Dag Oskar Madsen
  • Member for 8 years, 6 months
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Is there any position where not promoting(illegally) would be the best move?
28 votes

Here is an example: [fen "8/4P3/8/4p1p1/2p3Pp/p4p1K/k1p2P1P/8 w - - 0 1"] 1. e8 leads to stalemate next move, while all legal promotions lose to 1... c1=Q followed by 2... Qf1#.

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Why does Fritz prefer underpromotion in this position?
Accepted answer
23 votes

It's because 1. exf8=Q+ Kxh7 2. Rxd7?? would be stalemate. I think it is a even a theoretical draw after 1. exf8=Q+ Kxh7 2. Qg7+. Therefore 1. exf8=B+! (with check!) is better, since white then can ...

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Pawn Promotion Endgame Problem-White to move and mate in 1
23 votes

It's probably a trick problem with a promotion to a black knight. Such promotions to the wrong colour are not allowed, and never were. In the official rules it is now specifically pointed out that ...

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Why is the Ruy Lopez such a common opening?
20 votes

There is a more subtle issue here. Why is 3.Bb5 more popular / better / more interesting than the Italian game 3.Bc4? In the Ruy Lopez, white isn't really going to win the e5 pawn, and the bishop is ...

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Is it possible for a white piece to deliver check to the black king, but for black's counter move to result in white getting checkmated?
Accepted answer
20 votes

You can find some examples in the following game collection: Games where check is answered with checkmate. Among those games, Nigel Short vs Alexander Morozevich, Russia - The Rest of the World (2002)...

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Why is Nb5 a strong move here? Why is there a guaranteed material gain?
Accepted answer
17 votes

This is a familiar tactic I often get to use myself in another opening line. If black plays 1... Rf8, then comes 2. Bc7! Qe8 3. Nd6 Bxd6 4. Bxd6 and black loses the exchange anyway. [Title "White to ...

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Is "Rdxd2" algebraic chess notation valid?
Accepted answer
16 votes

If you have two rooks, standing on different files (one of them on the d-file), that could capture on d2, then Rdxd2 is the correct notation. If you have two rooks on the d-file, and both can take on ...

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Is the first game of World Chess Championship 2013 the shortest game in WCC history?
Accepted answer
16 votes

There have been some shorter ones, for instance Kasparov-Kramnik (2000), game 7, draw in 11 moves. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1252046 Kasparov-Anand (1995), game 18, draw in 12 ...

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If I accidentally knock over a rook with my elbow while reaching for another piece, do I have to move the rook?
14 votes

No. The relevant part in FIDE's Laws of Chess is Article 4.3 which contains the word deliberately. 4.3 Except as provided in Article 4.2, if the player having the move deliberately touches ...

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Is castling possible with a pawn promoted to a rook?
Accepted answer
13 votes

No, according to FIDE's Laws of Chess, castling has to be done along the first rank. §3.8.2: 3.8.2 by ‘castling’. This is a move of the king and either rook of the same colour along the player’s ...

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Studies that have been cooked by computers
11 votes

I don't know how famous it is, but here is a study shown to be incorrect by computers: [Title "J. van Reek, 1987. White to play and draw."] [FEN "8/5n2/5N2/3K4/8/3p4/Rn6/1k6 w - - 0 1&...

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What is wrong with f2-f4 against the French Defense?
Accepted answer
11 votes

Grandmaster Igor Glek wrote a survey about 1. e4 e5 2. f4 in Secrets of Opening Surprises, volume 8 (2008). Some quotes: With 2. f4 we return to the nineteenth century, when modern chess ...

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Why Anand and Carlsen insisted on playing the same opening/defense
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11 votes

One of Anand's strengths relative to Carlsen is better opening knowledge, and Anand also had the better analysis team. (UPDATE: According to Carlsen in a recent interview, his team of seconds during ...

