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After five years, it is kind of odd not to have a unique scope delineated in our help center. A user recently presented me with a very reasonable complaint along these lines, and this prompted me to write one up. Here is the text I added to the standard catch-all lines:

Questions that have to do primarily with chess in its standard form are on-topic here. This includes questions about theory, rules, specific positions/games (including puzzles), chess-specific events, chess players, hard facts such as statistics and other historical data, and physical items such as chessboards, pieces, and clocks.

Other, less specifically chess-related subjects may also be on-topic, depending on how chess-related the specific Q&A is. These gray-area questions include topics of etiquette, psychology, software, books/articles/media. In general, questions which can be answered without significantly referencing any chess-specific data (other than whatever data was presented by the question) are off-topic.

Questions about variants may or may not be accepted, depending how far removed from the standard game it is. In general, a variant which uses the same board and pieces as standard chess is an on-topic subject.

I welcome your feedback, and will be glad to make changes that increase clarity and coverage.

Edit: Bad_Bishop commented that it would be helpful to resolve the gray area surrounding programming questions. Toward this end I posted two answers - one for programming Qs and one against programming Qs. Vote on these to help us determine whether inclusion or exclusion of programming topics would be best for our site.

Edit 2: The poll shows that our community is favorable toward programming questions, and I have added a sentence to that effect in the scope writeup.

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    Looks good to me. One question in the software gray area that has vexed me are questions on how to program a chess engine of your own. Should they be on topic? E.g. this one: chess.stackexchange.com/questions/12580/… – user1108 Jun 19 '16 at 7:51
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    I would say that actual programming at its basic level, no matter the topic of the program, is off-topic here on Chess.SE. Asking for specific insights into theory etc, to improve your knowledge base when creating such a program could easily be on-topic though. Just my thoughts. I'll take a vote here in the answers. – Daniel Jun 20 '16 at 4:10
  • The actual programming at its basic level should be off-topic, but the kinks and twists of coding for the specific purposes of chess (or its relatives and variants), engines/GUIs, and different notations/protocols might beg some leeway on occasion. There are many coding sites, but how many of them overlap with a large and interested population of chess players? – Charles Rockafellor Jul 15 '16 at 19:05
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Yes

Programming questions specifically related to chess, such as this one, are on-topic.

Upvote this post if you think that the site would benefit from including questions regarding chess software programming. For the purposes of this poll, questions regarding existing chess software are not considered. (No downvotes please. If you disagree, upvote the No answer.)

locked by Daniel Jun 24 '16 at 4:07

This question’s answers are a collaborative effort. If you see something that can be improved, just edit the answer to improve it! No additional answers can be added here.

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0

No

Programming questions specifically related to chess, such as this one, are off-topic.

Upvote this post if you think that the site should not include questions regarding chess software programming. For the purposes of this poll, questions regarding existing chess software are not considered. (No downvotes please. If you disagree, upvote the Yes answer.)

locked by Daniel Jun 24 '16 at 4:07

This question’s answers are a collaborative effort. If you see something that can be improved, just edit the answer to improve it! No additional answers can be added here.

Read more about locked posts here.

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