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35

It's normally a very good idea to castle early, but 'as soon as possible' is not really a correct rule. It depends on a number of factors, including your choice of opening, and your opponent's response. Leaving your king in the middle of the board is a bad idea. Your pieces can be pinned, you're much more vulnerable, and your rooks can become isolated, ...


31

There's a lot that can be said on this topic, but here are some of the factors that enter into my decision making process: I have a personal preference for Bishops over Knights. This has nothing to do with their inherent value, but is simply because I tend to utilize Bishops better. It's worth considering whether you have a penchant for one over the other, ...


29

Under-promotion to bishop/rook happens from time-to-time. I've only seen it in three cases: The pawn will be captured regardless of what it's promoted to, and the promoting player wants to be cocky It's checkmate with just a bishop or just a rook, and the promoting player wants to be cocky (in those cases, a queen would mate also) Promoting to a queen is ...


24

No, a Pawn must be promoted to a Knight, Bishop, Rook, or Queen. Yes, pawn promotion isn't limited to captured pieces. My guess is that normal people don't carry around multiple sets of pieces, probably only tournaments. Most likely tournaments keep far more queens around than other pieces since promotion is usually to a queen (99% of the time). The ...


22

It's called castling. It's important because it gets your king out of danger (the centre is not safe), while simultaneously moving your 'tower' (also called a Castle, or a Rook) into the centre, where it is much more useful. See this related question: Is castling still done in the openings in modern chess?


22

That isn't exactly what the en passant rule is. En Passant is when an opponent is two ranks away from your pawn row (either 4th or 5th rank depending on color), and you move your pawn two spaces forward with one move. You are allowed to make your first move with a pawn two spaces, but the En Passant capture allows your opponent to capture you just as if ...


21

Its far better to thoroughly understand a small number of openings than it is to mindlessly memorize a large number of openings. Frequently, if you know why a set of moves is considered optimal, then you're in a better position to adapt once the board gets "off the opening". However, if you have a wide set of openings memorized, you may find that while you ...


21

In casual play, the main reason to offer a draw is if the game is going on forever and shows no sign of concluding soon. Consider the motivation for the game. Maybe you're playing a game for fun after dinner, but at some point your wife is going to start making loud yawning noises. Maybe you're playing a grudge match with a friend, but both of you are ...


20

Interesting question! Unfortunately it's not possible to easily reconstruct the complete game from the limited information available in the movie. Fortunately for us, this has been investigated in detail at chess.com, where they have done an awesome job of reconstructing the opening and ending from the movie. The game played in the movie is based on the ...


19

Yes you can capture the Queen, unless capturing the Queen would put the King under check again. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rules_of_chess#Check


18

Yes, and it's not particularly hard to do. Here's one solution. I found this by placing the pawns first (because they are much more limited in their attack/defence potential), and then adding the pieces one at a time. Using this simple manual approach, it took about 15 minutes to find a solution. As an added constraint, I avoided placing the kings in ...


18

In general, the idea is to give an approximation of relative strength among players, based on their history in rated competition in that type of chess (normal, blitz, correspondence). The greater the difference, the higher the probability that the higher-rated player will win. Ratings are modified based on the difference in rating between the players and ...


18

Your friend was wrong. There is no rule preventing a pawn from being promoted outside the normal move restriction rules (e.g. you can't leave your king in check).


17

If you play chess a lot, you'll probably develop some or all of these: Critical thinking (Are some moves better than others?) Analytical skills (What's my opponent likely to do?) Spatial awareness (Where can a given piece move?) Patience (Good strategies take time to develop) Courtesy (Be a good loser and winner, no table flips, etc.) I think one would ...


16

1000x more important (and more fun!) than even studying theory is.. improving your tactics! The best place I know for this is chesstempo.com. You can easily get up to 1700~1900 USCF never learning any theory at all (casual players are usually 800~1400), and I've even met a few players over 2000 (master level) who have never studied any theory! However, if ...


16

Todd wrote up a great answer, and points 2, 3, and 4, of his response are spot on. My only addition would be to state that my preference for knights is based on the following: For whatever reason, even at low-to-mid level play, you can often "surprise" your opponents with a knight. Their non-linear movement pattern means that in one to two turns your ...


16

I highly suggest taking him through the puzzles in Polgar's book. The book starts off with very simple chess problems, with only a handful of pieces, with the idea of "solve for checkmate in x moves". The problems are designed with a logical progression, highlighting specific tactics and strategies, and become increasingly complex and demonstrating more ...


16

There is a quicker checkmate called the Fool's Mate which only takes 2 moves. The moves that demonstrate the checkmate are: 1. f3 e5 2. g4 Qh4#


13

Jeremy Silman, author of many books on chess strategy (as well as my favorite endgame book) always pushes not thinking in terms of static strengths - having a bishop over a knight - vs. weaknesses - having doubled pawns - but rather in terms of imbalances. After all, in a closed position, a knight will do better than a bishop, and you mentioned yourself one ...


13

In addition to the points you made, controlling the center means that your opponent will then have to form his or her attack on the wings. Think of not only what it does for your pieces but what it means for your opponent's. Picture the movement pattern of a knight - if you control the center, the knight can attack all eight squares. If your opponent's ...


13

Sure, that's how computer engines work. For instance, if you start up ChessMaster and hit ctrl+m ("mentor"), it will give you a list of all the moves, and how the chess engine rates each of them. How it works is that the engine looks as far as it can for every move, assuming best play for both sides, and rates the final position. That final position's ...


13

I once, in a serious tournament, in the very last round won a game when I was down a whole queen (at one point in the game - by the time I won I had recovered the queen and much more). I had also before I eventually turned the position around to be clearly winning offered my opponent a draw, a draw which would have advanced him to a statewide individual ...


13

Not a trick. En passant is a rule of pawns in chess just as the rule for 2 square starting advance is. In fact its introduction to the rules came directly from the 2 square advance's introduction. From Wikipedia: En passant (from French: in passing) is a move in the board game of chess. It is a special pawn capture which can occur immediately after ...


12

Every position has both positional ("theory") aspects and tactical aspects. Positional aspects would include the various imbalances in the position: pawn structure, space, center control, knights-vs-bishops, and pretty much anything else that would generally fall under the category "theory". Tactical aspects are just what they sound like: tactics. I ...


12

That appears to be the Scholar's Mate, the four-move game that ends with 4. Qxf7#. In chess, Scholar's Mate is the checkmate achieved by the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6? 4. Qxf7#. The moves might be played in a different order or in slight variation, but the basic idea is the same – the queen and bishop combine in a simple mating attack on f7 ...


12

Neither method of castling is superior to the other. They are completely position-dependent. Neither method is advantageous at the beginning of the game relative to each other. One of the major factors in Chess is position, so you have to choose where to castle based on the opening you're using. There are two purposes for castling: Protect the King ...


11

Chess develops the following US national standards in education: Mathematical Practice 1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. 2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively. 5 Use appropriate tools strategically. 7 Look for and make use of structure. 8 Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. These standards ...


11

Moving your bishop like that is called a fianchetto. There are a lot of openings which fianchetto the king's bishop; what you are describing sounds somewhat like the King's Indian for white. The advantage of fianchetto-ing your bishop is that it very quickly puts the bishop on the long diagonal, its most powerful position. However, it takes two moves, and ...


11

Yes. In fact, Arimaa was designed explicitly for this purpose. http://arimaa.com/ It was designed by an AI expert who wanted a game where humans could beat the best computers. There is a contest every year called the Arimaa Challenge where AI's compete to try to beat the best humans. So far, none have.


11

Yes. This thread contains a set of sample games.



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