36 votes
Accepted

How is "fianchetto" really pronounced?

While I'm not sure exactly how "fēənˈketō" would be pronounced (I'm not a native English speaker), that's more correct as to the pronunciation of the "ch" (following the Italian pronunciation). The ...
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33 votes
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What does "White is down a rook for a pawn" mean?

It means that white is down a rook, and up a pawn compared to black. So black has one more rook than white, and white has one more pawn than black
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32 votes
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Is there an equivalent to “a knight on the rim is dim” in other languages?

German Ein Springer am Rand bringt Kummer und Schand. = (lit.): A knight on the rim brings sorrow and shame.
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  • 426
31 votes
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What are "full piece" and "half piece" in chess?

blundering a full piece or being a full piece down are typical expressions in English chess literature. With the little word "full", the author wants to make clear that the player has not ...
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  • 5,809
30 votes

Are pawns pieces?

I think a "piece" in the chess context is typically shorthand for the more specific terms of a "minor piece" (Knights and bishops) or a "major piece" (Rooks and Queens). ...
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29 votes

How is "fianchetto" really pronounced?

According to Wikipedia: In chess, the fianchetto (/ˌfiænˈtʃɛtoʊ/; Italian: [fjaŋˈketto] "little flank") is a pattern of development ... Hence English speakers pronounce the "ch" as in "chess" ...
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  • 77.8k
28 votes

How to describe two knights defending each other?

They're connected knights. As the other answers said, this isn't typically that smart a thing for knights. OTOH, rooks are very often made stronger by connecting them (it allows them to thwart any ...
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26 votes

What is the Bongcloud opening?

The Bong-Cloud opening is a joke opening that is meant to give your opponent a chance, and also it is meant to show contempt for your opponent. You play it because you think you are much stronger than ...
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  • 32.1k
25 votes
Accepted

What is an "ugly" move?

An "ugly move" is one which violates positional principles. Here the knight on g3 attacks / defends 6 squares - h5, f5, e4, e2, f1 and h1. On h1 it only attacks/ defends 2 squares - g3 and ...
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  • 77.8k
23 votes
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What does it mean to play "positionally", and how do you train that?

There are three general types of players: Positional, tactical, and universal, which is being adept and comfortable in both positional and tactical games. Tactical means that you love open positions ...
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  • 32.1k
21 votes
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What does it mean to call a line "sharp"?

A sharp position is one where every move is critical and any mistake could be your last; in such positions basic principles take a back seat to calculation. The opposite of a sharp position is a calm ...
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21 votes
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Is a move called a "book move", if it leads to a familar book position but objectively speaking, this move is obviously inferior?

For example, after 1. Nf3 e5?, the move 2. Nxe5 is objectively the best continuation. However, the move 2. e4 leads to a familiar opening position. In this case, do we call 2. e4 a "book move&...
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  • 77.8k
18 votes

Definition of "theoretical" in chess context

What would theoretical mean, in this context? It basically means that in this line you will live or die by the sword. It means that there has been a lot of analysis, mostly done by computer engines. ...
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  • 77.8k
17 votes
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What is the meaning of "dead draw"?

A dead draw is a position in which no player has any chance of winning. Sometimes erroneously used in a position where theoretically someone could win but both players believe it is so basic and ...
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  • 2,139
17 votes

Does "juicer" mean bishop?

Does “juicer” mean bishop? This YouTube video of Hikaru playing the Beth Harmon bot gives some clues. First, at 3:06 he says "I think I can just throw in a juicer check" and indicates a ...
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  • 77.8k
17 votes
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What is a pawn hook?

Here's a position from one of my games. I'm playing White versus a master: [FEN "r2qk1nr/pp2bp2/2p1p2p/3pPnp1/1P6/P1N2N2/2P2PPP/R1BQR1K1 b kq - 0 11"] [White "D M"] 1... g4 This ...
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  • 15.6k
17 votes
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Definition of "theoretical" in chess context

In the Najdorf, there are some lines that need absolute precision. If one side does not know the "theoretical" move and plays something else, then they will most likely end up losing. ...
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  • 1,573
17 votes

Is there an equivalent to “a knight on the rim is dim” in other languages?

Russian Конь на краю — позор на голову твою. Literally, "a knight on the rim is a shame onto your head". Transliterated: "kon' na krayu — pozor na golovu tvoyu". The Russian ...
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  • 271
17 votes
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Why are capturing key moves "frowned upon"?

I think that the feeling with regard to starting with a capture could expressed by saying that such a move is vulgar, This may or may not worry you ADDED IN RESPONSE TO OP Well, it depends on what you ...
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  • 7,518
16 votes
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What is a fortress in chess?

A fortress in chess is a position in where the weaker side defends by making waiting moves, and where the stronger side cannot make any progress as long as the defender does not make a crazy move. A ...
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  • 7,547
16 votes

What does it mean to play "positionally", and how do you train that?

I think of game time decisions as yin-yang of tactics vs strategy (or positional play). In that order, tactics are the move-by-move calculations with the aim of achieving material gains (or preventing ...
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16 votes
Accepted

Is there a word to count one moving by one player?

There is indeed such a word for so called "half-moves." The terminology used is the word ply. To speak of multiple ply, plies is used. One would refer to the move "e4" as the first ...
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16 votes

What is meant by openings with lot of theory versus those with little or none?

In chess, "opening theory" or just "theory" means "established opening lines": usually lines that have been studied and judged to lead to more or less equal positions, ...
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  • 376
16 votes

Is there an equivalent to “a knight on the rim is dim” in other languages?

In French, I have heard "Cavalier au bord, cavalier mort" ("a knight on the rim is a dead knight").
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15 votes

How to describe two knights defending each other?

I've seen the term "redundant knights". In general, redundant pieces are pieces can get in each other's way. Here's a quote I could find about the general principle, but not specifically ...
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  • 10.3k
15 votes
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How did the Fried Liver Attack get its name?

From the Wikipedia article on the Fried Liver, Italian way of cooking liver ("Fegatello" means to put the liver in a net and cook it over a fire, or, in modern times, in a pan. Here we can see ...
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  • 3,923
15 votes

What do DTM, DTZ, DTC, DTR, DTZ50, and DTZR mean?

In various endgame tablebases, the terms mean as follows: Depth to Mate. For each position that is represented, 'DTM' indicates the theoretical value, and the number of winner's moves to 'Mate' if ...
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15 votes

Is there a word to count one moving by one player?

The word for one move by one player is "move". This is the term used in FIDE's laws of chess. The exception is when referring to the move counts in chess notation, where "move" ...
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15 votes
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What defines the name of a gambit?

There is no general rule in naming openings or opening lines in general or gambits. Sometimes it’s the inventor, sometimes the place they lived, they were born, they played the line the first time, ...
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15 votes

Difference between chess puzzle and chess problem in this episode of The Queen's Gambit?

As a chess composer, seeing most problems being called puzzles is rather frustrating. A while ago, I personally revamped the problem and puzzles tags. The problem tag says: Chess problems consist of ...
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