History TabletopGame / Chess

17th Feb '17 1:16:48 PM Xtifr
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* ActionGirl: The queen.[[note]]The names of the pieces vary substantially between languages. In several Eastern languages the "Queen" is called by terms that translate to "Vizier" (minister).[[/note]]
* AllThereInTheManual: Chess literature is, to put it mildly, extensive; because of its marquee status as '''''the''''' canonical strategy game, it's one of the most studied games in the world.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs / StormingTheCastle: Breaking in your opponent's home row can allow you to do some serious damage.
* ArtificialBrilliance: The last time that a human beat the world's top-level chess computer was in 2005. Since then, the best players in the world have consistently been computer programs.
* ArtificialStupidity: While chess computer programs are notorious for being virtually unbeatable these days, there was a time when A.I. was relatively new and playing against the computer was something of a joke (i.e. going straight for high-value pieces no matter what positional cost). Still played straight for chess games/programs on easier settings, such as practice modes for beginners.
* AttackPatternAlpha: Openings. "Start with a conventional Ruy Lopez, and if Black moves into the Cordel Defence, take the game into the Benelux Variant. If they opt for an Open Defence, try to press them into using the Riga Variation rather than the main line, though the Dilworth Attack also leads to an interesting endgame..."
** '''''[[http://www.amazon.com/Standard-Chess-Openings-Eric-Schiller/dp/1580420486/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1256714379&sr=8-1 Times]] [[http://www.amazon.com/Gambit-Chess-Openings-Eric-Schiller/dp/1580420575/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_c five]] [[http://www.amazon.com/Unorthodox-Openings-Publishings-Essential-Repertoire/dp/1580420729/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b thousand]]...'''''
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: A piece's rank is roughly equivalent to its value and its power on the board. Subverted in the case of the King, however; while he's the most important piece, he has less movement-per-turn range than any other piece save the pawn. Until the final part of the game in which he becomes a double subversion.
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: Pawn promotion.
* AwesomenessByAnalysis: Good players are good because they can analyze all the possibilities and see several moves deep, as well as predict what their opponent will do.
* BatmanGambit: Most actual chess gambits (in which material is given up for a strong attack) are examples of this. A computer might be able to find the winning line for the defender easily, but good luck trying to fight through the pressure over the board...
** Possibly the epitome of this trope in chess would be the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swindle_%28chess%29 swindle]]". A player at a severe disadvantage (in a seemingly "lost" position) makes a clever move that, if misinterpreted, can allow him to draw the game or even win. For a particularly famous example, see [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki's]] article on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortal_Losing_Game Immortal Losing Game]]... though that's a subversion since the attempted victim of the swindle avoided all the traps and won.
* BattleOfWits: The game basically consists of two players trying to outwit each other.
* BerserkButton: Pertaining more to chess players than the game itself, but [[ShmuckBait call the Knight a "horse" or the Rook a "castle" in front of an experienced chess player and see what happens.]]
* BilingualBonus: The words "check" and "checkmate" come from the Persian ''Shāh'' and ''Shāh Māt'', meaning "The King" and "The King is Helpless" respectively.
** "Zugzwang", from the German "compulsion to move". A situation where the player would be best served by skipping his turn as every single option at his disposal would make things worse, [[ButThouMust but the rules state that a move must be taken.]]
** "Zwischenzug", from the German "intermediate move". An unexpected move inserted into an otherwise predictable sequence, confusing the player on the receiving end and resulting in a situation worse than he expected after the sequence.



* BondOneLiner: "Checkmate."
* BoringButPractical: Pawns. Not as fun as the other pieces, but pawn positioning is ''very'' important, to the point that whole schools of strategy have been made on optimal use of pawns to control the board. As individual pieces they cost very little material-wise for being able to deny (usually) two squares and are often important for protecting other pieces.
* BrokenPedestal: Bobby Fischer helped get a lot of kids playing chess in school. It's pretty sad that the man later turned out to be a) viciously antisemitic ([[BoomerangBigot despite having Jewish ancestors himself!]]) ''and'' b) overjoyed at what happened to America on 9/11.
** Considering that Fischer was convinced to his death that the Soviet Union had had a tracking/recording device implanted in one of his teeth sometime during the early 1980s (in revenge for his taking the World Championship from Boris Spassky), he stands as the modern benchmark for a disturbing pattern of everything from paranoia to complete psychological breakdown prominent in the lives of more than a few of the history's better players. See NightmareFuel in the [=YMMV=] tab for this page.
* CallingYourAttacks: the rule commonly followed at the amateur level where the player who places their opponent in check must announce "check" as they make the move. In tournament play, this isn't a rule though.

to:

* BondOneLiner: "Checkmate."
* BoringButPractical: Pawns. Not as fun as the other pieces, but pawn positioning is ''very'' important, to the point that whole schools of strategy have been made on optimal use of pawns to control the board. As individual pieces they cost very little material-wise for being able to deny (usually) two squares and are often important for protecting other pieces.
pieces.
* BrokenPedestal: Bobby Fischer helped get a lot of kids playing chess in school. It's pretty sad that the man later turned out to be a) viciously antisemitic ([[BoomerangBigot despite having Jewish ancestors himself!]]) ''and'' b) overjoyed at what happened to America on 9/11.
CallingYourAttacks:
** Considering that Fischer was convinced to his death that the Soviet Union had had a tracking/recording device implanted in one of his teeth sometime during the early 1980s (in revenge for his taking the World Championship from Boris Spassky), he stands as the modern benchmark for a disturbing pattern of everything from paranoia to complete psychological breakdown prominent in the lives of more than a few of the history's better players. See NightmareFuel in the [=YMMV=] tab for this page.
* CallingYourAttacks: the
The rule commonly followed at the amateur level where is that the player who places their opponent in check must announce "check" as they make the move. In tournament play, this isn't a rule though.though.
** In "Memory Chess", where one or both players must play by the board they can imagine in their heads, calling out or writing down what piece goes where is the only way to play.



* TheChessmaster: You, if you're good enough. Naturally, it's the TropeNamer. The world regulatory body, FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) has several rankings for extremely high quality players. The best known is "Grandmaster" generally indicating that you've either been World Champion or very, very good.
* ChildProdigy: Not uncommon. The current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, became a grandmaster at the age of thirteen. Sergey Karjakin, who lost to Carlsen in the most recent World Championship match in 2016, became a grandmaster at ''12''.
* ChurchMilitant: The Bishop.
* ComputersAreFast: While chess computers [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard don't cheat by breaking the rules of the game]], they are capable of analyzing millions of positions ''per second'', which allows them to beat humans with ease.
* ConfusionFu: Some players (especially pros) develop novelties, which are unique patterns that seek to throw an opponent off because they've never seen it before and don't know how to respond.
* CrazyPrepared: At least at Super GM level, it's necessary being this for the opening. At master level, still expect your opponent to wade through your previous games on the night before the play, trying to guess your opening...[[IKnowYouKnowIKnow and trying to guess what you play when you guess he's trying to guess.]]
* CurbStompBattle:
** A game can be horribly one-sided with one player casually slaughtering the other's pieces before finding (or if they're cruel or lack the killer instinct, exploiting) an opening for a checkmate. Especially common between lower-level players with enough skill to exploit an obvious blunder but not always to avoid making one.
** In tournaments, it can happen over multiple games, if the players' difference in skill levels (and in some cases, mental strength) is great enough, such as Bobby Fischer's consecutive 6-0 sweeps against Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen in the 1971 Candidates tournament. He would probably have swept "Iron" Tigran Petrosian by the same score too had he not caught a cold before the second game; instead he "only" won 6½-2½.
* DefensiveFeintTrap: All over the place. Typically called a ''pitfall''. When a pitfall is done by a losing player so they can get a draw or even a win, it's referred to as a ''swindle''.
* DisasterDominoes: Losing one piece can lead to a chain reaction of losing a whole bunch more, especially when checks are involved. The queen is good at this.
* DiscardAndDraw: The Bishop's range was greatly increased, but it lost the ability to jump over pieces.[[note]]small loss this, since its previous two-square-''exactly'' move restricted it to ''eight'' squares on the whole board. The four "Bishops" between them could only hit half the board, and could not interact.[[/note]]
* EpicFail: Referred to as a "blunder", especially when made by a grandmaster.
** The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fool%27s_mate fool's mate]] has a player lose in ''two moves''. One has to be either extremely inexperienced or playing to lose for it to happen.
** In general, moves that fall under this are marked with a "??" in algebraic notation.



* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Mobile turrets?!
** Siege towers are mobile, of course. Which doesn't stop some people depicting them as stone towers.
*** But siege towers are too clumsy to be [[AnalogyBackfire used in battles]]. They are used in sieges [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin which is why they are called]] siege towers. Of course they could be the little structures that used to be built on war elephants as some antique models have them.
* ExpansionPack: There are a cavalcade of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_variant Chess variants]], some more (or less) bizarre than others. Some examples include:
** ''"Fairy" Chess'' -- Chess with a bigger board and additional pieces, such as an Archbishop ([[FusionDance a Knight/Bishop combo]]), and a Chancellor ([[FusionDance a Knight/Rook combo]])
** [[strike:Fischer Random Chess]] Chess-960 -- where the starting positions are randomized through some kind of means (dice rolls, computer, etc.), but maintain some basic elements; e.g. Bishops must be on opposite colors, the King must be between both rooks)
** Kung-Fu Chess -- You can move any time you want to as long as your hands are fast enough.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexagonal_chess Hexagon Chess]] -- Combines chess with a hexagonal board.
** [[http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/9054 Shahmot]] -- Multiplayer chess on a diamond board (free-for-all or team variants available)
** Three-Dimensional Chess: started out as a "futury" background prop on ''Franchise/StarTrek'', later had rules codified for it and became fairly popular in RealLife. Consists of three main boards on different levels with two small 2x2 "attack boards" which may be shifted with a piece on them to another position in lieu of a normal move.
*** Less popular fictional chess variants include Literature/{{Discworld}}'s Stealth Chess, which has two "assassin" pieces whose exact position is always uncertain.
** [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Chessboxing]] (which is both CrazyAwesome and probably requires CrazyAwesome people to participate!). Alternating rounds of speedchess and fisticuffs. Victory is given to the first to check mate the opponent, by points, or by knockout.
** Geo-Chess: Chess played on a donut-shaped board with three players. Each player has twice as many of each piece except the king and queen. Pawns can move forward/back and left/right one square at a time, and there are six grey rectangles the size of two squares that allow bishops to change colors. Optional rules allow for each player to respawn each piece once. Picture [[http://www.abstractstrategy.com/geo-chess.html here]].
** Bughouse: a two-on-two variant where your teammate plays the opposite color. When you capture a piece on your board, you give it to him and he can ''spawn'' it on his board, ''anywhere''. HilarityEnsues.
*** Crazyhouse: [[SerialEscalation A 2 player variant of Bughouse]] that's all about captured pieces being brought BackFromTheDead but now playing [[HeelFaceTurn for the]] [[FaceHeelTurn other side]].
** Byzantine, or Round Chess: Played on a circular board with sixteen sectors and four concentric rings. Simulates making the board into a cylinder.
** Cold War Chess: Played on a standard board in standard configuration. No captures are allowed until one of the kings has been placed in check.
** Four Man Chess. Two teams of two people, each controlling one side of the board. The twist? You are not allowed to discuss the game, even in code, with your teammate. Leads to a lot of frustration if your partner can't read the board or your mind.
** Kriegspiel: Chess played blind. Two players play on separate boards, each not seeing the other. They have to deduce the layout of their opponent's pieces with the help of a referee who tells them whether the move they just made was legal or not, and/or if it captured an opposing piece!
** Dunsany's Chess is an unusual asymmetrical variant invented by LordDunsany in which Black has the normal pieces, but White has nothing but pawns...[[ZergRush thirty-two of them]], in fact, filling their side of the board. White has the normal goal of capturing the King, but Black's goal is simply to capture all the pawns.
** [[http://chessvariants.org/Gindex.html Great, huge list of them]], the "Recognized Variants" section contains the best ones for the most part.
* FacePalm: Considered ''very'' bad form when baiting a trap.
** Also seen in players who are exasperated that they're losing, or just thinking hard about their next move. The Wikipedia page on Bobby Fischer has a photo of him doing it.
* FailedASpotCheck: A common beginner mistake is to overlook a piece when they are considering their move; for example, losing their queen to a knight they failed to spot.
* FearfulSymmetry: Some moves are just duplicating the opponent's move, especially in the opening part of the game.
* FieldPromotion: Pawn promotion. Not many armies would promote you all the way to Queen just for getting behind enemy lines intact.
* FreakyIsCool: One of the most popular areas of chess theory, for everyone from amateurs to Grandmasters, has been to explore and experiment with truly ''bizarre'' openings, and discover if there are viable possibilities for success among them.
* GambitPileup: This is how many strategies end up, especially on the advanced levels of play.
** Even more so in variants such as [[http://www.intuitor.com/forchess/ cutthroat forchess]].
* GenderBender: For some reason, the pawn's sex is flexible enough for it to promote to a [[AlwaysFemale queen]] or a [[AlwaysMale bishop]]. ([[BellisariosMaxim Or a stone tower]]). If you think about it, the "queen" could actually be a "queen's champion;" the best of the royal knights. Or, as mentioned below, a vizier.
* GenderFlip:
** The Queen was originally a ''vizier'' or royal advisor in the Eastern version of the game.
** Based on the official Polish names for chess pieces, [[InsistentTerminology it is incorrect to call it the "queen" rather than the "hetman"]] (the "general", roughly speaking). Most casual players still say "Queen".
** In Hungarian, the name of the Queen is still "vezér", however non-professional players call it queen. (This tendency can be observed with other pieces, the knight is officially a hussar, but often called horse, and the pawns are infantrymen, but called peasants)
** in Russian, the Queen is called "ферзь"(Ferz), from Persian word "ferzin" - vizer, and referred to as male.
* GlassCannon: The Queen and the Rook.
* GloriousMotherRussia: Russians ''love'' good game chess, [[NationalStereotypes as everybody knows]].
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: Commonly used by chess players, usually French or German.
** French examples: "J'adoube" (I adjust), en passant (in the act of passing), ''en prise'' (in a position to be taken; usually italicised)
** German examples: patzer (bungler), zugzwang (compulsion to move), zwischenzug (intermediate move)
* GuideDangIt: While most people can tell you the general rules and basic advanced moves of chess like castling, there are some moves that very few nonprofessional players know about or bother to remember, chief among them the En Passant maneuver, where a player with a pawn in position to capture an enemy pawn if it moves forward one space, and the opponent moves it two spaces forward to evade the capture, the offensive player may move his pawn as if the defending player only moved forward one space. It's a move guaranteed to have a casual player cry foul and be appropriately embarrassed when they find out that it's perfectly legal.
** The "three-move rule" - that either player may declare a game drawn after moves have been repeated three times - is a particularly egregious example, as it has never actually been a rule of chess. The rule actually states that it is when a ''position'', rather than a move, is repeated three times that a draw may be taken (this normally happens when moves are repeated but doesn't have to). There have been a few high-level cases where a player has unintentionally let this happen.
* GuiltFreeExterminationWar: Why are you trying to capture all of the enemy's pieces? [[ExcusePlot Because they're on the other side, of course!]]
* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: As mentioned above, pawns are some of the most important pieces in the game. This is because of two factors; [[MagikarpPower Their ability to become any piece other than a king if they cross the length of the board]], and [[OneHitPointWonder the aforementioned fact that every piece is captured in one shot]]. Because of the number and general lack of value of pawns, people are therefore quite obviously loath to place their significantly more versatile pieces where pawns can threaten them. Thusly, the position and placement of pawns, known as pawn structure, dictates where and how the game is played. The "father of modern (actually strategic; modern means something different now) chess", Francois Philidor, famously said that "Pawns are the soul of the game. They alone create attack and defense, the way they are deployed decides the fate of the game." [[ChessMotifs Seriously, villains. Don't go up against Philidor.]]
** Really, not so much a [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway Heart]] or LethalJokeCharacter as an infantry foot soldier.
* HeroicSacrifice: Most gambits involve this. Also, during the midgame, players will sometimes make spectacular piece sacrifices to get at the king.
* HouseRules: Many, many variants exist, the most famous of which is probably "Ultima".
* IdiotBall: Has been given a technical name of ''amaurosis schacchistica'', ''chess blindness''. Even Grandmasters carry it from time to time. Such moves are typically given double question marks (??) after the move.
** A famous example of a Grandmaster holding the Idiot Ball: During the 1956 Candidates -- a tournament of the best Grandmasters to determine who would challenge the sitting World Champion -- Tigran Petrosian (later a World Champion himself) ''[[http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033916 blundered away his Queen]]'' during a match.
** There are also those who resigned when they were ''winning''. Someone collected over 30 such examples [[http://www.xs4all.nl/~timkr/chess2/resigntxt.htm here]], aptly calling them 'the ultimate blunder'. Even worse is resigning if you had a '''''mate in one'''''. [[http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com/2008/03/ultimate-ultimate-blunder.html It actually happened before.]] Just as aptly called 'the ultimate ''ultimate'' blunder'.
** You pretty much ''have'' to be holding this (or else be ''very'' inexperienced) to be checkmated ''[[EpicFail in two moves]]''. It's called "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fool%27s_mate Fool's mate]]" for a reason.
** See also SurpriseCheckmate below.
* IHaveManyNames: The pieces go by various names in different languages, and even within the same language (eg. "horse" and "knight", "castle" and "rook").
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: A mental battle between two sufficiently competent players might go something about this: "I know he's trying to do this, so I'll move accordingly, but what if he ''predicts'' that and is feinting? In that case I'd better..."
* InSpiteOfANail: It is very possible for someone to dominate the vast majority of a game only to lose/draw to a superior end game player.
* IndyPloy: "I see only one move ahead, but it is always the correct one." Jose R. Capablanca
** Also, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swindle_(chess) swindles.]] These are a class of tactic used late in a losing game to turn the tables by tricking the stronger opponent into making a blunder and giving away a win or a stalemate.
* InsistentTerminology:
** Technically, only the back-rank units (King, Queen, Bishops, etc.) are called ''pieces''. The pawns are called, well, ''pawns''.
** No, the back rankers are ''officers''!
** In addition, in Spanish it's wrong to use the terms "pieza" (piece) and "trebejo" interchangeably. The latter refers to the actual (wooden or plastic, etc.) shaped physical thing that's used as a piece or pawn in the game. A computer-based chess program, for example, would have "virtual" trebejos.
** Anyone referring to the "horse" or "castle" is quickly corrected. Though, interestingly, those ''are'' the correct names in some other languages. For example, in Spanish, the Knight is called "caballo," which means horse.
** In French, the Queen is called "la Dame" (the Lady). Calling it "la Reine" (the Queen) is common, but viewed as a beginner mistake, or at least a colloquial synonym. The Knight is called "le Cavalier" (the Rider). Calling it "le Cheval" (the Horse) will mark you as a newbie.
** In Finnish, the act of capture is called ''lyönti'' (to knock). It is often colloquially called ''syönti'' ([[IAmAHumanitarian to eat]]).
*** [[{{Defictionalization}} Defictionalized]] by [[http://www.instructables.com/id/Chocolate-Chess-Set/ chocolate chess set]]. Now you really ''can'' devour the enemy pieces!
** A ''match'' is different from a ''game''; a match typically consists of multiple games.
* InstantWinCondition: Your opponent might have ten pieces on you, but it doesn't mean a damn thing if you put him in checkmate.
** In a timed game, if you run out of time, it doesn't matter if you have been [[CurbStompBattle curbstomping]] your opponent, and are a few moves away from delivering checkmate.
*** That depends. Playing to run out your opponent's clock is against the rules, and the Arbiter can penalize a player for doing so. But if your opponent's playing normally when you time out, yes, you're done.
* InsufferableGenius: A few of the more notable masters. Bobby Fischer is one of the most famous examples:
-->"I like the moment when I break a man's ego."\\
"There are tough players and nice guys, and I'm a tough player."\\
"There's no one alive I can't beat."\\
"I add status to any tournament I attend."\\
--Bobby Fischer, 11th World Champion of Chess
** And this isn't even getting into his assertion that he could play a knight down against any woman and still win.
* IShallTauntYou: Possible in a casual game, but considered unsportsmanlike at all levels and outright illegal in tournaments, zero questions asked.
* ISurrenderSuckers: The entire point of a gambit.
** Also the Greek gift sacrifice. It looks like a DesperationAttack, but it's not.

to:

* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Mobile turrets?!
** Siege towers are mobile, of course. Which doesn't stop some people depicting them as stone towers.
*** But siege towers are too clumsy to be [[AnalogyBackfire used in battles]]. They are used in sieges [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin which is why they are called]] siege towers. Of course they could be the little structures that used to be built on war elephants as some antique models have them.
* ExpansionPack: There are a cavalcade of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_variant Chess variants]], some more (or less) bizarre than others. Some examples include:
** ''"Fairy" Chess'' -- Chess with a bigger board and additional pieces, such as an Archbishop ([[FusionDance a Knight/Bishop combo]]), and a Chancellor ([[FusionDance a Knight/Rook combo]])
** [[strike:Fischer Random Chess]] Chess-960 -- where the starting positions are randomized through some kind of means (dice rolls, computer, etc.), but maintain some basic elements; e.g. Bishops must be on opposite colors, the King must be between both rooks)
** Kung-Fu Chess -- You can move any time you want to as long as your hands are fast enough.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexagonal_chess Hexagon Chess]] -- Combines chess with a hexagonal board.
** [[http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/9054 Shahmot]] -- Multiplayer chess on a diamond board (free-for-all or team variants available)
** Three-Dimensional Chess: started out as a "futury" background prop on ''Franchise/StarTrek'', later had rules codified for it and became fairly popular in RealLife. Consists of three main boards on different levels with two small 2x2 "attack boards" which may be shifted with a piece on them to another position in lieu of a normal move.
*** Less popular fictional chess variants include Literature/{{Discworld}}'s Stealth Chess, which has two "assassin" pieces whose exact position is always uncertain.
** [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Chessboxing]] (which is both CrazyAwesome and probably requires CrazyAwesome people to participate!). Alternating rounds of speedchess and fisticuffs. Victory is given to the first to check mate the opponent, by points, or by knockout.
** Geo-Chess: Chess played on a donut-shaped board with three players. Each player has twice as many of each piece except the king and queen. Pawns can move forward/back and left/right one square at a time, and there are six grey rectangles the size of two squares that allow bishops to change colors. Optional rules allow for each player to respawn each piece once. Picture [[http://www.abstractstrategy.com/geo-chess.html here]].
** Bughouse: a two-on-two variant where your teammate plays the opposite color. When you capture a piece on your board, you give it to him and he can ''spawn'' it on his board, ''anywhere''. HilarityEnsues.
*** Crazyhouse: [[SerialEscalation A 2 player variant of Bughouse]] that's all about captured pieces being brought BackFromTheDead but now playing [[HeelFaceTurn for the]] [[FaceHeelTurn other side]].
** Byzantine, or Round Chess: Played on a circular board with sixteen sectors and four concentric rings. Simulates making the board into a cylinder.
** Cold War Chess: Played on a standard board in standard configuration. No captures are allowed until one of the kings has been placed in check.
** Four Man Chess. Two teams of two people, each controlling one side of the board. The twist? You are not allowed to discuss the game, even in code, with your teammate. Leads to a lot of frustration if your partner can't read the board or your mind.
** Kriegspiel: Chess played blind. Two players play on separate boards, each not seeing the other. They have to deduce the layout of their opponent's pieces with the help of a referee who tells them whether the move they just made was legal or not, and/or if it captured an opposing piece!
** Dunsany's Chess is an unusual asymmetrical variant invented by LordDunsany in which Black has the normal pieces, but White has nothing but pawns...[[ZergRush thirty-two of them]], in fact, filling their side of the board. White has the normal goal of capturing the King, but Black's goal is simply to capture all the pawns.
** [[http://chessvariants.org/Gindex.html Great, huge list of them]], the "Recognized Variants" section contains the best ones for the most part.
* FacePalm: Considered ''very'' bad form when baiting a trap.
** Also seen in players who are exasperated that they're losing, or just thinking hard about their next move. The Wikipedia page on Bobby Fischer has a photo of him doing it.
* FailedASpotCheck: A common beginner mistake is to overlook a piece when they are considering their move; for example, losing their queen to a knight they failed to spot.
* FearfulSymmetry: Some moves are just duplicating the opponent's move, especially in the opening part of the game.
* FieldPromotion: Pawn promotion. Not many armies would promote you all promotion; a pawn that reaches the way to Queen just for getting behind enemy lines intact.
* FreakyIsCool: One
opposite side of the most popular areas of chess theory, for everyone from amateurs board is promoted to Grandmasters, has been to explore and experiment with truly ''bizarre'' openings, and discover if there are viable possibilities for success among them.
* GambitPileup: This is how many strategies end up, especially on the advanced levels of play.
** Even more so in variants such as [[http://www.intuitor.com/forchess/ cutthroat forchess]].
* GenderBender: For some reason, the pawn's sex is flexible enough for it to promote to a [[AlwaysFemale queen]] or a [[AlwaysMale bishop]]. ([[BellisariosMaxim Or a stone tower]]). If you think about it, the "queen" could actually be a "queen's champion;" the best
any (non-King) piece of the royal knights. Or, as mentioned below, a vizier.
* GenderFlip:
** The Queen was originally a ''vizier'' or royal advisor in the Eastern version of the game.
** Based on the official Polish names for chess pieces, [[InsistentTerminology it is incorrect to call it the "queen" rather than the "hetman"]] (the "general", roughly speaking). Most casual
player's choosing. Naturally, most players still say "Queen".
** In Hungarian, the name
take advantage of the Queen is still "vezér", however non-professional players call it queen. (This tendency can be observed with other pieces, the knight is officially a hussar, but often called horse, and the pawns are infantrymen, but called peasants)
** in Russian, the Queen is called "ферзь"(Ferz), from Persian word "ferzin" - vizer, and referred
promoting to as male.
* GlassCannon: The Queen and the Rook.
* GloriousMotherRussia: Russians ''love'' good game chess, [[NationalStereotypes as everybody knows]].
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: Commonly used by chess players, usually French or German.
** French examples: "J'adoube" (I adjust), en passant (in the act of passing), ''en prise'' (in a position to be taken; usually italicised)
** German examples: patzer (bungler), zugzwang (compulsion to move), zwischenzug (intermediate move)
* GuideDangIt: While most people can tell you the general rules and basic advanced moves of chess like castling, there are some moves that very few nonprofessional players know about or bother to remember, chief among them the En Passant maneuver, where a player with a pawn in position to capture an enemy pawn if it moves forward one space, and the opponent moves it two spaces forward to evade the capture, the offensive player may move his pawn as if the defending player only moved forward one space. It's a move guaranteed to have a casual player cry foul and be appropriately embarrassed when they find out that it's perfectly legal.
** The "three-move rule" - that either player may declare a game drawn after moves have been repeated three times - is a particularly egregious example, as it has never actually been a rule of chess. The rule actually states that it is when a ''position'', rather than a move, is repeated three times that a draw may be taken (this normally happens when moves are repeated but doesn't have to). There have been a few high-level cases where a player has unintentionally let this happen.
* GuiltFreeExterminationWar: Why are you trying to capture all of the enemy's pieces? [[ExcusePlot Because they're on the other side, of course!]]
* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: As mentioned above, pawns are some of the most important pieces in the game. This is because of two factors; [[MagikarpPower Their ability to become any piece other than a king if they cross the length of the board]], and [[OneHitPointWonder the aforementioned fact that every piece is captured in one shot]]. Because of the number and general lack of value of pawns, people are therefore quite obviously loath to place their significantly more versatile pieces where pawns can threaten them. Thusly, the position and placement of pawns, known as pawn structure, dictates where and how the game is played. The "father of modern (actually strategic; modern means something different now) chess", Francois Philidor, famously said that "Pawns are the soul of the game. They alone create attack and defense, the way they are deployed decides the fate of the game." [[ChessMotifs Seriously, villains. Don't go up against Philidor.]]
** Really, not so much a [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway Heart]] or LethalJokeCharacter as an infantry foot soldier.
* HeroicSacrifice: Most gambits involve this. Also, during the midgame, players will sometimes make spectacular piece sacrifices to get at the king.
* HouseRules: Many, many variants exist, the most famous of which is probably "Ultima".
* IdiotBall: Has been given a technical name of ''amaurosis schacchistica'', ''chess blindness''. Even Grandmasters carry it from time to time. Such moves are typically given double question marks (??) after the move.
** A famous example of a Grandmaster holding the Idiot Ball: During the 1956 Candidates -- a tournament of the best Grandmasters to determine who would challenge the sitting World Champion -- Tigran Petrosian (later a World Champion himself) ''[[http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1033916 blundered away his Queen]]'' during a match.
** There are also those who resigned when they were ''winning''. Someone collected over 30 such examples [[http://www.xs4all.nl/~timkr/chess2/resigntxt.htm here]], aptly calling them 'the ultimate blunder'. Even worse is resigning if you had a '''''mate in one'''''. [[http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com/2008/03/ultimate-ultimate-blunder.html It actually happened before.]] Just as aptly called 'the ultimate ''ultimate'' blunder'.
** You pretty much ''have'' to be holding this (or
Queen. Anything else be ''very'' inexperienced) to be checkmated ''[[EpicFail in two moves]]''. It's called "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fool%27s_mate Fool's mate]]" for a reason.
** See also SurpriseCheckmate below.
* IHaveManyNames: The pieces go by various names in different languages, and even within the same language (eg. "horse" and "knight", "castle" and "rook").
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: A mental battle between two sufficiently competent players might go something about this: "I know he's trying to do this, so I'll move accordingly, but what if he ''predicts'' that and
is feinting? In that case I'd better..."
* InSpiteOfANail: It is very possible for someone to dominate the vast majority of a game only to lose/draw to a superior end game player.
* IndyPloy: "I see only one move ahead, but it is always the correct one." Jose R. Capablanca
** Also, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swindle_(chess) swindles.]] These are a class of tactic used late in a losing game to turn the tables by tricking the stronger opponent into making a blunder and giving away a win or a stalemate.
* InsistentTerminology:
** Technically, only the back-rank units (King, Queen, Bishops, etc.) are called ''pieces''. The pawns are called, well, ''pawns''.
** No, the back rankers are ''officers''!
** In addition, in Spanish it's wrong to use the terms "pieza" (piece) and "trebejo" interchangeably. The latter refers to the actual (wooden or plastic, etc.) shaped physical thing that's used as a piece or pawn in the game. A computer-based chess program, for example, would have "virtual" trebejos.
** Anyone referring to the "horse" or "castle" is quickly corrected. Though, interestingly, those ''are'' the correct names in some other languages. For example, in Spanish, the Knight is called "caballo," which means horse.
** In French, the Queen is called "la Dame" (the Lady). Calling it "la Reine" (the Queen) is common, but viewed as a beginner mistake, or at least a colloquial synonym. The Knight is called "le Cavalier" (the Rider). Calling it "le Cheval" (the Horse) will mark you as a newbie.
** In Finnish, the act of capture is called ''lyönti'' (to knock). It is often colloquially called ''syönti'' ([[IAmAHumanitarian to eat]]).
*** [[{{Defictionalization}} Defictionalized]] by [[http://www.instructables.com/id/Chocolate-Chess-Set/ chocolate chess set]]. Now you really ''can'' devour the enemy pieces!
** A ''match'' is different from a ''game''; a match typically consists of multiple games.
* InstantWinCondition: Your opponent might have ten pieces on you, but it doesn't mean a damn thing if you put him in checkmate.
** In a timed game, if you run out of time, it doesn't matter if you have been [[CurbStompBattle curbstomping]] your opponent, and are a few moves away from delivering checkmate.
*** That depends. Playing to run out your opponent's clock is against the rules, and the Arbiter can penalize a player for doing so. But if your opponent's playing normally when you time out, yes, you're done.
* InsufferableGenius: A few of the more notable masters. Bobby Fischer is one of the most famous examples:
-->"I like the moment when I break a man's ego."\\
"There are tough players and nice guys, and I'm a tough player."\\
"There's no one alive I can't beat."\\
"I add status to any tournament I attend."\\
--Bobby Fischer, 11th World Champion of Chess
** And this isn't even getting into his assertion that he could play a knight down against any woman and still win.
* IShallTauntYou: Possible in a casual game, but considered unsportsmanlike at all levels and outright illegal in tournaments, zero questions asked.
designated "underpromotion".
* ISurrenderSuckers: GuideDangIt: While most people can tell you the general rules, some rules only have impact in late-game play and are therefore rare enough to encounter that people tend to forget how exactly they work.
**
The entire point of En Passant maneuver ("in passing"), where a gambit.
** Also
player with a pawn in position to capture an enemy pawn if it moves forward one space, and the Greek gift sacrifice. It looks like opponent moves it two spaces forward to evade the capture, the offensive player may move his pawn as if to interrupt the defending pawn "in passing". This rule can only be taken advantage of immediately after the defending pawn moves forward.
** The "threefold repetition" rule - that either player may declare
a DesperationAttack, game drawn if the same position occurs for the third time - is a particularly egregious example. The rule refers to a ''position'', rather than a move, repeated three times. At this point, a draw may be taken (this normally happens when moves are repeated but it's not.doesn't have to). There have been a few high-level cases where a player has unintentionally let this happen.



* ItsUpToYou: One of the most extreme handicaps in chess is that you have to checkmate with a particular chessman, denoted by placing a ring around it if it's a piece (ringed piece) or a hat on its head if it's a pawn (capped pawn odds). If that chessman is captured (or promoted, if a pawn), the odds-giver loses. If the odds-giver checkmates with another piece, the odds-giver loses. This handicap is considered equivalent to playing without a queen.
* JokeCharacter: Underpromotion of a pawn (to something other than a queen). It's usually done when promoting to a queen would allow stalemate, or when it's crucial to cause check on the promoting move.
** See the end position of [[http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1497429 this game]] for an example, starting on move 221. (Note that the underpromotion to bishops in this game was largely a matter of showing off; promoting to queens would not have forced stalemate and would have ended the game much more quickly.)
** [[LethalJokeCharacter Underpromotion to a knight]] has some definite tactical advantages, in that a knight can create forks which a queen cannot. The ''only'' reasons to underpromote to a bishop or a rook, instead of a queen, is if a queen would cause an immediate stalemate, or if you were trying to force stalemate yourself to salvage a draw in a losing position.
* KeystoneArmy: Once the king is captured, the game is over. It doesn't matter if you have the material advantage or not, you still lose.
* KnightInShiningArmor
* KnowWhenToFoldEm: It is considered good manners to resign when one's position is such that there is basically no chance of attaining a win or a draw, rather than to drag the game out for your opponent. Conversely, it is also considered polite to end the game as quickly as possible if one is on the "undoubtedly going to win" end.
* LastStand / LastVillainStand: A losing player may attempt this. Experts generally won't, though, because they can see when checkmate is inevitable.
* LethalJokeCharacter: The pawn; see HeartIsAnAwesomePower above. Also, the knight; it may move in a somewhat absurd pattern (and with a limited range too), but it can be used to create some [[SadisticChoice really nasty forks]], taking away high-value pieces like the queen and rooks.
** Significant underpromotions (i.e. underpromotions with a useful purpose) can also be this.
* LightIsNotGood[=/=]DarkIsNotEvil: If you're playing black. Also in general, seeing as how White always begins the conflict.
* LightningBruiser: Queens and Rooks.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading: Way back in the seventies "cheap computer" was an oxymoron, and the only way you could have such a device as a standalone electronic chess board that ''didn't'' cost you a fortune was to have really ''really'' '''really''' slow chips in it, even for the day. Such old machines would scale their thinking time exponentially as you increased the difficulty level, to the point that selecting the highest would effectively result in a correspondence match, as every move would have the computer think on every move for hours or even '''days''' for the very slowest models.
* MagikarpPower: "I swear to God when my pawns reach the end of the board I am going to kill you all!"
* {{Metagame}}: The game has been analyzed ''exhaustively'' for at least the past five hundred years. Almost definitely the TropeMaker.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: Pretty much all these attempts to compare chess directly to warfare or personify the pieces. As Edward Lasker wrote, "it is quite unjustifiable to assign to the Knights the functions of scouts, and to say that Rooks should stay in the background, as heavy artillery, and so on. Such pronouncements would not have the slightest practical value."
** There is a school of thought that prefers to see chess as a game that represents politics rather than a direct conflict between two armies since Queens and Bishops aren't usually on the battlefield but influential in more subtle ways.
* MexicanStandoff: So, your opponent is [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl threatening your queen]] and it is impossible to save her? Respond by threatening ''their'' queen and maybe two or more pieces with it.
* MilesGloriosus: Called a patzer.
* MirrorMatch: As noted above, the board is set up so that the pieces mirror one another on both sides. Actually trying to ''play'' a Mirror Match is generally ill-advised, as experienced players who recognize what is going on will invariably set their opponent up for devastating early-game losses of material (or even checkmates).

to:

* ItsUpToYou: One MechanicallyUnusualFighter: The knight's movement of exactly two squares seems limiting, especially since it's the most extreme handicaps only piece which cannot capture an adjacent piece, but the odd pattern of its movement means it is the only piece which can threaten a queen without being threatened in chess is that you have return, and its ability to leap over pieces means it's the only piece which can checkmate with a particular chessman, denoted by placing a ring around it if it's a piece (ringed piece) or a hat on its head if it's a pawn (capped pawn odds). If that chessman is captured (or promoted, if a pawn), the odds-giver loses. If the odds-giver checkmates with another piece, the odds-giver loses. This handicap is considered equivalent to playing without a queen.
* JokeCharacter: Underpromotion of a pawn (to something other than a queen). It's usually done when promoting to a queen would allow stalemate, or when it's crucial to cause check on the promoting move.
** See the end position of [[http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1497429 this game]] for an example, starting on move 221. (Note that the underpromotion to bishops in this game was largely a matter of showing off; promoting to queens would not have forced stalemate and would have ended the game much more quickly.)
** [[LethalJokeCharacter Underpromotion to a knight]] has some definite tactical advantages, in that a knight can create forks which a queen cannot. The ''only'' reasons to underpromote to a bishop or a rook, instead of a queen, is if a queen would cause an immediate stalemate, or if you were trying to force stalemate yourself to salvage a draw in a losing position.
* KeystoneArmy: Once the
king is captured, the game is over. It doesn't matter if you have the material advantage or not, you still lose.
* KnightInShiningArmor
* KnowWhenToFoldEm: It is considered good manners to resign when one's position is such that there is basically no chance
behind a wall of attaining a win or a draw, rather than to drag the game out for your opponent. Conversely, it is also considered polite to end the game as quickly as possible if one is on the "undoubtedly going to win" end.
* LastStand / LastVillainStand: A losing player may attempt this. Experts generally won't, though, because they can see when checkmate is inevitable.
* LethalJokeCharacter: The pawn; see HeartIsAnAwesomePower above. Also, the knight; it may move in a somewhat absurd pattern (and with a limited range too), but it can be used to create some [[SadisticChoice really nasty forks]], taking away high-value pieces like the queen and rooks.
** Significant underpromotions (i.e. underpromotions with a useful purpose) can also be this.
* LightIsNotGood[=/=]DarkIsNotEvil: If you're playing black. Also in general, seeing as how White always begins the conflict.
* LightningBruiser: Queens and Rooks.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading: Way back in the seventies "cheap computer" was an oxymoron, and the only way you could have such a device as a standalone electronic chess board that ''didn't'' cost you a fortune was to have really ''really'' '''really''' slow chips in it, even for the day. Such old machines would scale their thinking time exponentially as you increased the difficulty level, to the point that selecting the highest would effectively result in a correspondence match, as every move would have the computer think on every move for hours or even '''days''' for the very slowest models.
* MagikarpPower: "I swear to God when my pawns reach the end of the board I am going to kill you all!"
* {{Metagame}}: The game has been analyzed ''exhaustively'' for at least the past five hundred years. Almost definitely the TropeMaker.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: Pretty much all these attempts to compare chess directly to warfare or personify the pieces. As Edward Lasker wrote, "it is quite unjustifiable to assign to the Knights the functions of scouts, and to say that Rooks should stay in the background, as heavy artillery, and so on. Such pronouncements would not have the slightest practical value."
** There is a school of thought that prefers to see chess as a game that represents politics rather than a direct conflict between two armies since Queens and Bishops aren't usually on the battlefield but influential in more subtle ways.
* MexicanStandoff: So, your opponent is [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl threatening your queen]] and it is impossible to save her? Respond by threatening ''their'' queen and maybe two or more pieces with it.
* MilesGloriosus: Called a patzer.
* MirrorMatch: As noted above, the board is set up so that the pieces mirror one another on both sides. Actually trying to ''play'' a Mirror Match is generally ill-advised, as experienced players who recognize what is going on will invariably set their opponent up for devastating early-game losses of material (or even checkmates).
his own pieces.



* MortonsFork: Usually known only as "a fork," in which two of your pieces are threatened with capture by the ''same'' opposing piece. As the person who just got [[UnusualEuphemism forked]], your only choice is [[SadisticChoice which piece you lose]], since you usually can't save both of them in one turn... and, if one of the pieces being threatened is your king, you don't even get to choose. In higher-level play, key squares may be forked as well, forcing the defender to choose between material disadvantage and positional disadvantage.
** There's also skewers and pins, where a piece comes under threat, but moving it will expose another piece to capture by the same opposing piece. The difference between the two situations depends on the value of the pieces threatened.
*** ''Especially'' cross-pins, where moving a piece under threat exposes two or more of your other pieces to capture. And if one of said pieces is your king...
** And, to round out the list, discovered attacks, where a move attacks one piece and at the same time uncovers an attack on another piece.
*** [[TakeAThirdOption Check]][[CrowningMomentOfAwesome mate.]]
** Zugzwang is a form of this trope: you have nothing but bad moves (moves that will put you in a worse position than before) and it's your turn to move. Good luck.
* MyDeathIsOnlyTheBeginning: Sacrifices are a common strategy.
* NiceHat: The bishops, king, and queens all have nice hats.
* NoEnding: These days, the checkmate and stalemate are virtually extinct in high-level play. Nearly all master-level games end with a resignation or agreed draw (often leaving beginners in the dark about why the winner was winning, or why the draw was inevitable).
* NoPronunciationGuide: Kind of a given, since positions and variations are named after players from all over the world. Probably the most commonly misread names are the Pirc Defence ("peerts") and the Lucena position ("loo-thay-na").
* NonActionGuy: The King. Though he [[TookALevelInBadass gets better]] in the endgame, he's still slow.
* NonActionBigBad: Your opponent's king.
* ObviousRulePatch: The "same rank" rule of [[SwitchOutMove castling]] (curing a GoodBadBug). Also, the 50 move rule, which at one point, was itself patched, patched again, and then finally unpatched.
** You used to be allowed to promote a pawn to one of the other player's pieces or leave it as a Pawn. You could also move into triple check (only check and double check counted as check) and checkmate with an illegal move.
** [[GuideDangIt En passant]] is itself an ObviousRulePatch to the two-square initial pawn move.
** Chess tournaments enacted the "no talking" and "move-touch" (no taking back moves) rules because of players distracting each other or outright [[[IShalLTauntYou screwing with each other]], such as making moves then immediately taking them back several times in a row. Further sportsmanship rules were added to deal with [[ExactWords non-verbal means of getting under an opponent's skin]].

to:

* MortonsFork: Usually known only as "a fork," in which two of your pieces are threatened with capture by the ''same'' opposing piece. As the person who just got [[UnusualEuphemism forked]], your only choice is [[SadisticChoice which piece you lose]], since you usually can't save both of them in one turn... and, if one of the pieces being threatened is your king, you don't even get to choose. In higher-level play, key squares may be forked as well, forcing the defender to choose between material disadvantage and positional disadvantage.
ObviousRulePatch:
** There's also skewers and pins, where a piece comes under threat, but moving it will expose another piece to capture by the same opposing piece. The difference between the two situations depends on the value of the pieces threatened.
*** ''Especially'' cross-pins, where moving a piece under threat exposes two or more of your other pieces to capture. And if one of said pieces is your king...
** And, to round out the list, discovered attacks, where a move attacks one piece and at the same time uncovers an attack on another piece.
*** [[TakeAThirdOption Check]][[CrowningMomentOfAwesome mate.]]
** Zugzwang is a form of this trope: you have nothing but bad moves (moves that will put you in a worse position than before) and it's your turn to move. Good luck.
* MyDeathIsOnlyTheBeginning: Sacrifices are a common strategy.
* NiceHat: The bishops, king, and queens all have nice hats.
* NoEnding: These days, the checkmate and stalemate are virtually extinct in high-level play. Nearly all master-level games end with a resignation or agreed draw (often leaving beginners in the dark about why the winner was winning, or why the draw was inevitable).
* NoPronunciationGuide: Kind of a given, since positions and variations are named after players from all over the world. Probably the most commonly misread names are the Pirc Defence ("peerts") and the Lucena position ("loo-thay-na").
* NonActionGuy: The King. Though he [[TookALevelInBadass gets better]] in the endgame, he's still slow.
* NonActionBigBad: Your opponent's king.
* ObviousRulePatch:
The "same rank" rule of [[SwitchOutMove castling]] (curing a GoodBadBug). GoodBadBug).
**
Also, the 50 move rule, rule[[labelnote:Explanation]]If each side has made 50 consecutive moves without capturing or moving a pawn, either player can declare the game drawn[[/labelnote]], which at one point, was itself patched, patched again, and then finally unpatched.
** You used to be allowed to promote a pawn to one of the other player's pieces pieces[[labelnote:*]]in a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joke_chess_problem#Offbeat_interpretations_of_the_rules_of_chess very specific position]], it was possible to checkmate the opponent by promoting to the other color[[/labelnote]] or leave it as a Pawn.Pawn[[labelnote:*]]only useful to avoid stalemate[[/labelnote]]. You could also move into triple check (only check and double check counted as check) and checkmate with an illegal move.
** [[GuideDangIt En passant]] is itself an ObviousRulePatch to a patch on the two-square initial pawn move.
move, which was created because the early game was so slow.
** Chess tournaments enacted the "no talking" and "move-touch" "touch-move" (no taking back moves) rules because of players distracting each other or outright [[[IShalLTauntYou [[[IShallTauntYou screwing with each other]], such as making moves then immediately taking them back several times in a row. Further sportsmanship rules were added to deal with [[ExactWords non-verbal means of getting under an opponent's skin]].



* OpposingCombatPhilosophies: Lots of them, eg. positional vs. structural play, classical vs. hypermodern, whether to strive for initiative vs. material. Some have become obsolete, like [[CombatAestheticist Romantic chess]] (a style relying heavily on dramatic flourishes such as always taking gambits and making unexpected HeroicSacrifices).
* OutGambitted
* PlayByPostGames: Mail chess has been around for centuries.
** Also known as Correspondence Chess. It may take months to finish a game like this. The Internet can speed this up significantly, though.
* PlayerTic: Most players will announce resigning a game by knocking their own king down. This is unnecessary, as simply ''announcing'' your decision is sufficient but has become part of the collective mannerism of the chess world.
* PressStartToGameOver: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholar%27s_mate The Scholar's Mate]] ends the game in only ''four moves''--the shortest checkmate that happens with any regularity. There is one that's shorter, though, that requires one side to play like [[IdiotBall a complete idiot]]: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fool%27s_Mate The Fool's Mate]]. Because White moves first, White can accomplish this in three moves, Black in only ''two''.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joke_chess_problem#Self-solving_problems This]] joke chess problem. It is literally impossible for Black not to lose, even if White were the worst chess player there is.
* ProlongedPrologue: The opening of the game can sometimes take quite a few moves of development before the action starts. The Giuoco Piano ("quiet game") opening got its name from this.
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: Pawns get one if they manage to cross the board unscathed.
* PVPBalanced: Of the "both sides are identical" variety.
** Well, not exactly. Although they start off symmetrically, white has one advantage over black: it has the first move. This enough to provide it with a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-move_advantage_in_chess#Winning_percentages small but significant winning percentage over black]], although it's debatable if this advantage exists (or if it's amplified!) outside of top-level play.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: Ever tried to give mate with just king, knight, and bishop versus king? Their asymmetrical natures are the main staple of the material point scoring system in chess. Rooks are each worth five points and bishops and knights three each, because while a king and one rook alone can checkmate an enemy king, a king and one bishop or knight alone cannot.
* RedshirtArmy: Averted. Even though "pawn" is often used in a metaphorical sense for a member of a RedshirtArmy, you will almost never hear a halfway-decent chessplayer use the term in this way. That's because chessplayers are well aware that games are often decided by a single pawn. While pawn sacrifices are not infrequent, those sacrifices are not made lightly, since the player knows the loss of that single pawn can eventually spell disaster if he does not achieve some significant advantage from the sacrifice.
** Indeed, losing a single pawn without some sort of compensation in high enough level of play can be reason enough for a player to resign. It might even be expected as a courtesy, if the situation is hopeless for the person a pawn down.
** When and when not to sacrifice pawns is the direct subject of one main branches of chess theory, the gambit.
* {{Retool}}: It's been subject to more than a few over its history.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The queen fulfills this throughout the game, while the king tends to become this in the endgame; next to the queen he looks like a NonActionGuy, but [[TookALevelInBadass once the enemy's at his doorstep]] he can hold his own.
** What's more, in your typical endgame, the king is of vital importance for picking off enemy pawns, and protecting your own pawns from being picked off by the other king.
* SadisticChoice: Forks force a player to choose which piece is captured.
** This is also the typical case for zugzwangs, where [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption any move you make puts you in a worse position than before.]] [[StupidityIsTheOnlyOption And you ]]''[[StupidityIsTheOnlyOption must]]'' [[StupidityIsTheOnlyOption move.]]
* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: The king and queen.
* SeriousBusiness: When entire lives have been dedicated to mastering the game as much as is humanly possible, you better believe chess is ''very'' serious business.

-->"It's easy to get obsessed with chess."\\
--Magnus Carlsen, highest rated player in history

** Part of the Soviet military's strategic training regimen consisted of ensuring that their generals were all competent chess players.
* ShowSomeLeg: Going all ''Film/TheThomasCrownAffair1968'' on your opponent is [[ObviousRulePatch against the laws of chess]]. See [[http://www.fide.com/component/handbook/?id=124&view=article Article 12]], sections 12.1 and 12.6.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: Averted and played straight depending upon the player in question.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Too bad that beautiful attack on the enemy's king you had planned ended up failing because you didn't see that knight check, or passed pawn, or unavoidable fork. Commonly referred to a "resource", or, if you want to sound pretentious, a "zwischenzug" (German for "intermediate move").
* StraightForTheCommander: This is the whole objective, via taking out the enemy king. Taking out the enemy pieces doesn't matter, although it makes life easier for you.
* StoneWall: The playing style of Tigran Petrosian could be described as this. He put safety above all else, and put more effort in hindering his opponent's attacking plans than executing his own. While this approach gave him quite a few draws that could have been victories, it gave him lots and lots draws that could have been losses. Because of this defensive style, he's generally regarded as the hardest player to beat in his prime. Earned him the nickname "[[MadeOfIron Iron]]" Tigran. [[note]][[MeaningfulName Amusingly, his surname derives from Petros, meaning "rock".]][[/note]]
** "They say my games should be more 'interesting'. I could be more 'interesting' and also lose."
** There's even a chess formation called the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_Attack Stonewall]] (usually used by Black in the Dutch.)
** More generally, pawn chains.[[note]]A formation of diagonal pawns where each is protected by the one behind it[[/note]] Used properly, they can effectively lock out the opposing player from a large chunk of the board, and are really hard to take apart without the enemy having to sacrifice something of their own.
* StopCopyingMe: A frequent tactic by people who don't know what they're doing. It generally ends in disaster.
** The Russian opening is all about this. If the black side merely copies white without ever deviating, white will deliver a devastating check that black will not be able to mimic.
** That said, copying can safely go on for several moves in ''some'' openings. For example, the aptly named Symmetrical Variation of the Symmetrical English opening, 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O, is a perfectly respectable opening for both players.
* StupidSacrifice: Called an unsound sacrifice. Often an attempt at a HeroicSacrifice that fails for some reason or another.
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: In some situations, a player will make their own position worse no matter ''which'' move they make, and would in fact be better off by simply not making a move... but by the rules of chess, said player ''must'' make a move when it's their turn, or else end the game (usually by resigning). This situation is called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugzwang zugzwang]].
* StupidityInducingAttack: A strong attack on, say, the opponent's king can cause them to panic and end up losing material.
* SuicideMission: Called going desperado, when a player knows a piece is doomed but tries to [[TakingYouWithMe take as many pieces with it as possible]]).
* SurpriseCheckmate: They happen to casual players all the time. They do not happen very often to grandmasters--checkmates of any sort are very very rare in high-level play, as most games end in draws or a player resigning when he sees his position is lost--but they are not unknown. One of the most famous happened in the 2006 match between Vladimir Kramnik and the computer Deep Fritz, in which Kramnik, then the world champion, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blunder_(chess)#Deep_Fritz_vs._Vladimir_Kramnik completely missed a mate-in-one.]]
** One possible [[BatmanGambit swindling]] technique for a seemingly lost game involves setting up a surprise mating attack. Generally the opponent has to fail to see it coming, but even grandmasters have fallen for a swindle of this nature. [[http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1067981 Here]] is an example of a surprise attack that succeeded (White as the swindler; Black resigns because he could not avoid checkmate). David Bronstein's multiple attempts to swindle a game from Bogdan Śliwa (in what became known as the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortal_Losing_Game Immortal Losing Game]]) are an example of an unsuccessful surprise mating attack.
* SweetPollyOliver[=/=]TomatoSurprise: Pawns that become Queens.
* TakeAThirdOption: If two of your pieces are under attack, you are usually forced to give up one of them. In some situations though, you can get away with it by moving one of those pieces to put the opposing King in check, and then move the other piece to safety on the next move.
* TakingTheBullet: One way of protecting the king is to move a piece between the king and the piece giving check.
* TakingYouWithMe: Called "desperado", where a piece goes off the rails and tries to take as much material with it as it can before getting taken itself.
* TeenGenius: Many World Champions were child (or teen) prodigies, such as Boris Spassky and Mikhail Tal, but Jose Capablanca is probably the iconic case. He learned chess by 4 years old by [[AwesomenessByAnalysis watching his dad playing]] and by the age of 12, he had already beaten the Cuban Chess Champion.
** Joshua Waitzkin, the subject of ''Film/SearchingForBobbyFischer'' and face of the game series ''Game/{{Chessmaster}}'', was one of these.
*** Bobby Fischer himself was one, winning the United States Chess Championship at the age of 14.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Carlsen Magnus Carlsen]] was one, reaching the number one according to the FIDE at the age of 19. And World Champion by 23...

