Hot answers tagged

43

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 solved for positions of 7 or fewer pieces (including the kings). The problem is, the 7 piece tablebases take about 140 TB in storage. 8 piece tablebases would ...


39

These statistics come from a database of over 600,000 games: White wins 37.35% Black wins 27.41% Drawn 35.23% http://www.chessgames.com/chessstats.html The stats suggest that White has a significant, measurable first-mover advantage. Not an overwhelming advantage, but better than the house advantage in any casino game. Is that advantage ...


38

Very simple. Join a chess club and play people face-to-face. You'll improve rapidly after that.


34

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 about a mathematical characterization of chess, it's not a single modeling that we are talking about, which grabs every feature, but rather a number of models, ...


33

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 and enjoy the pleasure of chess and the atmosphere of the tournament rather than worry at once about winning prize money. Whether you can win something depends ...


33

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's advice and look for an even stronger one. This is a slight mistake in his analysis, but his evaluation of the variation remains correct (White is winning, ...


32

I believe your question essentially boils down to the topic of whether it is possible to completely "solve" chess. Wikipedia has an excellent article on the topic which should give you a good overview. To summarise, the number of possible game variations in chess is estimated to be 10^120. This is a staggeringly huge number, for comparison, consider that ...


32

Because of the observation you make, that the tree of possible game paths for chess is finite, chess is indeed solvable in exactly the same sense that tic-tac-toe is. So optimal strategies for chess do exist; however, no one has any idea what they are. Whereas tic-tac-toe is solved thanks to a quite small space of possible games, chess is nowhere near solved ...


27

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't yet developed either kingside pieces, so at least 2 tempi away from castling. This translates into white having a safer king 1-2 tempi earlier, which means ...


26

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 moves. This is referred to as tactical motif/pattern and for a list of all kinds of motifs take a look here. You don't need to start learning all of them at ...


25

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 " 14 knights, With Covering Occupied Squares"] [FEN "8/2N1NN2/2N1N3/2N3N1/2N1N3/1NN1NNN1/8/8 w - - 0 1"] Problems like this are called domination problems and ...


24

It should be easily possible to get 18 queens. If white captures four enemy pieces, that's enough to get doubled pawns on four files (a, c, e and g, for instance). And black captures four times to get his pawns on the b, d, f and h files. Then they can all advance and promote, and it should be easy to avoid mate by storing them all in some corner. Here, ...


24

I once wrote a program to make random moves, had it play 1000 games, and these were my results: Outcome Count Avg. #moves ----------------------------- ----- ----------- Draw by insufficient material 500 179 Draw by fifty-move 157 208 Draw by threefold repetition 147 164 Black wins by ...


23

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 and thus more options for your pieces, and that's really the key point here. The more space your pawn structure provides, the more maneuvering possibilities ...


22

There are several key positions from which it is easy to memorize the win. The basic idea is to drive the opposing king to the edge of the board, and then to the corner, where you can force the rook to separate from the king. [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "King and Queen"] [Black "King and Rook"] [Result "*"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN ...


22

[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. g5 Rh7 19. Ra2 Rc7 20. Bc4 Rxc4 21. Kh7 Bd6 22. g6 fxe4 23. Kg7 hxg1=Q 24. Kh7 h4 25. Kg7 h3 26. Kh7 h2 27. Kg7 bxa3 28. Kh7 bxa2 29. Kg7 Qgb6 30. Rg1 hxg1=Q 31. ...


21

INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Examples and instructions are taken from the book: Y.Averbakh - Comprehensive Chess Endings Volume 3. In many cases I felt no need to "reinvent the wheel" so I quoted the above authors. Those parts will be marked with apostrophes "", like this: "This is a quoted text". Without further delay let us tackle this endgame: "In endings of ...


21

There is a very easy way to detect whether King and Pawn endgames are drawn or not. This method I use is a very easy to understand one from Karsten Mueller and Frank Lamprecht's excellent book Secrets of Pawn Endings It concerns key squares and opposition The rule states that if pawn has not reached or crossed the central line (5th rank for White and 4th ...


21

The maximum number of moves in a chess game is not infinite, it's 11797 plies = 5898 moves and a half. This is due to the fifty-move rule. So no, the number of possible chess games is not infinite. The maximum number of legal moves in a position is 218. So a crude upper bound for the number of possible chess games is 218^11797 = 10^27586 Wait, actually ...


20

No, there are positions in which a lot of moves have the same effect or are the same but you can play them in a different order.


20

Should I focus on opening? Do you regularly fail to get out of the opening? Regularly get beaten whilst still in the opening? If yes then you definitely need to work on your openings. Do you usually come out of the opening with a playable position? If yes then you are wasting your time spending more time working on openings if your goal is to improve. Do ...


20

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 castling on both sides can be much harder than just one side or none at all. It's worth noting that 'artificial' castling (e.g. Ke8-f7, Rh8-e8 and Kf7-g8) ...


20

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 has made n+1 when completing his turn. Even if black can mate on his n+1-th move black still loses. EDIT My analysis was too simple, but I got lucky. Over ...


19

Unfortunately for you, there is no such opening. You see, the problem with 1.d4 is that d pawn is protected from the very start, unlike his "colleague" e pawn. While it is possible to cut down on theory learning against 1.e4 by simply attacking the e pawn ( Alekhine's defense, Scandinavian defense, Petroff defense in a way ) thus forcing White's response, ...


19

If you really mean "dubious", then no one really fits this description since Steinitz, who liked to, for example, go for walks with his King when playing the King's Gambit as White. But people didn't really know better back then. If you're willing to relax "dubious" to "offbeat", the first player that comes to mind is Bent Larsen, one of the strongest ...


19

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 fit together to build strategy when the opponent is also building their own strategy, is very difficult. It's not even quite like backgammon, where I like to tell ...


19

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 disservice to the merits of the method. The Dorfman method is a two-fold scheme for finding good moves. The static elements The first fold is the static elements ...


19

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 mate in pawnless positions): Many show interest in what is to expect from [8-piece] endings ... Unfortunately the size of [8-piece tablebases] will be 100 times ...


18

If it were possible to analyse every possible outcome of a position, would there ever be a single move that could be considered "best"? No. Just to give an example: [FEN "k7/6Q1/1K7/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"] There are five moves that are equally "good". I know that this is how computers evaluate positions, but they can only calculate the decision tree down ...


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 ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible