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43 votes

What projects have been undertaken to solve chess completely?

Endgame tablebases can be seen as such an effort, in that we started at few pieces and have increased the number. In 2012, 7 piece tablebases -from Moscow state university were generated, so chess is ...
RemcoGerlich's user avatar
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40 votes
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Has anyone attempted to characterize chess mathematically?

There are many different aspects of chess which can be formalized mathematically. Since the 19th century at least, chess has been mined as a resource to drive mathematical innovation. So when talking ...
Laska's user avatar
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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
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39 votes
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Is there a mathematical theorem that you can use to win a chess endgame?

Unfortunately the (original) question was a bit ambiguous and arguably still is. I try to sort the different interpretations out: Chess fulfils all requirements of "standard" game theory (...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
34 votes
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Chess Tournaments Without Studying Theory?

There is nothing wrong in entering a tournament if you have the time and if you can afford the entry fee. However, I think you should really consider your first tournament as a discovery experience ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 16.4k
34 votes

Stockfish is considering a move in a book by GM Mihail Marin as a blunder

Mihail Marin simply missed that 1.Ng6 is winning, even faster than 1.Qg6. During opening analysis, and even during a game, sometimes when you find a satisfying continuation you forget to follow Lasker'...
Evargalo's user avatar
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27 votes
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Forced mate from move one - what is this train of thought called?

Before 50-move rule was introduced infinite games were possible. This was proven by mathematician and chess world champion Max Euwe. With 50-move rule infinite games aren't possible, so they must end. ...
Matija Sirk's user avatar
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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
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26 votes
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Why is the Ruy Lopez a sensible opening for white?

Sure black's a6-b5 come with tempo, but let's say at a very basic level, if you just compare pieces, structure and development progress, you can see that white is: Ready to castle whereas black hasn'...
Ellie's user avatar
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26 votes
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When moves are randomized, is there an inherent advantage to the player who goes first, or the player who goes second?

I once wrote a program to make random moves, had it play 1000 games, and these were my results: Outcome Count Avg. #moves ----------------------------- ----- ----------- Draw ...
itub's user avatar
  • 10.6k
26 votes

What do modern chess players understand about the game that previous generations did not?

The knowledge of previous generations was summed up in Aron Nimzowitsch's book, published in 1929, called My System. The advances in chess knowledge up to Kasparov's time are best summed up in John ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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25 votes
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What is the least number of knights needed to cover the entire board?

Depending on whether occupied squares need to be covered as well, the number is: [Title " 12 knights, Without Covering Occupied Squares"] [FEN "8/5N2/1NN1NN2/2N5/5N2/2NN1NN1/2N5/8 w - - 0 1"] [Title ...
user1583209's user avatar
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22 votes
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Is triple check possible?

Triple check is impossible, unless you want to count an x-ray attack as the third check. A queen and rook attacking on the same file is normally thought to be one check.
Fred Knight's user avatar
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22 votes
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What is 'space' on a chessboard?

It's not a ridiculous question. Before discussing your precise example, let's cover some basic grounds: Purely from an optimal play perspective: having more space translates into having more activity ...
Ellie's user avatar
  • 12k
22 votes

What is the theoretical maximal material difference of a dead draw which is not a stalemate?

[fen ""] 1. a4 b5 2. b4 bxa4 3. c4 c5 4. d4 cxb4 5. e4 d5 6. f4 dxc4 7. g4 e5 8. h4 exd4 9. Ba3 g5 10. Nc3 gxh4 11. Qb3 f5 12. Kf2 h3 13. Kg3 h2 14. Bd3 Qa5 15. Kh4 dxc3 16. Kg5 h5 17. Kg6 cxb3 18. ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
22 votes

When moves are randomized, is there an inherent advantage to the player who goes first, or the player who goes second?

When moves are randomized, is there an inherent advantage to the player who goes first, or the player who goes second? The first player has a slight advantage. When black has made n moves, then white ...
MaxW's user avatar
  • 337
21 votes

Is triple check possible?

To look at this systematically, let's say white is attempting to triple-check black. At the start of white's move, black's king is not in check. So we have to go from zero checks to three checks. When ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
21 votes

Is preventing an opponent from castling considered an advantage?

It'll depend on the rest of the position. If it's relatively open, chances are you can keep the opponent's king in the center and launch an attack. This might well be a decisive advantage; preventing ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
20 votes

What is the Dorfman method in chess?

This is not a book review, nor is it an opinionated account of the method. I've never really used this method per se, but have read/heard about it, so hopefully my rough summary here doesn't do ...
Ellie's user avatar
  • 12k
20 votes
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What is the the idea behind this popular double pawn sacrifice line In the Evans Gambit?

The problem with 7... dxc3 is that White quickly regains both pawns. r1bqk1nr/pppp1ppp/2n5/2b5/2BpP3/2P2N2/P4PPP/RNBQ1RK1 b KQkq - 1 7 [StartFlipped "0"] 7... dxc3 8. Bxf7 Kxf7 9. Qd5 Kf8 ...
Herb's user avatar
  • 4,196
20 votes

Is there a mathematical theorem that you can use to win a chess endgame?

Such a theorem doesn't exist. The closest is the strategy-stealing argument that can be used to show that for many games, the second player does not have a winning strategy. The gist of the argument ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 27.9k
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
19 votes

What projects have been undertaken to solve chess completely?

7-piece endgame tablebases were completed in 2012. 8-piece endgame tablebases is the next logical step. This page says a little about how those are going (context is searching for the longest forced ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 27.9k
19 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. ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 98.3k
19 votes

What are the advantages of keeping the identity of a second secret?

The main function of a second is to provide timely analysis and advice to the principal player, both before and during the match. If the second is being pestered by the chess press because their ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 98.3k
19 votes
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Why is this position in the 3.d4 d5 Petroff equal?

What I can't wrap my head around is that Stockfish says that this position is completely equal. Why is that? Black has the bishop pair in a completely open position (no center pawns). This advantage ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 98.3k
18 votes
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Are there rules for categorising all pawn-only endgames into won/drawn/lost?

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, ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
18 votes
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Is there value to learning openings as a new player?

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 ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
18 votes

What is the earliest queen move in any strong, modern opening?

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 ...
D M's user avatar
  • 19.7k
18 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. ...
Minot's user avatar
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