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25

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 called "fortresses". You can tell this is happening because even if you input the solution, Stockfish still evaluates the final position as -10 or more. These ...


19

First, let's make a difference between knowing how to play in the opening and opening theory. You need to know how to play the opening. At first this means you need to know what your goal is in the opening (development, king safety, center control, preventing your opponent from reaching the same) and what that translates to in actual positions. Then you ...


18

Generally speaking, the side with the most pawns will win. The tempo provided by the extra pawn is usually enough to gain opposition and access to the key squares. Doubled pawns don't matter for this, unless they're blocked. The extra pawn can also limit the movement of the opponent's king, resulting in the possibility of a triangulation maneuver. Another ...


15

While there are general rules, these rules have many exceptions and nuances. In the following position with White to move, both sides have a passed pawn, but the fact that Black's passed pawn is so much better means White is dead lost: [FEN "6k1/8/6p1/2p5/1pPpP3/pP6/2P3P1/2K5 w - - 0 1"] But it's precarious. Remove Black's A-pawn from the starting ...


14

In reading your question, I can't help but think you aren't asking your real question, which I read as, "When I'm out of my book I get abused. How do I stop this from happening?" I'm assuming that, like me, you're a USCF player rated under 1800. I offer the following advice: Learn two openings with White and two with Black. Choose white openings begin ...


13

I don't know which person you are referring to, or if the exact word "coach" was used, but GMs like Carlsen don't really have coaches in the sense you are probably thinking of; they have seconds, who have the following functions: Opening research. This might mean performing general research, or looking for particular weapons that are likely to be useful ...


12

Coaches at that level are analysers rather than teachers. They prepare openings for a specific opponent, investigate opponent's weakness, help to analyse games during tournament after each round to find mistakes, perform official things such as registering, following results, mental encouragement ... High chess rating and practical abilities don't mean ...


11

Usually the bishop doesn't end up by chance on this square, so why did you move it there in the first place? I can think of three reasons: pin the knight in order demobilize it (e.g. an indirect attack on a pawn) pin the knight in order to take it (e.g. to give the opponent a doubled pawn) provoke a weakness in the opponent's pawn structure Be clear which ...


11

In my experience it is likely that kids get interested in whatever you are interested in. So, play a couple of chess games with a friend or set up some chess problems and work on them yourself at a time where your kid can see what you are doing. It is quite likely that your kid will start asking questions what you are doing and wants to play as well. ...


11

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 weakness of that approach is that if nothing can happen quickly, the engine's going to have problems. This used to be a huge problem with endgames. If you've ...


11

There are a variety of reasons: Regardless of when they were played, there is always a lot to learn in analyzing better players's games. Players from a century ago often used simpler strategical themes that are easier to understand and apply. Opening theory was not that well developed back then, so the "actual game" starts earlier on. You also wouldn't find ...


10

Write your opening down somewhere . Read it every day. Play it against real opponents / engine. Analyse your opening games, did you move the wrong piece? Try to figure out the plans of the opening. For example in c5 sicilian, one plan might be playing d5 if white played f3, because f3 is really weak after the trade-off on d5. Just play nearly every variation ...


9

As stated in the “how to learn them” question : I don't hold a very high opinion of opening theory, and tend to advise¹ most people to care a lot less about it, and rather improve their actual thinking and play. If you get a decent enough position out of your opening, then the fun begins (and that's where it incredibly helps to understand what theory got ...


8

I'd like to start with this comment of yours: "I fear that without this abusive online playing my abilities OTB will be damaged." I know where you are coming from, because I've been there, too. I used to be ridiculously addicted to chess - and I wasn't even very good lol. Now it's a hobby, which is much more healthy. I also know that fear you speak of - ...


7

The first paragraph of the RESULTS section on p. 155 says We applied log-10 transformations to three variables (cumulative study alone, cumulative tournament play, and chess book library size) prior to correlation and regression analyses. The log-10 (logarithm base 10) of a number is what power you have to raise 10 to in order to produce that number; e.g....


7

There are two paths you can choose and they both depend on the current pawn structure you play. You see, I understand exactly what you face here, as I have the same problem. When you work or have other reasons not to devote yourself to studying chess, you need to learn the least amount of openings possible in order to focus on more important stuff such as ...


7

I would say that typically black WOULD NOT want to further chase the bishop after h6 Bh4, because typically black has castled kingside. I would also say that typically black WOULD want to further chase the bishop after a6 Ba4 (for the same reason). Getting space on the queenside when you have castled kingside is often desirable; "getting space" on the ...


7

How important is knowing opening theory Opening theory is basically the idea that there is a certain way a game should start. This assumption is based upon the crazy idea that you do not want to start the game at a positional disadvantage. In order to accomplish doing that, some players will figure out what move set they struggle against, and then look up ...


7

Indeed such studies do exist, similar to the fortresses you speak of. In my experience timely underpromotions seem to be the Achilles' heel of most current engines, and I remember at least one example that I'll show in the annotated diagram below. It's a beautiful endgame study, with white to win (I strongly recommend trying it on your own before you see ...


6

I think you are already on the right track. Obviously the more you play the more you learn, so even though you may think you are not learning when playing, you are in fact learning something new with every game. Finding the right balance is subjective, but what I would do is I would learn small things and try to apply them in as many games as possible, ...


6

Studying Opening Chess theory is definitively not about memorizing long lines of theory where you'll get lost if you opponent diverges... Also what to do next once you're out of your book? The best way is....to practice! In a nutshell: Study Few GMs or important games for that opening and/or system you would like to play: you'll get a general feeling of ...


6

DISCLAIMER: I'm unrated USCF, but lost most of the games at the last tourney I went to. It depends entirely on the board. 1) If you can make something happen tactically when the knight is swiped, obviously do it. 2) If your opponent has to recapture with the g7 pawn, I'm biased towards doing it. That's a long term weakness, and doubled pawns aren't pretty ...


6

There is no general rule for multi-pawn endgames as they are much too complex. However I believe that most of the pawn only endgames that appear in regular games are readily assessed correctly by grandmasters (or even just masters). Sure there are pawn endgame studies that might be tricky, but on average assessing a pawn endgame is much easier than an ...


6

Here is an outrageous mate in 57 puzzle which none of the top 3 engines are able to solve: [fen "8/6pp/5p2/k7/3p4/1Q2p3/3prpp1/3Kbqrb w - - 0 1"] 1.Qc4 Kb6 2.Qd5 h6 3.Qc4 Ka5 4.Qb3 h5 5.Qc4 Kb6 6.Qd5 h4 7.Qc4 Ka5 8.Qb3 h3 9.Qc4 Kb6 10.Qd5 h2 11.Qc4 Ka5 12.Qb3 g6 13.Qc4 Kb6 14.Qd5 g5 15.Qc4 Ka5 16.Qb3 f5 17.Qc4 Kb6 18.Qb4+ Kc6 19.Qa5 f4 20.Qe5 g4 21.Qf5 Kd6 ...


5

Once you get beyond a certain point, you'll suffer from the time lost considering opening moves that people otherwise at your level have memorized, along with the implications for the future positions. Before you get to that point, it doesn't really matter--practicing tactics is far more important (if you want something to practice). Just my opinion.


5

There is a difference between playing for fun, training and competing. In general, progress is reached by combining training with competitive games. Playing for fun is gradually removed out of the equation. For example, if you use your blitz games to become better at an opening system, then you are already training. Competitive games are tournament games ...


5

It's better to know a few good openings well, rather than a bunch of various ones. You might get thrown by some novel (to you) opening by learning a few basics, but unless you're a master who has time to learn many of them, your best defense against seemingly novel openings is good fundamentals. It will be less often that someone will be able to throw you if ...


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