Chess is one of the most popular two-player strategy games. It has survived centuries of strategical analysis and continues to thrive amongst players of all skills and ages.

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8answers
6k views

Are Bishops more valuable than Knights?

Bishops and Knights are both traditionally considered to have a similar value, worth roughly three pawns each. However, I have heard arguments that under certain circumstances they are not so closely ...
28
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2answers
1k views

Is pawn promotion to rook or bishop something that is seen in play?

Reading What is the proper Algebraic Notation for a pawn being promoted? made me wonder whether pawn promotion to rook or bishop ever happens. The only time I can think this might happen is when ...
28
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10answers
4k views

What techniques should I use to teach my 5-year old to play chess?

The other night while playing checkers with my 5 year old, he told me that he wanted to make up a game using the checkerboard which had different pieces that could do different things. I told him that ...
25
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7answers
2k views

How important is memorizing chess openings in casual play?

I've played chess since I was kid and after much practice have become a decent player. I still though, have little strategy to my opening moves besides starting with a King's Pawn Game. I know ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

Is castling still done in the openings in modern chess?

I have read in a somewhat old book that castling was to be done as soon as possible, but some of my playing friends don't bother to do it in the opening. What's the modern usage?
25
votes
4answers
944 views

Why is it of high importance to control the center of the board in Chess?

One reason for this is that from the center of the board, your pieces have quicker access to the other parts of the board. Another is that your pieces often attack a larger number of squares. What ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Was the blind chess match between Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty in the movie Game of Shadows real/plausible?

I saw the movie and was wowed by two things: the blind chess match in which Holmes wins with the move Bishop-Bishop 8, discovered check; and the mental fist fight they have in their minds. It's such a ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the name of the move where the player swaps King and Rook/Castle in Chess? Why is this move important?

I'm a chess beginner, and I was wondering: why was this movement introduced to chess, and why is it important to the game?
14
votes
3answers
5k views

Restrictions around promoting a pawn

I have tried to read the Wikipedia article but it is too confusing on what the current accepted standard is. My questions are: If a pawn makes it to the last row can they stay as a pawn? If a pawn ...
14
votes
5answers
590 views

What is a positional game in chess?

What does it mean to have a positional game, or to play a positional game? What is the opposite?
14
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1answer
629 views

How are numerical chess rankings calculated for different ranking systems?

I know there are several different ranking systems for chess, but how do they work in general? How exactly do they approximate your skill and how you will fare against other players? How can I figure ...
13
votes
4answers
594 views

When is it a good time to offer a draw in chess, and when should I accept one?

Professional players often offer draws in chess and accept them. While draws can be very common in professional play, they appear to be very rare in casual play. Naturally, if you're winning, ...
13
votes
3answers
331 views

What is the appropriate way to snipe a king that castles through check?

In lightning chess matches (matches with time controls of 3 minutes or less on each side), some players play with the rule of "king sniping" - that is, to save time, if the opponent played a move that ...
13
votes
1answer
222 views

Are there any published games of Bobby Fischer as world champion?

Between the World Championship Match against Spassky in 1972 and his rematch against Spassky in 1992, Bobby Fischer played no tournament games, not even to defend his title. Are there any published ...
12
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11answers
3k views

Are There Any Real-Life Applications of Chess?

Chess seems to develop a specialized skill set that in my experience is mostly irrelevant to everyday life. However, I would like to know of any real-life applications that I have overlooked. I am a ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Can a king capture an opposing queen?

A Beginner's Scenario: I castle kingside prior to ever being in check. Then, my son positions his queen and on a subsequent turn, takes out the middle pawn of three (see diagram below), thus exposing ...
12
votes
1answer
600 views

What factors should be considered before doubling pawns?

I know the basic strength of double pawns is that it may open up a rank for a rook, and that the weakness is that the pawns can no longer defend one another. Other than an obvious material advantage, ...
12
votes
1answer
290 views

What form of chess was played in seventh-century Arabia?

In Islam, there are a number of reports (of variable grades of authenticity) that the prophet Muhammad either forbade or explicitly disliked the playing of chess. As is known, he was centered in what ...
11
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4answers
334 views

New idea in Sicilian for white?

I was wondering if someone could explain why this may be bad for white. Engines say white is a 0.5 of a pawn down after this line, but other than stunted development, I do not see a clear way in which ...
11
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3answers
1k views

What is the repeated move stalemate?

I've heard of a rule where if the same move sequence is repeated 3 times (6 moves total) the game ends in a stale mate. Is this a de facto rule or a convention adopted outside the formal rules?
11
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6answers
6k views

What is the best way to learn chess strategy and tactics? [closed]

I am interested in learning chess. I am already familiar with the rules of the game, but I am very weak when it comes to tactics and strategy. I am afraid that if I just register at chess.com and ...
10
votes
4answers
449 views

In Chess, Why Does Black Sometimes Play “Cramped” Openings?

I'm referring to openings such as d6 (Pirc Defense) or e6 (French Defense) in answer to say, e4. These openings often make it more difficult to develop pieces than say, c5 or e5. In particular, the ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Did tactics training improve your chess significantly?

There are quite a few sites for training in chess tactics. For those having experience with using any of these, how did these affect your rating? Is there a strong correlation between e.g. ...
10
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2answers
733 views

Opening strategies in Chess 960 (Fisher Random Chess)

I had a go at Chess 960 the other day, but whereas I thought I might do better against the computer as it didn't have an opening book, in fact the opposite happened as it quickly found holes in my ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the “En passant” rule in chess?

How useful is that rule and how many times we can use that in one game? Under what conditions can the en passant rule be used? How often does it come up and is it a good idea to use it?
9
votes
5answers
455 views

Accepting Queen's Gambit

Why is it considered a disadvantage to accept Queen's Gambit? How should I play to take advantage of an accepted Queen's Gambit? (All online guides I've seen simply state not to do it, but don't ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Can a single player have all nine potential queens in one game?

I would like to know whether it is possible to, in a single game, convert all eight pawns of one colour into queens while retaining the original queen. Presume that we are both playing chess ...
9
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4answers
533 views

Chess variant that allows humans to be competitive vs computers

It seems that computers can beat the majority of chess players out there, and at the current rate in which distributed computing is going, it seems like the #1 chess player out there will be computers ...
9
votes
2answers
452 views

What is the name of the following chess opening? What are its pros and cons?

At some point, when I was young, I learned an opening that involves the following moves: possibly after moving queen's pawn to the centre (d4), move out king's knight to above the bishop (Nf3), move ...
9
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2answers
461 views

In Chess what is the Queens or Kings Indian?

In Chess what is the Queens or Kings Indian, and why might it be useful?
8
votes
4answers
727 views

In chess, when is it appropriate to resign?

I know I should not resign after losing the exchange, or a piece, and probably not even if I lose a Rook. But how about if I lose a Queen for a Knight? Would it be expected of a player to keep ...
8
votes
4answers
595 views

Are there any reputable chess openings which begin a4, b4, g4, or h4?

I have heard of 1 b3 and 1 g3, but never any of those in the question title. Is this because they do not work in practical play? I've tried 1. g4 d5 2. h3 e5 3. d4 Nc6 etc. with a good chance of a ...
8
votes
1answer
438 views

Is it possible to position all chess pieces on the board such that all pieces defend at least one piece and attack at least one piece?

Is it possible to position all chess pieces on the board such that all pieces defend at least one piece and attack at least one piece?
8
votes
2answers
274 views

Chess - Learning to Sacrifice Pieces for the Greater Good

I have trouble with learning what pieces to sacrifice when. Any good examples or playable scenarios on the web to help guide with that? My biggest problem is in the early game, learning what to ...
8
votes
1answer
398 views

How can I learn to play chess blindfold?

I'm an intermediate-level amateur chess player. How would I go about learning how to accurately play a complete game of chess, blindfolded? What skills are needed, and how are they practiced? In ...
7
votes
1answer
199 views

Are there restrictions on pawn promotion if two pawns are on the same column?

I was playing white and I had one pawn at a7 and the other at a6. My opponent didn't let me promote the pawn to a Queen stating that when two pawns are in the same column then the pawn doesn't get ...
7
votes
4answers
904 views

Does anyone use the P-K4 type of chess notation anymore?

I have several chess books, all of which use the P-K4 type of notation rather than the e4 type. I am still more used to the older form, since those books were my first introduction to chess ...
7
votes
1answer
263 views

What chess-opening does this cat play

I just saw this funny cat video where the cat gets beaten in chess by a trick opening. It is not the well known fool's mate, but I guess it is a famous opening too. Can anyone identify the opening ...
7
votes
3answers
183 views

Chess client for e-(g)mail

I'm looking for something that would let me store the board setup and move the pieces manually so that I can play with a friend via email/msn. It doesn't have to handle mailing or anything for me as ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

Methods for handicapping chess

My four-and-a-half year old son is learning chess. He's got the moves of the pieces down and understands how to checkmate with two rooks (or rook and queen). I've read some good suggestions in this ...
6
votes
3answers
869 views

Is there a way to point chess moves?

I know there are points for each chess piece, but is there a way to - imprecisely, for sure - measure/point chess moves?
6
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2answers
2k views

Is the four move checkmate the fastest way to win a game of chess?

Is the four move check mate (1. e4 e5 2.Qf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5?? 4.Qxf7#) the fastest way to win a game of chess, or is there a quicker way?
6
votes
1answer
187 views

What is this game, played with chess board and pieces, but with totally different rules?

Multiple decades ago, I was introduced to a game as described in the title of this question. What I can remember of it is: The two rooks had different functions. They were distinguished by placing ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What is the proper Algebraic Notation for a pawn being promoted?

Are you supposed to use an arrow → or not. Pe8→Q Pe8Q Where 'P' is the piece being moved (Pawn) , 'Q' is promotion to (Queen), 'e8' is the file ('e') and rank ('8')?
5
votes
1answer
363 views

On chess what exactly is the “En passant” trick? [duplicate]

I've heard of a trick called "En passant" but what does it mean?
5
votes
4answers
395 views

What are good resources or techniques to improve one's offence or finishing game?

I'm a moderately skilled chess player; I can beat most casual players and survive quite a while against class A, expert, or master players. Unfortunately, virtually all of my skill is in control of ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the standard time settings in chess

What are some of the most popular game times today as well as historically.
5
votes
3answers
497 views

Best way to improve ourselves when playing against a computer

It's often said by world-class Backgammon players that the best way to improve one's play is to analyse one's games with a computer program such as gnubg, JellyFish or Snowie. gnubg has a "tutor ...
5
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2answers
765 views

Developing Chess Game After 20 moves

Suppose I start out a chess game in this manner: http://goo.gl/reCxP From this advantage, I have a few questions: Which item should I sacrifice so I can gain better ground position? Should I ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Solid openings for Blitz Chess

Is there an accepted repertoire of openings that are solid in Blitz (3-5min per side) Chess? I guess the primary factors should be: reasonably solid simple structures minimal number of tactical ...