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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 ...
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38 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.
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37 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 (...
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35 votes
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Is chess a solved game?

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 ...
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35 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 ...
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  • 9,408
33 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 ...
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33 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'...
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27 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'...
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  • 11.8k
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 ...
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  • 20.4k
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 ...
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  • 20.4k
25 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 ...
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  • 10.2k
23 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 ...
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  • 11.8k
23 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 ...
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  • 347
22 votes
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Is there an easy way to detect a draw in a King + Pawn vs King endgame?

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 ...
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  • 2,247
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. ...
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21 votes

Is the number of possible chess games infinite?

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. ...
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  • 4,459
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 ...
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20 votes
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What are the things that a 2000 player knows that a 1800 player doesn't know?

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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 3,924
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 ...
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  • 291
19 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 ...
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  • 11.8k
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 ...
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  • 21.7k
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 75.7k
19 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 ...
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  • 21.7k
18 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.
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  • 3,062
18 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 ...
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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, ...
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  • 23.9k
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 ...
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  • 13.1k
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 ...
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