story. At one time pawns could only move one square at a time ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 96.6k
18 votes

"Chess is 90% tactics" - should a player focus more on tactics in order to improve?

There's another famous quote you need to pair with "Chess is 90% tactics." Spielmann was reported to remark, after hearing one too many people exclaiming about an Alekhine combination, "I could find ...
Arlen's user avatar
  • 5,234
18 votes

What is right way to set up King & Queen In the beginning of game?

It starts with the board being setup correctly, and that means a light square in the right-hand corner. Then, the queens each go on their own color. [FEN ""]
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.5k
18 votes

How to pass 1000 elo

Probably the number one thing that can improve your chess at that level is better tactical awareness, both offensively and defensively. Here are some positions from just one of your games: [FEN "...
D M's user avatar
  • 19k
18 votes

As an amateur, how to learn WHY this or that next move would be good?

I'd like to add an important point: "Move", singular. Obviously, chess truth rarely is inside of single moves. I'm quite a strong player and frequently exclaim "What?" if the ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible