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51 votes
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Where can I find this game with a sacrifice followed by a long series of checks leading to a discovered mate?

I believe that the game you speak of is the extremely famous Lasker-Thomas match in which Lasker forces Black to accept his queen "sacrifice" on move 11. It is followed by a king hunt in ...
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46 votes
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Are resignations by expert players naive?

By the time an expert resigns the decision tree may still be large but its evaluation has become simple. Players usually resign because continuing would be miserable to them and boring to their ...
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  • 7,468
37 votes
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"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 ...
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  • 31.9k
34 votes

{Landa vs Zhu Chen, Bad Wiessee, 2006} Lichess giving a +4.7 to white. Why?

The material balance is only temporary. After White goes c4, Black will lose a piece. If Qf5, White has f3 trapping the bishop. All alternatives to Qf5 leave a piece unprotected (for instance c4 Nxc4 ...
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  • 13.1k
32 votes

Examples of forced stalemate

Oh sure, here are two examples (annotated): This is a neat puzzle from the chess.com tactics, with white to play! [title "White to play!"] [fen "1q6/2b2ppb/4p1k1/7p/2Np1p1P/3P1Q2/6PK/8 w - - 0 1"] ...
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  • 11.8k
27 votes

Why is Carlsen being praised for his tie-break play, when Caruana made several game-losing moves?

Carlsen crushed it, made almost no mistakes whatsoever in rapid. It is as if he was playing at classical time controls. Chess is about not making mistakes. If your opponent doesn't make mistakes then ...
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  • 1,067
27 votes
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Why does Stockfish suggest h4 here?

The main idea is to try to trap the c2-bishop. After h4 White is threatening to play Rc1 and black can't save the bishop. That's why black should play ...h5 giving their bishop a retreat square. Note ...
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  • 948
26 votes

How do GMs “play the man, not the board”?

As you mentioned, playing the man can mean several different things, but before I answer I want to say that no one can become a better player by only playing the man - objectivity is the number 1 ...
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  • 2,118
22 votes
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Is three knights versus knight really winning?

It is winning for white. You can enter all positions of six pieces into a tablebase, like this online one. It's mate in at most 39 moves, for example: [FEN "4N1K1/5P2/6k1/8/6n1/8/N7/8 w - - 0 1&...
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22 votes
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What is this tactic called?

It's a discovered attack with check (the rook attacking the queen is the discovered attack, the check is the discovering move). As the discovering move is also an attack, this gives rise to a double ...
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21 votes

How do GMs “play the man, not the board”?

It's all Sun Tzu; If the player is a tactician, play positional. If the player is positional, play tactical. If the guy is booked up in a line -- don't play into it unless you have a surprise... ...
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  • 6,081
20 votes

Losing the queen and then winning the game

Losing a queen early on without any compensation or counterplay means almost certain defeat against anybody except for absolute beginners. There is a certain "point system" which can be used to ...
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  • 20.4k
20 votes

Are tactics or endgames more important?

Look at your own games, check what caused you to get in bad positions or maybe even to lose, and work on that. It's not rocket science. If you never get close to endgames, improving them is going to ...
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19 votes

Chess.com's daily problem-Why doesn't 1...Nf8 win the Nh7?

Frankly, you overlooked a major detail...Nf6+ in reply is mate. It is important to notice your "opponent's" moves too. [FEN "r2qk2r/pp1nnp1N/4p1pQ/3pP3/4b1PP/P1B5/1PP1B3/R3KR2 b Qq - 0 1"] 1... ...
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  • 31.9k
18 votes
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Who has the advantage at this point in the game?

In this position, the material imbalance pretty much tells the whole story, as a queen and two pawns against two knights is, barring significant positional compensation, an overwhelming material ...
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  • 23.1k
18 votes

What to do when your opponent doesn't play along in the opening?

