Hauke Reddmann
  • Member for 5 years, 5 months
  • Last seen this week
  • Hamburg
Is there a mathematical theorem that you can use to win a chess endgame?
Accepted answer
36 votes

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 (...

View answer
Longest sequence of mutually forced moves
31 votes

Assuming you allow promoted material (since you didn't say anything :-), this (on Page 13 of the PDF) is the (unfortunately, extremely unknown) finite record since ages. It shows the record for the ...

View answer
Is endangering the king a good strategy in some positions?
Accepted answer
24 votes

Whereas "sacrifice" is a bad word, as already was pointed out ("endangering" maybe), from the standpoint of game theory this strategy may be completely rational...if the players ...

View answer
Why is 4…Bb4 an inaccuracy in the Berlin defense?
Accepted answer
18 votes

Easy: The bishop not only shoots thin air, but also asks to be kicked around with c3, such that White wins a tempo with a move he likes to play anyway in Italian/Spanish positions to make a big center ...

View answer
Would bishops be stronger or weaker on the same coloured squares?
Accepted answer
16 votes

And the correct answer, as always, is: "it depends on the position" :-) OK, assume that you start with Bb1/Nc1. Lichess says +0.1. But this is the sum of... the N generally standing a bit ...

View answer
Are chess players getting better, given the same rating?
16 votes

Everybody seems to agree that "ELO inflation" is real (I found an article from 20 years ago claiming this exists)...except scientists. Here is a 2011 paper that vehemently denies the ...

View answer
Term for checkmate where every participating piece attacks exactly one square around king
Accepted answer
14 votes

As a problemist, I can assure you that the term as such does not exist in problem language. Bohemian school did only know three concepts: pure mate, economic mate (all pieces - but not necessarily ...

View answer
Which methods can be used to prove that a position is illegal?
13 votes

Easy illegality is easy: not exactly 1 king on both sides, both kings in check, pawns on the final ranks. It's also fairly easy to tally promoted material and subtract the missing pawns. A quick ...

View answer
Is analysing moves on separate board in correspondence chess ethical?
12 votes

Your question is a bit paradox: analyzing is the whole point of correspondence chess (and since strong engines exist, it is sort of a zombie). It is very unfortunate (and not your fault) that Lichess ...

View answer
How do you play if both sides get a queen?
11 votes

"41.75% win" seems even worsely misleading. The value is technically true for a random position: some stats, but based on the immensely high probability that QxQ or a skewer wins on the spot....

View answer
How difficult is it to win a winning endgame against an engine?
10 votes

Note that I answered quite a few CSE endgame questions about how to bring a large advantage home safe. This position is different, though, as Black can offer much resistance. For once, I am not so ...

View answer
Does the King's Indian Attack need the e5 pawn push to attack on the kingside?
Accepted answer
10 votes

It's not the KIA at fault (in fact we saw here a color-reversed KID) but you both lacked when it comes to positional play. In the end position, Black is far better. He can act the standard queenside ...

View answer
German chess composition glossary
10 votes

VV is Vorwärtsverteidigung - if a position is retracted into where Black might interfere (by mating White himself ?!), he may. kbP is indeed SPG. A translation source for many problem chess terms

View answer
Middlegame plan for this position
Accepted answer
9 votes

Your advantage is smaller than you think. After Kg7 Black is safe and has joined rooks. The pressure on the c file is annoying and ties up your knights. My first move, almost without thinking, is Qf3, ...

View answer
How do I find good games to memorise for the openings I play?
Accepted answer
9 votes

Simple suggestion: Lichess. Tons of games shown, just enter opening moves. Stockfish addable on the fly. Hit "book" (button down left) for master games.

View answer
How can one know where two diagonal lines meet?
Accepted answer
9 votes

The math formula is relatively easy (intersection of two straight lines, even with fixed slant), but I assure you I can visualize it much faster on the board than solving it, even if I'm a lousy ...

