More interesting things about chess

Chess Notations

Chess notation is a convenient way to keep track of games, so that you can replay them to study tactics, understand mistakes, or impress your friends. Try out chess notation in your next game – you’ll find that nothing is more satisfying than that well-placed exclamation mark after the move that wins you the game.

Chess Federations

Chess federations are the regulatory bodies that oversee and take care of all the official matters related to chess.

FIDE is the International Chess Federation and is the governing body of all matters related to chess globally. They are the organization that organizes the most important chess events, such as the Candidates Tournament and the World Chess Championship. They are also the ones who award chess titles and oversee players’ international ratings.

Many countries also have their own federations, such as the US Chess in the United States or the Chess Federation of Russia. National federations take care of chess matters inside their countries, like organizing national events and overseeing national ratings. Some national federations also give out national titles.

Chess Rating System

Chess ratings represent the relative strength of a player compared to others who play in the same group. FIDE chose the Elo rating system to determine players’ international ratings. However, national federations can adopt different systems, such as the English Federation’s ECF grading system.

The Glicko rating system is the one usually adopted in online chess. It works similarly to the Elo rating system, but it considers more variants in its calculations.

Chess Competition

Chess is an organized competitive sport with numerous national and international competitions happening every year. With thousands of events happening worldwide, there are competitions for players of all levels. The most prestigious competition is the World Chess Championship, a match between the current world champion and a challenger.

Chess Titles

Chess Titles are recognitions given by chess federations to players who achieve excellence in chess. The recognitions are based on the players’ skill, performance, and rank.

FIDE awards the open international titles of candidate master, FIDE Master, International Master, and Grandmaster. They also grant the women-exclusive titles of woman candidate master, woman FIDE master, woman international master, and woman grandmaster.

National federations can also have their own titles, which are valid in only their national territory. An example is US Chess’ national master and life master titles.

Chess Theory And Strategy

With such an extensive history and enormous popularity, it’s only natural that masters have studied the game in-depth throughout the ages. Chess theory is the body of knowledge accumulated over the history of the game. It usually divides the game into three stages: the opening, the middlegame, and the endgame.


Opening theory embodies the first few moves of a game. The theory states that players should strive to control the center, develop their pieces to good squares, and keep their kings safe. Masters have studied specific openings with thoroughly analyzed lines and variations. Some of the most widely played openings are the Sicilian Defense and the Ruy Lopez, although many others exist and enjoy vast popularity.


After the opening, the game enters the middlegame. Middlegame theory involves strategical and positional concepts like good or bad bishops, pawn structures, piece maneuvering, overprotection, space, etc.


The endgame starts when most of the pieces have left the board. Some authors consider the endgame to start whenever players trade their queens. Either way, endgame theory involves concepts like pawn promotions, opposition, triangulationfortresses, etc.


Tactics are forcing moves a player makes to take advantage of the position for an immediate gain, such as winning material or checkmating. A player can study many tactical motifs to improve their game, but the basic ones are discovered attacks, pins, skewers, and forks.

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