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Typical Good Bishop vs. Bad Bishop endgame - how to decide if stronger side has a definite win
Accepted answer
10 votes

With new analysis from user AlwaysLearningNewStuff, we can conclude this is a win for white, The first critical position appears after 1.Be2 Kb7. [FEN "2k5/5b2/p7/P1p2p1p/P4P1P/2K2B2/...

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What are the common themes in the Catalan?
10 votes

I have played the Catalan for something like 25 years, and to me the big secret explaining the opening's popularity is the following: You can expect a massive score against weaker players. The key ...

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Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual vs Fundamental Chess Endings
Accepted answer
9 votes

They are both great, I agree that you should get both. Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual is perhaps more instructive since it has slightly more explanatory text and tries to organize the material around ...

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How can the moves from this pawn endgame study be found without a computer?
9 votes

Some of the corresponding squares are quite easy to work out, especially if you write things down (not allowed in a real game). First of all, it is clear that a5 corresponds to c6. Black can move ...

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What is the number of legal positions in a chess game?
8 votes

Upper bounds on the number of allowable positions are discussed on the Shannon number Wikipedia page. There is an accepted upper bound of 1.8x10^46 by Shirish Chinchalkar, and a somewhat accurate ...

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Why is en passant only possible on the first opportunity?
Accepted answer
8 votes

The OP asked me to provide sources supporting the claim that the double step was originally a double move. I'll do my best. The immediate predecessor of modern chess, the game Shatranj, did have ...

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R+3P vs B+N+3P ending. Win or draw, and plans for both players
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8 votes

Here's what my sources say about this endgame. Müller, Lamprecht, Fundamental Chess Endings: With three against three on one wing the defender is usually able to hold on. [Title "Mueller vs ...

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What chess games have violated commonly accepted principles?
Accepted answer
8 votes

Here are some principles we teach beginners but grandmasters regularly break. Don't bring your queen out too early. This principle was successfully broken by Korchnoi in an important match. [FEN ""]...

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Stalemating the opponent in order to not lose
8 votes

It's possible to build a bit on magd's answer. Consider the following position. [Title "White to move"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/8/8/8/8/1N6/pk1K4/8 w - - 0 1"] 1. Na1! Kxa1 2. Kc1 The only way to ...

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Parsing PGN files - when can a move be shortened?
Accepted answer
8 votes

From the PGN specification (http://www6.chessclub.com/help/PGN-spec): Neither the appearance nor the absence of either a check or checkmating indicator is used for disambiguation purposes. This ...

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What's up with the doubled pawns?
8 votes

Isolated double pawns like in your example are considered to be both a static and a dynamic weakness. It is a static weakness since the pawns can no longer defend each other or be defended by other ...

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Endgame technique: How to win with rook + g and h pawn vs rook?
7 votes

As we can see from the other answers, there are two things you should avoid: 1) The pawns getting blockaded. 2) Your king getting cut off from the pawns. It is not the only way to win, but as a ...

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Why Qe1 in the KIA? Why not Re1?
7 votes

One reason the set-up with Re1 is less popular could be that it loses a pawn in a certain quite common variation: [FEN ""] [Title "KIA with Re1"] [Startply "15"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 c6 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. O-O ...

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During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Era, what was the rule for stalemate in France?
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7 votes

I can only cite Davidson, A short history of chess (Link), again. From chapter 8: [...] In Italy, however, from the very beginning, players could not accept stalemate as a victory for anybody. They ...

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How to improve my early endgame / late middlegame?
Accepted answer
7 votes

It sounds like you are looking for strategic guidelines in non-theoretical endgames. Then a modern classic is Endgame Strategy by Mikhail Shereshevsky. Strong players tend to like this book, which ...

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Top sources for opening theory
7 votes

Another high quality source of opening analysis is the New in Chess Yearbook series. It also appears four times a year with hundreds of pages on the newest opening theory.

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Opening books, theory on Maroczy Bind
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7 votes

The Maroczy System is covered from white's point of view in Opening for White according to Kramnik, Vol 3 (2001) by Khalifman. This book contains around 70 pages about the Maroczy. In the new edition (...

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