ETD
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Time control notation explained?
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16 votes

That indicates slightly more than just the time control: 6SS indicates a 6-round Swiss system tournament. 40/120 indicates that each side will have 120 minutes to make the first 40 moves of the game. ...

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Anand - Gelfand 12th game in World Chess championship 2012
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16 votes

There are two levels at which this can be answered, I suppose: what were the personal motivations for offering/agreeing a draw, and what were the objective features of the position that grounded the ...

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What serious use of en passant has been made recently?
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16 votes

I'll give an example that isn't from a world championship match, and isn't recent either. In fact, it doesn't even have an en passant capture in it. (Bear with me.) It does have a world champion ...

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Endgame: Rook + Knight vs Rook
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16 votes

Like its cousin endgame KRBvKR, your ending of KRNvKR is usually drawn. It's not always drawn, of course, but generally speaking KRNvKR is much less dangerous and easier to defend than is KRBvKR. In ...

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Computer evaluations: How trustworthy are they?
15 votes

Different engines have different "scales" for their numerical evaluations. For instance, in a typical middlegame position with plenty of play left, when Houdini says +2.00 or better, it is highly ...

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What Chess Software allows creating a chess Ebook?
15 votes

This may or may not be your cup of tea, but if you are a LaTeX user, then SCID's LaTeX export feature produces ready-to-compile LaTeX source that yields rather nice (IMO) PDFs quickly and painlessly. ...

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Free chess match database
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15 votes

Million Base 2.5 (available from a link here) and ICOfY Base are two free options that more than meet your given criteria, each providing millions of games in PGN format to draw from as you please. In ...

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What are examples of very aggressive openings?
15 votes

Sometimes, one way to get overtly aggressive in a reasonably sound way is to throw out an early g4 pawn thrust in an otherwise vanilla, mainline position. For instance, in the Anti-Meran 6.Qc2 ...

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How to deal with an opposing pawn storm?
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15 votes

It's a mistake to view the pawns themselves as overextended targets that you might get to "pick off" as you say in your post. After all, Black's main objective with the pawn storm is probably to open ...

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What are some common chess traps?
15 votes

One sort of not-always-obvious trap that players can fall into are pawn forks that aren't immediately apparent in a given position. For instance: [FEN ""] 1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Bc5 4.e3 Nc6 5.Nc3 ...

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How do I stop blundering my queen?
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15 votes

It's certainly not just you. While you describe a particular blind spot involving your queen, the more general phenomenon of throwing away sizable advantages is a very common one in chess, and it can ...

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Piece movement statistics
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15 votes

I found an interesting page featuring the results of some data mining on a sample of 4,226,520 games, and from which answers to your questions can be extracted, at least for that large sample of games,...

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Chess games that advanced endgame theory
14 votes

In a game at the 1954 Olympiad in Amsterdam, Botvinnik had the white pieces against Nikolay Minev of Bulgaria, and reached the following position after 57. Qxe6: [FEN "8/8/4Q3/k6K/8/6P1/8/q7 w - - 0 ...

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What are some advantages/disadvantages of accepting/declining gambits?
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14 votes

Since you are after general considerations: Accepting a gambit. The advantage here of course is that you are gaining a material advantage, which, if you can hold onto it, provides well for your long-...

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How to prepare for an opponent
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14 votes

There can be no one-size-fits-all as to how to prepare for an opponent, as this will depend greatly on the playing strengths of both the one preparing and the opponent, and what works for one person ...

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Improving the endgame: Principles
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14 votes

Here are a very few principles which are key: Centralize/activate/use your king. In the endgame he is one of your strongest pieces, and needs to be utilized. When you have the advantage, exchange ...

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What openings are recommendable for beginners to study?
14 votes

To answer your question directly, your friends aren't wrong, and it's not a bad idea at all for you to play the Ruy Lopez, from both the white side and the black side. In fact, knowing nothing much ...

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What are the origins of the words 'zwischenzug' and 'zugzwang'?
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14 votes

Chess historian Edward Winter has a page listing the earliest known occurrences of various chess terms in English, relying mostly on citations from the OED, though for these two terms he has slight ...

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When and why was the notation changed from descriptive to algebraic?
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14 votes

Though the previous answers have made some solid points, I think they have not yet given the main reason why algebraic notation has generally come to be preferred over descriptive notation: it is more ...

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What are some examples of promoting a pawn to a rook or bishop?
13 votes

Here's another example each of a rook promotion and a bishop promotion from actual play. Neither specific promotion was quite absolutely necessary (you'll see what I mean), but neither one was at all ...

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Why do houdini and stockfish give this seemingly stupid move?
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13 votes

In the given position, Black ultimately has no way to avoid an impending checkmate, hence is lost no matter what. The engines you're consulting are just trying to push that unavoidable mate as far ...

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Is capturing a piece while castling legal?
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13 votes

No, such a move is illegal, because one requirement of castling is that there be no pieces (of either color) standing between the king and the rook. From the FIDE Rules of Chess, 3.8(b): ...

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Should I recapture the queen with my king or knight in the Scotch Game?
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13 votes

As you say, each of the options 5. ... Nxd8 and 5. ... Kxd8 has its own drawbacks: the former drops a pawn and the latter gives up castling rights. In this situation Kelley is right that losing the ...

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Which chess player has the most openings named after him?
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13 votes

I'm way late to the party here, but would nevertheless like to mention the contributions of the seventh world champion (and my favorite player) Vasily Smyslov. Here are some of his many eponymous ...

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What is the importance of pawns in the endgame?
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13 votes

Having more pawns than one's opponent (assuming non-pawn material is even) is extremely important in the endgame. Many games of chess boil down to endings where one side has just a single pawn more ...

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Can you identify this game with a mate in 12?
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12 votes

I can't find the actual game neither in my database nor at, say, chessgames.com. However, the position appears as puzzle 210 -- with the apt description "Running around like a squirrel in a cage&...

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What is the Elo of a player who is half as good as another player?
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12 votes

This answer addresses one concrete portion of the OP; namely, for an arbitrary N > 0, what rating difference between Player A and Player B corresponds to Player A's expected score against Player B ...

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What is the reason for using gambits on defence?
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12 votes

The fact that an opening has the word "Defense" in the name usually signifies nothing more than the fact that it is a move by Black that leads into that opening. For instance, if White plays 1.c4 it ...

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I lost a game without making tactical mistakes; how can I avoid this happening in the future?
12 votes

This answer is something of a kindred spirit to those already given by dfan and jedrus07; both of their answers focus on your light-square bishop, with dfan addressing the big strategic picture that ...

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What are some examples of wins by a much weaker player?
12 votes

In 2009, GM Nurlan Ibrayev of Kazakhstan (rated 2407 at the time) lost a classical time control game to 9-year-old Hetul Shah of India, who then had a FIDE rating of 1817. Shah's current rating, now ...

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