So I noticed this question about the basic rules of chess has a (current) score of -3, but it has no close votes. I myself can't find an objective reason to close it based on the current standards.

Would it be good and on-topic to have a reference question on the essential rules of chess? How should we go about having an established question-and-answer?

Alternatively, do we expect that users coming to Chess.SE already have a basic understanding of chess rules?

  • Once, I had a biology question that I Google searched and then I found as a search result that I considered really good, a Biology Stack Exchange question. At the moment, I cannot recall exactly what the question was but I'm sure it's still in my brain. I just wrote a piece of Google feedback implying that people should also be able to find my question that you linked here if they search a phrase showing that my answer is the type of description they're looking for because my answer to it exists. Even if that question didn't exist, somebody who doesn't know how to play chess I think in theory – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 3:56
  • @Timothy I'm not quite sure that I follow you. – Brandon_J Jun 4 '19 at 3:57
  • I'm not the only one who sometimes writes multiple comments like a single comment because they have so much to say. I wasn't actually finished my comment. Anyway, the rest of the comment is as follows "happen to find out that Stack Exchange exists and is a network for asking questions that can be answered that they could not already find the answer to and then ask a question like the one I did. I already submitted some ideas to some Canadian government people which included enabling people to get all the reliable information they need from the website "The Guardian" and creating a mandatory – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 4:02
  • that almost everyone must read that will teach them how to not make so many wrong assumptions and find all the reliable information they need on "The Guardian" and no articles on "The Guardian" are mandatory for them to read unless they want to do an activity that requires them to read the web page on "The Guardian" that gives them all the reliable information they need to do it without causing a problem. For that reason, some people might figure out not to assume for sure what the Wikipedia article en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess really means by its description of all the rules of chess – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 4:08
  • and might find my answer so useful. Of course, the research group that might get created and become in charge of "The Guardian" can't figure out everything or decide it's not essential to be able to learn how to play chess and not create an article giving a concise clear description like my answer or decide it's not worth the work to write the type of description of such low demand so my answer could be useful because of the wisdom of the crowd when people don't feel the need to be so certain of its accuracy that they will only accept information on "The Guardian" and having that information – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 4:14
  • is better than not having it. I wrote the idea about "The Guardian" because I thought it would be useful for the world, not sure that my question could be kept and did it long before this question and if I didn't believe it would be useful, I wouldn't have told them that just to keep my question, and if I later figure out that I made a mistake and maybe the idea of "The Guardian" is not useful, I will probably quite willingly and happily admit I made a mistake and no longer think it's a good idea. Even if my idea about "The Guardian" isn't useful, my question you linked here may still be – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 4:19
  • useful anyway. As a result of the -3 score, I actually wrote a comment on my question explaining why it was unclear and then I think a few hours later, I saw that I gained 20 reputation points for that question, probably because of that comment. At least that's how the reputation menu indicated it although I didn't check what my reputation actually was just before then. I may appear to be promoting my question. I think it's fine. I'm just giving an idea that I know I'm not certain of and might get refuted because ideas can be of some use. Also, I'm not that sure of what I'm saying so I think – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 4:27
  • it's better as a comment than an answer. I think if somebody else writes an answer based on my comment that agrees with my comment it's fine because it shows that two people think that what I'm saying might be true whereas if I write it myself, it only shows that one person thinks it might be true. – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 4:30
  • I just figured out also that even without this comment, I think that if somebody else thinks my question is suitable, it's fine for them to answer that here because then they'll know that two people think it's suitable because I wouldn't have asked it if I didn't but I only know that one person thinks it's suitable so I think it's better that I not answer myself that I think so. I'm not certain that it's suitable. Other people may think it's not suitable. – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 4:44
  • Maybe the question is not needed. If nobody else has that question, they are not in need of my answer to it. However, I think some people do have that question but never ask a question on Stack Exchange. I believe the author of chess.stackexchange.com/questions/5287/… had a very similar question but never asked it as a stand alone question clearly. I technically lied that I was wondering what all the rules were but couldn't think of a solution on how to write the details. There was once a time when I knew quite a lot about how to play chess and was sometimes – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 5:13
  • playing chess games and did not know all the rules of chess, not even counting the extra ones such as 3-fold repetition but much later I knew all the rules aside from the extra ones. I'm not sure of every single rule such as the rule about it being a draw when it's impossible for either play to check mate, and whether they mean impossible to do with the 50 move rule or impossible to do without but that is not actually the reason I wrote that I was wondering. – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 5:17
  • I just figured out a way to fix that problem an did it. I believe that edit does not invalidate the answers. After all, I changed it from a statement to a question. After all, people can ask and answer their own questions. A question is not a statement so it is not lying that you don't know something you do know. – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 5:20

So I noticed this question about the basic rules of chess has a (current) score of -3, but it has no close votes. I myself can't find an objective reason to close it based on the current standards.

I agree. I also can't find any objective reason to close it although I see that, perhaps based off this question, 3 people have voted to close it.

The reasons for downvoting a question are not the same as those for deleting it although clearly there is some correlation. If you hover over the down button the pop-up "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful" appears but "not useful" is not one of the reasons to delete. Nor is "does not show any research effort".

Would it be good and on-topic to have a reference question on the essential rules of chess?

My initial reaction was that people who come here should already know how to play chess but then after reflection I changed my mind. We should be more welcoming.

  • I believe I'm slowly learning and figuring out more and as described in my last 3 comments to that question, I believe it could have been made very clear. Also according to my last 3 comments to Inertial Ignorance's answer, a question very similar to it might be useful. Maybe for those reasons, it's only worth closing that question and not worth deleting it. Feel free to teach me more about how to contribute to Stack Exchange by writing a comment under this comment. However, I may take that comment only as a suggestion and not assume the person who wrote it knows for sure how I should – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 23:01
  • contribute to Stack Exchange. – Timothy Jun 4 '19 at 23:02
  • I think that actually it is worth closing but is not worth deleting. I think it wasn't clear and can be made more specific that I'm asking just about the rules I didn't consider extra rules in my answer making it clear what I mean by extra rules, but if it gets deleted, that might make me think it's not fine to write another question that's a fixed up version of it when it is fine. Also closed questions give other people ideas for writing a fixed up version of it. – Timothy Jun 11 '19 at 4:50
  • the "more welcoming" nonsense has done irreparable damage to the entire SE network over the past six months or so – prusswan Feb 5 '20 at 9:51

I'm really not sure. I don't know everything. I only know that one person thinks the question might be suitable because I'm the one who asked it. If anybody else thinks it might be suitable, that means that two people think the question is suitable, so I think it would be useful to show that by writing an answer saying so. However, I think it would probably be even better if they read my first 8 comments to this question which at the time I posted this answer were all of them, to get some ideas, and then think through how to write the answer before writing it.


Don't need one. This is not a place to teach people how to play the game from scratch. LQ questions draw in LQ users and LQ meta questions!

  • I don't always think before I down vote like I just did. I think this answer can be improved. A down vote is meant to be for when the answer can't be improved to be suitable, not when it's not suitable in its current form. However, it may still be worth writing a comment on the problem. The question of whether we need such a question is an opinion, not a fact. You stated it as though it's a fact. Not everybody would agree with you that Stack Exchange shouldn't have such a question. Some people would form their own opinion independently of what they were taught and say we can have – Timothy Feb 4 '20 at 22:29
  • such a question. – Timothy Feb 4 '20 at 22:30

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