People often vote to close questions at the intersection of chess with some other discipline, arguing "that's really a [math|programming|etc.] question". Two recent examples are How do you calculate error bars on elo rating? and Latex, chess board, skak and pluglossia for arabic won't work together.

Referring people to other sites where they might also seek an answer to their question is fine, of course, but what do we gain by closing these questions? The worst that could happen if we leave them open is... someone might answer them!


2 Answers 2


First of all, different people may have different opinions about what is in scope and out of scope for the site. This is quite normal, especially for interdisciplinary questions, that's why closing a question can always be countered by voting to reopen (and every user, except ♦ moderators, has only one close vote and one reopen vote per question).

I had already voted to reopen the first question; while it does require some mathematics, I don't think it will beyond comprehension for most users here. At least not the results of the answers. I've answered this question which is also at least as much about mathematics as about chess, but the Elo rating is so ubiquitous in chess (and little used outside) that I feel they belong on the site.

Now the second question is different. Most people are not using LaTeX for diagrams; the author indicates the chess part in itself is working, it's the combination of that package and another which leads to problems. Sounds like a complicated TeX issue to me (not a TeX user) which is more likely to be solved on our sister site TeX & LaTeX Stack Exchange; it might not even require chess expertise at all, just somebody who can install both packages, check some log messages or has general experience about how TeX packages can (fail to properly) interact.


Broken window syndrome, Google it

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .