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51

While it's not generally given as part of the explicit definition, the term "gambit" usually refers to an offer of material that can be accepted. If it can't be accepted, then it's a trap. You can look through chess traps and see that many of them involve apparently giving up material.


27

Stockfish evaluation is not the only criterion to determine whether a move is sound or not. The main issue with committing so early to 3.b3 (against this particular Black setup) is that there are no downsides to delaying that move. In other words, even if you want to play some setup with b3, there's no reason do it right now. Instead, other moves that ...


22

Against 1.c4. This will allow white to exchange their c-pawn for black d-pawn and later gain a tempo. 2. cxd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3, or 2...Nf6 at some point will be followed with e4 with tempo. All in all, white can take control of the center. According to lichess' database 1.c4 d5 is very rarely played. However, the move is probably not losing; stockfish gives it: 0....


19

Probably, as you pointed out, Bb5 instead of Bc4. The Ruy Lopez is considered very very marginally better/more critical than the Italian by humans, so it'd make sense that the engine used here'd agree. Certainly, however, the Italian is fine, and the difference is very marginal.


19

Your incomprehension is very understandable. Black opens with d5 and e6 entombing the light squared bishop only for white to play cd allowing the reply ed from black and, hey presto! the bishop is free! Is white really so stupid? What's the trick? Well, some white players want the structure that arises, the so called "Carlsbad structure" and they ...


18

The opening in those games depends on your opponent just as much as you, so with the sample size being so small, don't take the statistic too much into account. The analogy with poker doesn't really work out too well. You definitely want to play "optimally" in chess against beginners! While in poker you can choose between different strategies that ...


18

The definition is still a bit ambiguous, but here's what I found. The absolute soonest to move the queen is probably the French Defense: Chigorin Variation which begins with 1.e4 e6 2.Qe2. The Scandinavian with 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 looks like the most common way to move the queen on move 2. I found a game by GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov in 2019 at standard time ...


18

There are 3 main reasons for this move to be inaccurate. It doesn't place any pressure on black's position. It weakens c3, allowing black to "force" your knight to the more passive square d2. It removes the Qb3 move, which punishes the early development of black's LSB. All of these allows black to develop more easily and equalize.


16

Is there any value to learning openings as a new player? Yes. The main reason is to get a feel for the kind of patterns of the way the pieces develop in different situations. There are also good reasons to start with highly tactical openings since most of your improvement will come from improving your tactics, most of your wins will come from your tactics (...


16

Wikipedia says the following: Exclamation points ("!") indicate good moves—especially ones which are surprising or involve particular skill. Hence annotators are usually somewhat conservative with the use of this symbol. (emphasis mine). 2. c4 is the most played move after 1. d4 d5, therefore it doesn't receive an exclamation mark.


16

Generally speaking, violating positional elements, at any time, is bad for positional understanding. When you win a lot of games with bad positional play, this provides positive reinforcement for playing badly. This opening, often called the Black Bear of the Philidor, isn't really breaking the opening principles. Black has gained space on the kingside, ...


13

One of Black's development plans will include moves like Nd7 intending Ne5 hitting the Q and Bishop if the Q is on d3. This will cost White an important tempo in this dynamic opening. Black's plans revolve around control of the c4 square hoping to place a piece on this square. Depending on White's particular move order Black may play b5, Bb7, Nd7, Nb6, Nc4, ...


13

I'd say the opposite is true. "Principles" are great as general rules, but if chess were about following a set of fixed rules, you could simply buy a book that contains those rules and become a Grandmaster after you've finished it. But that's definitely not the case. Chess is a game of exceptions. Learning about this opening will help you find ...


13

It appears to be 4...Bb4+ that's the unusual move here. The chess.com database only shows one game with it, and that's the game that continued with 5.c3. When you have the position after Bb4+ on the board and it shows 5.Nc3 with a bunch of games, it's actually showing games that transposed into that position - the Nc3 was played earlier in the game. Given ...


13

This is an opinion based question as there is no way to know. For Bobby Fischer it might have been, but I met Bobby and know that he memorized all the openings. Would it work for you? My tournament experience says no. These days there are too many people memorizing everything along with all the better training for tactics than when I learned. Your more ...


12

This is a very difficult question, and there are several sides to it. 1: This is the most important advice you will ever hear: Chess is 99% tactics. It is all about tricks, forking and pinning your opponents. I can not count how many times I have played a wonderful opening, gotten some advantage on the long term to lose on some simple blunder. If Bill ...


12

You're referring to ...Bc8-g4 as a threat. The only threat it makes is ...Bg4xf3, losing time and the bishop pair. While White has d4 under wraps with a pawn at c3, theere's no ...Nc6-d4 coming to pressure the pinned knight. The f6-knight has to move to a lesser square to prepare ...Qd8-f6, which is nothing because Nb1-d2 is right at hand to prevent a ...


12

I wouldn't say it was a "sacrifice", it was more like an exchange of bishops. My lichess engine was actually giving me ...Bd6 as the first move. I don't understand why it wants me to move my bishop to b4 in the first place Me neither. I doubt anyone here will have an idea. Stockfish doesn't tell us why. If I have to make a guess, I would say the ...


12

There is a similar ancient question, but this isn't a duplicate since White may move anywhere. For an upper bound, I can prove a guaranteed win for White in 5 moves. Indeed, it is reminiscent of Scholar's Mate. [FEN ""] 1. e3 null 2. Bc4 null 3. Qf3 null 4. Nh3 null 5. Ng5 With Black to move, as White has now used up their five given moves, ...


12

The c4 square is a natural development square for White's light-squared bishop, which targets the f7-square. Having a pawn on c4 takes away that opportunity. In semi-open defences against 1. e4 the f7-square is shielded by a pawn on e6. But this creates dark-square weaknesses in Black's position when they have a fianchettoed kingside bishop on g7. So Black ...


12

This set up is often called "The Hippo", a possible reason is that bishops look like the eyes of a hippopotamus. For example: Eric Rosen: Don't Mess With The Hippo


12

White is enjoying a space advantage in the center, but not anymore after ...Nxe4. It would be the "equivalent" of playing a ...d5 push, which unfortunately doesn't work in this position. White can reply to 1...Nxe4 with either 2.Nxe4 d5 3.Bd3 dxe4 Bxe4, which would leave Black with an at least equal position, or with 2.Bxf7+ Rxf7 3.Nxe4 which would ...


11

Qd2 is used in these lines to support the Be3, which is typically played to h6 to exchange for the Bg7, followed by a pawn attack on the king-side.


11

A part of it has to be that white doesn't have to keep the pawn. [FEN ""] 1. d4 e5 2. dxe5 Nc6 3. Nf3 Qe7 4. Nc3 Nxe5 4.Nc3 is actually the most popular move in lichess database. Black Queen is placed a bit strangely on e7, it is blocking the development of the dark-squared bishop and not supporting the d-pawn if it wants to move to d5. Black can ...


11

It's probably first worth revisiting why the "standard" moves are normally preferred. A white knight on c3 defends white's central square e4 and attacks black's central square d5. That is that knight attacks/defends/supports 2 out of the 4 central squares. In the opening those 4 squares are the most important squares on the board (unless you fall ...


11

I'm wondering if anyone has any general tips for how to make white feel this "bad knight" The fact that you manage to put "bad" and "bad knight" in scare quotes shows that there is some hope for you. White does not have a bad position. I suspect that this line isn't played much at master level because it isn't the best way to ...


11

Yes. In this line in the Dutch Defence black cannot take the offered bishop [fen ""] 1. d4 f5 2. Bg5 h6 3. Bh4 g5 4. e3 gxh4?? 5. Qh5#


11

This table can be thought of as a tabular representation of an opening tree of in-theory moves where the rows (y-axis) represent the flow of the game and the columns (x-axis) refer to variations/branches in the tree that can occur. The author in your quote indicated that 2...exf4 spans a family 24 variations/sub-variations that are noteworthy (and considered ...


10

Comparing 6.Bb3 and 6.Bc4, the drawbacks of the latter are obvious since the bishop is not protected and can become a target to attacks: either by a black piece: Ne5, Na5, Qc5, Qd4... or, more probably, by the d-pawn: the typical ...d5 will gain a tempo for development On the other hand, I can see no advantage of having the bishop on c4 rather than b3. ...


10

It's completely playable below master level, probably playable to IM level and probably useful occasionally as a surprise weapon at GM level. Combined with the English defense it gives black a very solid opening repertoire with very little theory to learn. The only caveat would be to just be careful castling kingside into a strong attack. 22 ply is 11 moves. ...


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