It sounds like you're a beginner. As such, you should be focusing more on tactics than openings. First, just because they play a move that's not in your book, doesn't mean it's "wrong". It may be an ...
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  • 3,924
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 ...
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  • 5,164
17 votes
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Proven ways to improve calculation speed

You say: "Do the same puzzles over and over? I'm worried that once I've memorised a puzzle, then I'm not doing so much calculation as memory retrieval." Memory retrieval is exactly what you should be ...
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17 votes

Can it be useful for a player block with a hanging piece in a back rank mate situation?

[FEN "R5k1/5ppp/8/2r5/1b6/8/5PPP/6K1 b - - 0 1"] 1... Rc8 2. Rxc8+ Bf8 This is an example of what Tim Krabbé calls an 'unguarded guard' - a linepiece checks, and a piece interposes on an unguarded ...
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  • 23.9k
17 votes
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Is it good to have a tendency to exchange pieces?

Now is this really the way to play chess? Well, it is certainly a way to play chess. It's the way Aryan Tari chose to play Magnus Carlsen in the Altibox Norway tournament a couple of days ago. Swap ...
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  • 75.7k
16 votes

Why is Carlsen being praised for his tie-break play, when Caruana made several game-losing moves?

my feeling is that Caruana lost the game, more than Carlsen won it. Whenever two players play a game without making any errors the result is a draw. Most games have lots of errors and it is usually ...
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  • 75.7k
16 votes
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Beginner Tactics - Why Isn't This Mate?

1...Qb2 is not a legal move because black is in check; 1...Rc6 blocks the check. Another alternative to block the check is 1...Qc6, but that would drop the knight on d3. [FEN "k1r4r/p6p/5p2/3Q4/1R5P/...
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  • 6,478
15 votes
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As a Beginner, is playing a lot of tactics chess (puzzles) a good way to improve?

Solving alot of tactic puzzles is a fantastic way to improve for a beginner. One of the reasons for my improvement was the constant solving of tactics on chess.com's tactics trainer feature, which ...
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  • 2,247
15 votes
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Chesscademy Tactic: Is my alternative as good as the right answer?

The problem is that 5. Qxh5 isn't check, so Black has time for some back rank tricks (instead of capturing the rook on f6): [FEN "r1r4k/1p5R/3b4/4q3/B3P1Q1/1n1P3P/6P1/5R1K b - - 0 1"] 1... Kxh7 2. ...
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  • 23.9k
15 votes

Why is exposing my queen for capture better in this position (According to computer analysis)?

Your description of the computer's suggestions doesn't quite match the position, but if you mean the computer suggests Nxe5, that is correct, as Bxd1 leads to a variation of Legal's Mate. Nxe5 Bxd1 ...
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  • 3,924
15 votes
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Lichess puzzle 87510: How much calculation would a strong player do before playing Bg4+ when white has a range of (all losing) responses?

I'm an FM, and my calculation process would be as follows: See that after 2.Rxg4 Qxh6 2.Rg8 Bf8, I'm clearly winning and White has no follow up. Look at White's king moves to get out of check. ...
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15 votes
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How are online tactic exercises ratings calculated?

A typical way to do it is to treat puzzles the same as players and rate them based on whether they "win/lose" and the rating of the "opponent" ChessTempo has a nice explanation here copied below: ...
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  • 3,868
15 votes

What is this tactic called?

It's not uncommon that a tactical sequence makes use of more than one general pattern. Here, we have a double attack where one of these attacks is a discovered one (the rook on the queen) and the ...
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  • 5,774
14 votes
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The difference between Rad1 and Rfd1

When you move one rook to the center, the other rook, obviously, cannot cross it. If you play Rfd1, you cannot then play Rae1. And if you play Rad1, you cannot then play Rfc1. So, part of this ...
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  • 15.2k
14 votes

Is it good to have a tendency to exchange pieces?

Is there something wrong with my approach? Yes. This is how I am playing nowadays and can beat ~1500 player 50% of time( rest is due to tactical errors) I mean i do wanna improve my tactical skill ...
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  • 15.2k

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