to:

* OpposingCombatPhilosophies: Lots of them, eg. positional vs. structural play, classical vs. hypermodern, whether to strive for initiative vs. material. Some have become obsolete, like [[CombatAestheticist Romantic chess]] (a style relying heavily on dramatic flourishes such as always taking gambits and making unexpected HeroicSacrifices).
* OutGambitted
* PlayByPostGames: Mail chess has been around for centuries.
** Also known as Correspondence Chess. It may take months to finish a game like this. The Internet can speed this up significantly, though.
* PlayerTic: Most players will announce resigning a game by knocking their own king down. This is unnecessary, as simply ''announcing'' your decision is sufficient but has become part of the collective mannerism of the chess world.
* PressStartToGameOver: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholar%27s_mate The Scholar's Mate]] ends the game in only ''four moves''--the shortest checkmate that happens with any regularity. There is one that's shorter, though, that requires one side to play like [[IdiotBall a complete idiot]]: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fool%27s_Mate The Fool's Mate]]. Because White moves first, White can accomplish this in three moves, Black in only ''two''.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joke_chess_problem#Self-solving_problems This]] joke chess problem. It is literally impossible for Black not to lose, even if White were the worst chess player there is.
* ProlongedPrologue: The opening of the game can sometimes take quite a few moves of development before the action starts. The Giuoco Piano ("quiet game") opening got its name from this.
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: Pawns get one if they manage to cross the board unscathed.
* PVPBalanced: Of the "both sides are identical" variety.
** Well, not exactly. Although they start off symmetrically, white has one advantage over black: it has the first move. This enough to provide it with a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-move_advantage_in_chess#Winning_percentages small but significant winning percentage over black]], although it's debatable if this advantage exists (or if it's amplified!) outside of top-level play.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: Ever tried to give mate with just king, knight, and bishop versus king? Their asymmetrical natures are the main staple of the material point scoring system in chess. Rooks are each worth five points and bishops and knights three each, because while a king and one rook alone can checkmate an enemy king, a king and one bishop or knight alone cannot.
* RedshirtArmy: Averted. Even though "pawn" is often used in a metaphorical sense for a member of a RedshirtArmy, you will almost never hear a halfway-decent chessplayer use the term in this way. That's because chessplayers are well aware that games are often decided by a single pawn. While pawn sacrifices are not infrequent, those sacrifices are not made lightly, since the player knows the loss of that single pawn can eventually spell disaster if he does not achieve some significant advantage from the sacrifice.
** Indeed, losing a single pawn without some sort of compensation in high enough level of play can be reason enough for a player to resign. It might even be expected as a courtesy, if the situation is hopeless for the person a pawn down.
** When and when not to sacrifice pawns is the direct subject of one main branches of chess theory, the gambit.
* {{Retool}}: It's been subject to more than a few over its history.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The queen fulfills this throughout the game, while the king tends to become this in the endgame; next to the queen he looks like a NonActionGuy, but [[TookALevelInBadass once the enemy's at his doorstep]] he can hold his own.
** What's more, in your typical endgame, the king is of vital importance for picking off enemy pawns, and protecting your own pawns from being picked off by the other king.
* SadisticChoice: Forks force a player to choose which piece is captured.
** This is also the typical case for zugzwangs, where [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption any move you make puts you in a worse position than before.]] [[StupidityIsTheOnlyOption And you ]]''[[StupidityIsTheOnlyOption must]]'' [[StupidityIsTheOnlyOption move.]]
* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: The king and queen.
* SeriousBusiness: When entire lives have been dedicated to mastering the game as much as is humanly possible, you better believe chess is ''very'' serious business.

-->"It's easy to get obsessed with chess."\\
--Magnus Carlsen, highest rated player in history

** Part of the Soviet military's strategic training regimen consisted of ensuring that their generals were all competent chess players.
* ShowSomeLeg: Going all ''Film/TheThomasCrownAffair1968'' on your opponent is [[ObviousRulePatch against the laws of chess]]. See [[http://www.fide.com/component/handbook/?id=124&view=article Article 12]], sections 12.1 and 12.6.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: Averted and played straight depending upon the player in question.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Too bad that beautiful attack on the enemy's king you had planned ended up failing because you didn't see that knight check, or passed pawn, or unavoidable fork. Commonly referred to a "resource", or, if you want to sound pretentious, a "zwischenzug" (German for "intermediate move").
* StraightForTheCommander: This Because both sides are a KeystoneArmy, your only win condition is the whole objective, via taking to take out the enemy king. Taking out the other enemy pieces doesn't matter, although it makes life easier for you.
* StoneWall: SwitchOutMove: The playing style of Tigran Petrosian could be described as this. He put safety above all else, King and put one of their Rooks may exchange places one time during the game (this is the only time a King can move more effort in hindering his opponent's attacking plans than executing his own. While this approach gave him quite a few draws that could have been victories, it gave him lots and lots draws that could have been losses. Because one square).
* ThatOneRule: The "en passant" move
of this defensive style, he's generally regarded as the hardest player to beat in his prime. Earned him pawn is the nickname "[[MadeOfIron Iron]]" Tigran. [[note]][[MeaningfulName Amusingly, his surname derives from Petros, meaning "rock".]][[/note]]
** "They say my games should be more 'interesting'. I could be more 'interesting' and also lose."
** There's even a chess formation called the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_Attack Stonewall]] (usually used by Black
most frequently overlooked or forgotten rule in the Dutch.)
** More generally, pawn chains.[[note]]A formation of diagonal pawns where each is protected by the one behind it[[/note]] Used properly, they can effectively lock out the opposing player from a large chunk of the board, and are really hard
game. The fact that allowing your piece to take apart without the enemy having to be captured en passant doesn't even help with a sacrifice something of their own.
* StopCopyingMe: A frequent tactic by people who don't know what they're doing. It generally ends
play means it almost never comes up in disaster.
** The Russian opening is all about this. If the black side merely copies white without ever deviating, white will deliver
games between experienced players. And for a devastating check newbie, thinking that black will not be able to mimic.
** That said, copying
you can safely go on for several moves in ''some'' openings. For example, the aptly named Symmetrical Variation of the Symmetrical English opening, 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O, is a perfectly respectable opening for both players.
* StupidSacrifice: Called an unsound sacrifice. Often an attempt at a HeroicSacrifice
move your piece to safety, only to discover that fails for some reason or another.
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: In some situations, a player will make their own position worse no matter ''which'' move they make, and would in fact be better off by simply not making a move... but by the rules of chess, said player ''must'' make a move when
it's their turn, or else end the game (usually by resigning). This situation is called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugzwang zugzwang]].
* StupidityInducingAttack: A strong attack on, say, the opponent's king
not actually safe, can cause them to panic and end up losing material.
* SuicideMission: Called going desperado, when a player knows a piece is doomed but tries to [[TakingYouWithMe take as many pieces with it as possible]]).
* SurpriseCheckmate: They happen to casual players all the time. They do not happen very often to grandmasters--checkmates of any sort are very very rare in high-level play, as most games end in draws or a player resigning when he sees his position is lost--but they are not unknown. One of the most famous happened in the 2006 match between Vladimir Kramnik and the computer Deep Fritz, in which Kramnik, then the world champion, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blunder_(chess)#Deep_Fritz_vs._Vladimir_Kramnik completely missed a mate-in-one.]]
** One possible [[BatmanGambit swindling]] technique for a seemingly lost game involves setting up a surprise mating attack. Generally the opponent has to fail to see it coming, but even grandmasters have fallen for a swindle of this nature. [[http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1067981 Here]] is an example of a surprise attack that succeeded (White as the swindler; Black resigns because he could not avoid checkmate). David Bronstein's multiple attempts to swindle a game from Bogdan Śliwa (in what became known as the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortal_Losing_Game Immortal Losing Game]]) are an example of an unsuccessful surprise mating attack.
* SweetPollyOliver[=/=]TomatoSurprise: Pawns that become Queens.
* TakeAThirdOption: If two of your pieces are under attack, you are usually forced to give up one of them. In some situations though, you can get away with it by moving one of those pieces to put the opposing King in check, and then move the other piece to safety on the next move.
* TakingTheBullet: One way of protecting the king is to move a piece between the king and the piece giving check.
* TakingYouWithMe: Called "desperado", where a piece goes off the rails and tries to take as much material with it as it can before getting taken itself.
* TeenGenius: Many World Champions were child (or teen) prodigies, such as Boris Spassky and Mikhail Tal, but Jose Capablanca is probably the iconic case. He learned chess by 4 years old by [[AwesomenessByAnalysis watching his dad playing]] and by the age of 12, he had already beaten the Cuban Chess Champion.
** Joshua Waitzkin, the subject of ''Film/SearchingForBobbyFischer'' and face of the game series ''Game/{{Chessmaster}}'', was one of these.
*** Bobby Fischer himself was one, winning the United States Chess Championship at the age of 14.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Carlsen Magnus Carlsen]] was one, reaching the number one according to the FIDE at the age of 19. And World Champion by 23...
be extremely frustrating.



* TooAwesomeToUse: ''Because'' of the extreme power of the Queen compared to the other pieces, losing the Queen in exchange for any piece other than another queen (e.g. losing the Queen but taking a Knight) is a downgrade. Additionally, blundering away your queen hurts you more than blundering away any other non-King piece. As a result, players must be especially careful with their Queens to ensure they do not lose them without a sufficient gain in material or position to make up for the loss. This is also why bringing your Queen out too early is a blunder, as your opponent can chase the Queen around with inferior pieces.
* TooDumbToLive: White in the Fool's Mate: 1. g4? e5 2. f4?? [=Qh4=]# 0-1
* TookALevelInBadass: The Queen was once even weaker than the king, and could move only ''one'' square at a time diagonally; when the game was first retooled to make her the most powerful piece on the board, the "variant" was referred to as "mad chess" (as in, "A powerful woman? Madness!")
** The bishop was also weaker in the past (only two squares at a time diagonally).
** Also, pawns when they get across the board. Even without promoting, ''never'' underestimate the threat of a few pawns that slowly start to advance on your king...
** The King goes from "vulnerable, protect at all costs" to "AuthorityEqualsAsskicking" as the board starts to open up in the endgame.
* TotalPartyKill: It's possible to lose every piece but the king, and then get checkmated.
* TrappedBehindEnemyLines: It's possible to trap an opponent's piece such as a rook or queen behind your pawns, in which case it's either useless or can only break out by making a StupidSacrifice.
* TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty:
** Some players consider "swindling," or tricking an opponent into a blunder when they're winning, to be in bad taste; if you're about to be ground into a paste, resigning is seen as more dignified than trying to set a trap. On the other hand, at least one long-running U.S. Champion made his reputation on pulling off artistic swindles.
** Trying to swindle by blatant psychological games is seen as doubly skeevy. A commentator on the 1952 Helsinki Olympiad wrote about one game where a player played a gambit and then, through body language such as [[FacePalm clutching his head]], tricked his opponent into thinking that he'd blundered. The player won, but the commentator indicated that that was not ethical play. Arbiters in a modern tournament can and will penalize you if you're too blatant about this.
** According to current rules, intentionally stalling to [[TimedMission run your opponent's clock out]] is illegal.

to:

* TooAwesomeToUse: ''Because'' of the extreme power of the Queen compared to the other pieces, losing the Queen in exchange for any piece other than another queen (e.g. losing the Queen but taking a Knight) is a downgrade. Additionally, blundering away your queen hurts you more than blundering away any other non-King piece. As a result, players must be especially careful with their Queens to ensure they do not lose them without a sufficient gain in material or position to make up for the loss. This is also why bringing your Queen out too early is a blunder, as your opponent can chase the Queen around with inferior pieces.
* TooDumbToLive: White in the Fool's Mate: 1. g4? e5 2. f4?? [=Qh4=]# 0-1
* TookALevelInBadass: The Queen was once even weaker than the king, and could move only ''one'' square at a time diagonally; pawns [[FieldPromotion when promoted]] by getting to the game was first retooled to make her the most powerful piece on opposite side of the board, the "variant" was referred to as "mad chess" (as in, "A powerful woman? Madness!")
** The bishop was also weaker in the past (only two squares at a time diagonally).
** Also, pawns when they get across the board. Even without promoting, ''never'' underestimate the threat of a few pawns that slowly start to advance on your king...
** The King goes from "vulnerable, protect at all costs" to "AuthorityEqualsAsskicking" as the board starts to open up in the endgame.
* TotalPartyKill: It's possible to lose every
are exchanged for any other piece but the king, and then get checkmated.
* TrappedBehindEnemyLines: It's possible to trap an opponent's piece such as
(except for a rook or queen behind your pawns, in which case it's either useless or can only break out by making a StupidSacrifice.
* TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty:
** Some players consider "swindling," or tricking an opponent into a blunder when they're winning, to be in bad taste; if you're about to be ground into a paste, resigning is seen as more dignified than trying to set a trap. On the other hand, at least one long-running U.S. Champion made his reputation on pulling off artistic swindles.
** Trying to swindle by blatant psychological games is seen as doubly skeevy. A commentator on the 1952 Helsinki Olympiad wrote about one game where a player played a gambit and then, through body language such as [[FacePalm clutching his head]], tricked his opponent into thinking that he'd blundered. The player won, but the commentator indicated that that was not ethical play. Arbiters in a modern tournament can and will penalize you if you're too blatant about this.
** According to current rules, intentionally stalling to [[TimedMission run your opponent's clock out]] is illegal.
second King).



* UnstableEquilibrium: Since captured pieces are removed from play permanently, it is very difficult to stage a comeback once you're outnumbered.
* {{Unwinnable}}: A stalemate occurs if the player whose turn it is cannot make any legal moves, but his king is not in check. This usually only occurs said player has no chessmen left except pawns and king (and thus is losing). But if said opponent is crafty, his strategy in that position may very well be to get himself stalemated to snatch a draw out of the jaws of defeat. Capturing so many pieces that checkmate is impossible also results in a draw.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou[=/=]DecapitatedArmy: As noted above, if the King is ever placed in checkmate, the game ends.
* WeHaveReserves: Though more central to checkers then chess, a player with enough material advantage should feel free to win through attrition. This is also a common checkmate theme--a few pieces sacrifice themselves to weaken the defenses around the opponent's king; the reserves rush through what's left to deliver checkmate.
** Inexperienced players often apply this trope to their pawns.
* WorldOfBadass: The chessboard. Any piece can potentially capture any enemy piece (even [[{{Mooks}} Pawns]] can kick ass under the right circumstances). There are only a few minor exceptions:
** Capturing a king is not a legal move (as per the BolivianArmyEnding mentioned above).
** Since a bishop can only ever move to squares of the same color as its starting square, a light square bishop can never capture a dark square bishop, and vice-versa.
** Because pawns start on the second row and can only capture diagonally, there are pawns that can never come into contact with each other (while both are still pawns). For example, there's no sequence of moves that would allow a rook's pawn (pawn that starts in front of a rook, on one edge of the board) to capture the opponent's rook's pawn from the opposite flank (the other side of the board).
* WouldHitAGirl: Any other piece can capture the queen.
* XanatosGambit: Any move that puts the opponent into zugzwang (see StupidityIsTheOnlyOption above).
* XanatosSpeedChess: Literally. The point with the game is to plan several moves ahead.
* YouShallNotPass: Stonewalling your opponent (setting up a pawn formation that is very difficult to overrun). Also, the fortress (setting up a strong protective position for the king when losing, usually to get a draw).
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: The word "gambit", as mentioned above.
** Also Rook/Castle.
** "Stalemate" is another one. It's often used in general language to mean an impasse between two equally powerful forces; but in chess, stalemate means ''the side whose turn it is'' has no moves, which usually requires one side to be much more powerful than the other.
* ZergRush: Pawn storms.

to:

* UnstableEquilibrium: Since captured pieces are removed from play permanently, it WarriorMonk: The Bishop is very difficult to stage a comeback once you're outnumbered.
* {{Unwinnable}}: A stalemate occurs if
member of TheChurch, regularly rushing out into the player whose turn it is cannot make any legal moves, but his king is not in check. This usually only occurs said player has no chessmen left except pawns and king (and thus is losing). But if said opponent is crafty, his strategy in that position may very well be to get himself stalemated to snatch a draw out middle of the jaws of defeat. Capturing so many pieces that checkmate is impossible also results in a draw.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou[=/=]DecapitatedArmy: As noted above, if
battle with the other warriors. (Sandbox note: does not fit the "Western version", put it in "other")
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: From each player's perspective, if their own
King is ever placed in checkmate, the game ends.
* WeHaveReserves: Though more central to checkers then chess, a player with enough material advantage should feel free to win through attrition. This is also a common checkmate theme--a few pieces sacrifice themselves to weaken the defenses around the opponent's king; the reserves rush through what's left to deliver checkmate.
** Inexperienced players often apply this trope to their pawns.
* WorldOfBadass: The chessboard. Any piece can potentially capture any enemy piece (even [[{{Mooks}} Pawns]] can kick ass under the right circumstances). There are only a few minor exceptions:
** Capturing a king is not a legal move (as per the BolivianArmyEnding mentioned above).
** Since a bishop can only ever move to squares of the same color as its starting square, a light square bishop can never capture a dark square bishop, and vice-versa.
** Because pawns start on the second row and can only capture diagonally, there are pawns that can never come into contact with each other (while both are still pawns). For example, there's no sequence of moves that would allow a rook's pawn (pawn that starts in front of a rook, on one edge of the board) to capture the opponent's rook's pawn from the opposite flank (the other side of the board).
* WouldHitAGirl: Any other piece can capture the queen.
* XanatosGambit: Any move that puts the opponent into zugzwang (see StupidityIsTheOnlyOption above).
* XanatosSpeedChess: Literally. The point with the game is to plan several moves ahead.
* YouShallNotPass: Stonewalling your opponent (setting up a pawn formation that is very difficult to overrun). Also, the fortress (setting up a strong protective position for the king when losing, usually to get a draw).
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: The word "gambit", as mentioned above.
** Also Rook/Castle.
** "Stalemate" is another one. It's often used in general language to mean an impasse between two equally powerful forces; but in chess, stalemate means ''the side whose turn it is'' has no moves, which usually requires one side to be much more powerful than the other.
* ZergRush: Pawn storms.
3rd Feb '17 5:02:29 AM LukeSurl
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* ActionGirl: The queen.

to:

* ActionGirl: The queen.[[note]]The names of the pieces vary substantially between languages. In several Eastern languages the "Queen" is called by terms that translate to "Vizier" (minister).[[/note]]
5th Jan '17 6:12:29 PM Madrugada
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* '''King''': One per player. Traditionally the tallest piece, with a {{Creepy Cool Cross|es}} on top. Can move a single square forwards, backwards, left, right, or diagonally. Again, your goal as a player is to make it impossible for your opponent to prevent his king from being captured. If neither side can accomplish this, the game is a draw. A weak piece in the beginning and middle of the game, but surprisingly strong in the end game.

to:

* '''King''': One per player. Traditionally the tallest piece, with a {{Creepy Cool Cross|es}} cross on top. Can move a single square forwards, backwards, left, right, or diagonally. Again, your goal as a player is to make it impossible for your opponent to prevent his king from being captured. If neither side can accomplish this, the game is a draw. A weak piece in the beginning and middle of the game, but surprisingly strong in the end game.



** There is also a series of highly in-depth video games called ''The Chessmaster'', but it doesn't have its own page yet.
* ChildProdigy: Almost a requirement now. The current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, became a grandmaster at the age of thirteen. Sergey Karjakin, who lost to Carlsen in the most recent World Championship match in 2016, became a grandmaster at ''12''.

to:

** There is also a series of highly in-depth video games called ''The Chessmaster'', but it doesn't have its own page yet.
* ChildProdigy: Almost a requirement now.Not uncommon. The current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, became a grandmaster at the age of thirteen. Sergey Karjakin, who lost to Carlsen in the most recent World Championship match in 2016, became a grandmaster at ''12''.



* CoolHorse: The Knight.
* CrazyPrepared: At least at Super GM level, it's necessary being this for the opening.
** At master level, still expect your opponent to wade through your previous games on the night before the play, trying to guess your opening...[[IKnowYouKnowIKnow and trying to guess what you play when you guess he's trying to guess.]]
* CripplingOverspecialization: The vulnerability of the rook and bishop to attack diagonally and horizonally, respectively.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: Checkmate in less than ten moves tends to feel like this. (Keep in mind that there are only a few ways to lose in that short a time, and most of them require you to either be GenreBlind, be carrying the IdiotBall, TooDumbToLive, or flat-out playing to lose.)
** Or a very new player against a more experienced one. Even capable rookies can fall for a four or five move mate if they haven't seen it before.
** In a complex game, checkmates can come out of seemingly nowhere, it really is possible to lose a game before the action started. Of course, less complex games can also fall victim to this; see also [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholar%27s_mate Scholar's Mate]].
*** Quicker (and more humiliating still) is the Fool's mate, ending the game in two moves.[[note]]1. g4 e5 2. f3 [=Qh4#=] or its variants[[/note]] Falling victim to this one is a mistake few players ever make, and only once in a lifetime.

to:

* CoolHorse: The Knight.
* CrazyPrepared: At least at Super GM level, it's necessary being this for the opening.
**
opening. At master level, still expect your opponent to wade through your previous games on the night before the play, trying to guess your opening...[[IKnowYouKnowIKnow and trying to guess what you play when you guess he's trying to guess.]]
* CripplingOverspecialization: The vulnerability of the rook and bishop to attack diagonally and horizonally, respectively.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: Checkmate in less than ten moves tends to feel like this. (Keep in mind that there are only a few ways to lose in that short a time, and most of them require you to either be GenreBlind, be carrying the IdiotBall, TooDumbToLive, or flat-out playing to lose.)
** Or a very new player against a more experienced one. Even capable rookies can fall for a four or five move mate if they haven't seen it before.
** In a complex game, checkmates can come out of seemingly nowhere, it really is possible to lose a game before the action started. Of course, less complex games can also fall victim to this; see also [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholar%27s_mate Scholar's Mate]].
*** Quicker (and more humiliating still) is the Fool's mate, ending the game in two moves.[[note]]1. g4 e5 2. f3 [=Qh4#=] or its variants[[/note]] Falling victim to this one is a mistake few players ever make, and only once in a lifetime.
]]



** In tournaments, it can happen over multiple games, if the players' difference in skill levels (and in some cases, mental strength) is great enough, such as Bobby Fischer's consecutive 6-0 sweeps against Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen in the 1971 Candidates tournament. He would probably have swept "[[StoneWall Iron]]" Tigran Petrosian by the same score too had he not caught a cold before the second game; instead he "only" won 6½-2½.

to:

** In tournaments, it can happen over multiple games, if the players' difference in skill levels (and in some cases, mental strength) is great enough, such as Bobby Fischer's consecutive 6-0 sweeps against Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen in the 1971 Candidates tournament. He would probably have swept "[[StoneWall Iron]]" "Iron" Tigran Petrosian by the same score too had he not caught a cold before the second game; instead he "only" won 6½-2½.6½-2½.



* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Most sets are black and white, or just plain dark and light.
* DenialOfDiagonalAttack: Rooks can only attack vertically or horizontally, but they can travel any number of squares in that direction. ''Inverted'' by Bishops and Pawns, who can ''only'' attack diagonally.
* DiagonalSpeedBoost: Averted for the bishop since it can't turn while moving so it takes two turns to get to a position that the rook could reach in one. Played straight for the king and queen.
** Played straight for the bishop since it can reach a position in one move that would take the rook two. Also, for the rook to hit its top speed a file has to be cleared of friendly pawns; it is much easier for a diagonal to be cleared for the bishop.
** The King also has more options when moving diagonally. Richard Reti wrote an endgame study invoking [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9ti_endgame_study this]].



* TheDragon[=/=]TheLancer: The Queen, depending on which side she's on.
** DragonInChief[=/=]HypercompetentSidekick: The queen is more powerful than the king.
5th Jan '17 5:33:37 PM Madrugada
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** DarkActionGirl: Your opponent's queen.



* AnachronismStew: The correspondence chess championship 1995 was won by the Soviet Union. East Germany finished third. (The tournament started in 1987.)
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: Caïssa, goddess of chess. Yes, chess players have even invented their own goddess. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caïssa Really]].



* BadassNormal: There are some powerful Pawn attacks available, position permitting.



* BigBad: Your opponent's king.



* CallingYourAttacks: What the announcer stereotypically does in tournament play.
** Also, the rule commonly followed at the amateur level where the player who places their opponent in check must announce "check". In tournament play, this isn't a rule though.

to:

* CallingYourAttacks: What the announcer stereotypically does in tournament play.
** Also,
the rule commonly followed at the amateur level where the player who places their opponent in check must announce "check"."check" as they make the move. In tournament play, this isn't a rule though.



* ChekhovsGunman: Certain pieces inevitably end up this way, especially pawns. Their positioning early on can determine whether a match is a win, loss or draw.
5th Jan '17 6:52:02 AM Adept
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* '''[[RedshirtArmy Pawns]]''': Representing infantry, each player starts with eight of these, filling the entire second row forward from each side. They move one square forward at a time, except for an optional two squares when moved for the first time; when capturing another piece, they must move one square diagonally forward to do so. Beginning players tend to write them off as useless and obstructive, but players of skill know they are one of the most critical parts of the game. If a pawn makes it all the way to the farthest row on the board, they're instantly upgraded into any other piece of their player's choosing apart from the king, usually a [[MagikarpPower Queen]]. [[note]]Pawns' ability to become Queens is not their only strength--they are [[StoneWall highly effective defenses as well]], as the other player is very unlikely to sacrifice another piece to take one, almost regardless of context[[/note]]
* '''[[LightningBruiser Rooks]]''': Two per player; famously shaped like castles. Originally representing war chariots or siege towers. They can move any number of squares forwards, backwards, left, and right.
* '''[[KnightInShiningArmour Knights]]''': Two per player. The horses; probably the most recognized board game piece in the world. Represent armoured cavalry. Their move has several horrid descriptions floating about, but they move in straight lines like all other pieces. The trick is they move along the lines bisecting the ordinal and diagonal lines used by the queens. These lines only cleanly intersect squares on every two squares moved. A knight moves one square along these lines, skipping over the squares immediately adjacent to it. Like the king which only moves one square the knight has up to eight squares to choose from. Another helpful mnemonic for understanding their weird move is that of the 16 squares which lie 2 away from the knight, the 8 the knight can move to are the opposite color from the one he sits on - so if he's on a black square he can move to one of the 8 white squares which are two away from him. They famously ignore other pieces on their move since they are passing between them. Knights are useful since they can [[TacticalRockPaperScissors threaten a queen without putting themselves in danger]] but they are also the most frequently pinned pieces since they can't attack a piece that is pinning them.
* '''[[ChurchMilitant Bishops]]''': Two per player. Have a top shaped like a bishop's miter. They originally represented war elephants, but such were unknown in Europe (Hannibal Barca notwithstanding) and the imagery eventually aligned to the environment. Can move any number of squares diagonally.

to:

* '''[[RedshirtArmy Pawns]]''': '''Pawns''': Representing infantry, each player starts with eight of these, filling the entire second row forward from each side. They move one square forward at a time, except for an optional two squares when moved for the first time; when capturing another piece, they must move one square diagonally forward to do so. Beginning players tend to write them off as useless and obstructive, but players of skill know they are one of the most critical parts of the game. If a pawn makes it all the way to the farthest row on the board, they're instantly upgraded into any other piece of their player's choosing apart from the king, usually a [[MagikarpPower Queen]]. [[note]]Pawns' ability to become Queens is not their only strength--they are [[StoneWall highly effective defenses as well]], as the other player is very unlikely to sacrifice another piece to take one, almost regardless of context[[/note]]
* '''[[LightningBruiser Rooks]]''': '''Rooks''': Two per player; famously shaped like castles. Originally representing war chariots or siege towers. They can move any number of squares forwards, backwards, left, and right.
* '''[[KnightInShiningArmour Knights]]''': '''Knights''': Two per player. The horses; probably the most recognized board game piece in the world. Represent armoured cavalry. Their move has several horrid descriptions floating about, but they move in straight lines like all other pieces. The trick is they move along the lines bisecting the ordinal and diagonal lines used by the queens. These lines only cleanly intersect squares on every two squares moved. A knight moves one square along these lines, skipping over the squares immediately adjacent to it. Like the king which only moves one square the knight has up to eight squares to choose from. Another helpful mnemonic for understanding their weird move is that of the 16 squares which lie 2 away from the knight, the 8 the knight can move to are the opposite color from the one he sits on - so if he's on a black square he can move to one of the 8 white squares which are two away from him. They famously ignore other pieces on their move since they are passing between them. Knights are useful since they can [[TacticalRockPaperScissors threaten a queen without putting themselves in danger]] but they are also the most frequently pinned pieces since they can't attack a piece that is pinning them.
* '''[[ChurchMilitant Bishops]]''': '''Bishops''': Two per player. Have a top shaped like a bishop's miter. They originally represented war elephants, but such were unknown in Europe (Hannibal Barca notwithstanding) and the imagery eventually aligned to the environment. Can move any number of squares diagonally.



* '''[[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen]]''': One per player. Usually the second largest piece, and tends to have a small knob on its coronet-shaped top. Can move any number of squares left, right, forwards, backwards, or diagonally, thus [[AllYourPowersCombined combining the powers]] of rook and bishop.
* '''[[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething King]]''': One per player. Traditionally the tallest piece, with a {{Creepy Cool Cross|es}} on top. Can move a single square forwards, backwards, left, right, or diagonally. Again, your goal as a player is to make it impossible for your opponent to prevent his king from being captured. If neither side can accomplish this, the game is a draw. A weak piece in the beginning and middle of the game, but surprisingly strong in the end game.

to:

* '''[[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen]]''': '''Queen''': One per player. Usually the second largest piece, and tends to have a small knob on its coronet-shaped top. Can move any number of squares left, right, forwards, backwards, or diagonally, thus [[AllYourPowersCombined combining the powers]] of rook and bishop.
* '''[[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething King]]''': '''King''': One per player. Traditionally the tallest piece, with a {{Creepy Cool Cross|es}} on top. Can move a single square forwards, backwards, left, right, or diagonally. Again, your goal as a player is to make it impossible for your opponent to prevent his king from being captured. If neither side can accomplish this, the game is a draw. A weak piece in the beginning and middle of the game, but surprisingly strong in the end game.
5th Jan '17 1:21:15 AM KYCubbie
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* ChildProdigy: Almost a requirement now. The current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, became a grandmaster at the age of thirteen. Sergey Karjakin - the runner-up in the Candidates Tournament - became a grandmaster at ''12''.

to:

* ChildProdigy: Almost a requirement now. The current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, became a grandmaster at the age of thirteen. Sergey Karjakin - the runner-up Karjakin, who lost to Carlsen in the Candidates Tournament - most recent World Championship match in 2016, became a grandmaster at ''12''.
4th Jan '17 5:42:35 AM Fighteer
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* NewMediaAreEvil: There were a number of controversies about it in the Middle Ages. For example, it was believed highly inappropriate that some mere infantryman - and in a commoner's hands, no less - will be able to kill royalty - that's probably the reason the kings aren't killed or captured in the game, but merely surrender. It also allowed a king to have more than one wife (a real problem for Christians).
28th Dec '16 10:54:18 AM Omeganian
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Added DiffLines:

* NewMediaAreEvil: There were a number of controversies about it in the Middle Ages. For example, it was believed highly inappropriate that some mere infantryman - and in a commoner's hands, no less - will be able to kill royalty - that's probably the reason the kings aren't killed or captured in the game, but merely surrender. It also allowed a king to have more than one wife (a real problem for Christians).
28th Dec '16 10:43:32 AM LordGro
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* NewMediaAreEvil: Why do you think the king is captured instead of killed? It's because once, it was believed highly inappropriate that some mere infantryman - and in a commoner's hands, no less - will be able to kill royalty.
28th Dec '16 3:23:51 AM Omeganian
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Added DiffLines:

* NewMediaAreEvil: Why do you think the king is captured instead of killed? It's because once, it was believed highly inappropriate that some mere infantryman - and in a commoner's hands, no less - will be able to kill royalty.
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