View answer
Can a stalemate be forced even if it is the opponent's turn to move first?
9 votes

In fact, there are positions where even an infinite amount of free tempi won't help Black at all! Here's a quick sketch: [FEN "7q/8/8/8/8/Pp6/prpp1p1p/Kbkrbrbr w KQkq - 0 1"] Observe White ...

View answer
Can there be a checkmate with maximum points of material (103) while covering 64 squares?
9 votes

[FEN "3k4/6QP/8/4Q3/8/2Q5/QQ4QQ/RNBKQBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. h8=Q# This is trivial, as already five queens can threaten the whole board. The only thing you must pay attention to is giving ...

View answer
Material vs positional advantage: does Stockfish give good advice?
Accepted answer
9 votes

It might be not even as simple as the other answer suggests (regarding only objective evaluation), as "both lines are (roughly) equal" is probably already from a certain perspective. Let's ...

View answer
Developing the king before developing most of your pieces
9 votes

Don't try this at home. ;-) First of all, a simple LiChess search gives this is B12 Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation, Tal Variation, i.e. it has even a name and is legit. Second, 8 games listed, ...

View answer
If the back row of white pieces is moved to be in front of the pawns, which side should I play?
Accepted answer
8 votes

First, the human assessment: White has the advantage of his figures being already developed (Rxh7 is always to consider), but is saddled with a king that is in grave danger already after the natural ...

View answer
Longest *shortest available* fixed sequence of moves leading to checkmate?
8 votes

[FEN "k4b2/P1p1p3/KpP1Pp2/1P3P2/3pBp2/3P1P2/8/8 w KQkq - 0 1"] This may be more "in the spirit": White has a forced 12# by 1.Bd5 2.Bb3 3... 12.Bb7# and Black a ton of variants (...

View answer
How do you analyze master games without annotations?
8 votes

How? Yourself :-) This should not discourage you from getting the help of an engine - afterwards §. Also, to me it seems critical to what end you are analyzing master games. There are many answers to ...

View answer
What is the most defended structure?
8 votes

This puzzle needs more love, so I post my best position (46): [FEN "8/8/2PN4/1PKB4/2PRNB2/2PRQ1P1/3PPP2/8 w - - 0 1"] Since just a record attempt is hardly an answer, here some tips for ...

View answer
Knight and 2 Pawn vs 3 Pawn Endgame
Accepted answer
8 votes

Zugzwang. OK, one word is a bit short for an answer. :-) Still, I would win that one for White probably on blitz time. Note that Black has only one passer and your knight easily can put a cork to that....

View answer
Strategies for focusing on longer time controls
7 votes

I can sooo relay to that - I tend to play Blitz too...even in a tournament game. (The upshot is that it acts as a bit of psycho terror on the opponent :-) Since it is a character trait, it is very ...

View answer
Why do we need to exchange black bishop in A43 Benoni Defense?
7 votes

Same as in Nimzo-Indian. Bxc3 has two different effects that must be weighted against each other: The white pawn structure is dead meat now, especially the Pc4 will have a nightmare. The attack can ...

View answer
Up to which rating is my strategy in the opening is applicable?
7 votes

Whereas the question is very opinionated, I assure you this might strongly depend on the player type. (See the recent book of Müller/Engel.) I had a peak ELO of 2350, clobbering a lot of grandmasters ...

View answer
Does a draw on the board need to be declared before the time flag is reached?
7 votes

That's an easy one: stalemate ends the game automatically. FIDE 5.2.1. rule. Neither flag, nor handshaking, nor signing the scoresheet change this. What to do: 1. Play safe, inform an official. 3., ...

View answer
Do most amateur players play aggressively?
7 votes

Do you know the German biologist Ernst Haeckel? "Ontogenesis recapitulates phylogenesis". I think this is as true in chess. History of chess, as well as development of an individual chess ...

View answer