I've recently seen regarding capitalizing on opponents not knowing their openings. As you can see, it was closed as a duplicate of What is a good way to learn opening theory. While it is true that some answers discussed the impracticality of the OP's approach to openings, which is related to the second question, the original intention of the OP was a very different one.

What is really disturbing to me is the fact that the people who voted to close the question did not even give an explanation or post a link to the "related question". I think this "first kill, then ask" approach is very bad for the site, so I would like to at least know the reasons why this question should be considered a duplicate if the only thing they have in common in being somewhat related to opening theory.

I've voted to reopen the question and I'd like to encourage you to do the same thing.

4 Answers 4


I think there is a point to be made for both sides here, but I tend to agree with @David, as the questions focuses on knowledge about learning to punish mistakes in the opening, rather than learning openings itself (which, I guess, incorporates learning this).

I was not able to find anything general about this topic (searchwords "punish, opening") - only questions about specific lines. While I cannot confidently state that the questions share no similarity, I think it (when specified to this) would make a valuable contribution to the ChessSE knowledgebase.

On a side note: I always advocate to incorporate new users as much as possible (hence why I tried to give some starting points in the comments). Getting your first question deleted after joining a site can be a slap in the face - even as it is not intended to go against you. If you do not know how SE works, how its culture works, it is quite hard to take this as the learning experience it can be - an not just say "Frick this site, I'm going somewhere else". I imagine this to be hard to balance with the general structure of the site, but I consider it important if we want to create a community that is somewhat open for newcomers.


I think that question is a typical XY problem.

What is it?

The XY problem is asking about your attempted solution rather than your actual problem.

That is, you are trying to solve problem X, and you think solution Y would work, but instead of asking about X when you run into trouble, you ask about Y.

The author of the question thinks (Y) they can gain advantage from opponents not playing deep theoretical lines, but they can't (at least not at that level); they should concentrate on (X) how to learn opening theory as a beginner, which is something way different from learning long and deep lines.

What is really disturbing to me is the fact that the people who voted to close the question did not even give an explanation or post a link to the "related question".

A comment explaining the XY problem would be helpful here, that's true. The Stack Exchange system already provides a link to the original question, via the "Linked" widget in the sidebar and the banner above the question body, so posting another link is not necessary. (In fact, the first duplicate vote will automatically post a comment with a link to the question; the system automatically cleans it up when the question is actually closed as a duplicate. Then, the comment is just no longer useful.)

  • 5
    Well, if the user is interested about Y rather than X, then why shouldn't we discuss Y? A remark that maybe he should focus on X instead is useful, but that's one thing and closing his question is a very different one
    – David
    Jul 11, 2019 at 13:14

I would like to at least know the reasons why this question should be considered a duplicate

From the question marked as duplicate:

what I struggle with is knowing what to do when my opponent plays a move that is not part of any studied line

This seems to be the nub of the question.

Now from the question which it is a duplicate of:

What's a good strategy to deal with my opponent suddenly going out of book or playing a novelty in an opening that I've memorized?

As you can see the OP is basically asking the same question.

  • 1
    Right, but that was only a tiny part of a "multi-question" that didn't receive much attention either. Apart from "learn the plans rather than the moves", there is not too much knowledge to be gained there. I think there is a lot more to say about the topic, so I don't understand why I should be prevented from answering (and the OP from reading my answer)
    – David
    Jul 11, 2019 at 13:17
  • 2
    I'm afraid I also don't understand. You are perfectly free to add an answer to the original question and I'm sure the OP is perfectly capable of reading it. What we want to avoid is answers to basically the same question scattered throughout the forum.
    – Brian Towers Mod
    Jul 11, 2019 at 15:38

There may be details in the text which could be better focused (editing is allowed) but the headline question is completely different from the alleged "duplicate". The main reason I don't come to this forum more often is I hate witnessing the frequent immoderate "moderation", particularly the bullying of newcomers. These poor folk won't come back: why should they, when they see the group tolerates the dogpile rejection and shaming of their first tentative forays here? And then people moan that we are still only Beta.

EDIT: I look at other forums: many of the questions are quite naive, yet are treated kindly. The gentle education of the original poster is the most important goal of such a thread. A broader benefit to other, future readers is then also likely, if this first task is properly executed. In the mean time, at least one person has been helped.

  • In my opinion, if some users puts on hold/closes a question that should not have been, they should be restricted from voting to close questions in the future
    – David
    Jul 14, 2019 at 18:16
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    Well, that would prevent future closes that's are right. And that goes against the entire system of how all Stack Exchange sites work, @David. I would say that if a question is reopened, those who voted to close it can't vote to close it again as a fair compromise. Jul 14, 2019 at 18:38
  • @RewanDemontay Maybe, but I still think that, if you vote to close 20 questions that are reopened, maybe you are not that qualified to determine what should or shouldn't be closed. I don't see why it goes against the Stack Exchange philosophy. (you need reputation to do certain things, maybe there should be an "answerer reputation" and a "moderation reputation"
    – David
    Jul 15, 2019 at 7:08
  • 1
    I wouldn't go as far as @David to suggest restrictions on voters. And their original votes to close remain valid, so do not need to be recast as Rewan proposes
    – Laska
    Jul 16, 2019 at 21:44
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    @RewanDemontay I would say that if a question is reopened, those who voted to close it can't vote to close it again as a fair compromise. That's already the case (except for ♦ moderators): Questions can go through multiple close and reopen cycles, but each individual user may cast at most one close and one reopen vote per question.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jul 17, 2019 at 8:19
  • @David "if you vote to close 20 questions that are reopened" a user can only vote once and it needs 5 votes to close a question (unless they're mods, or gold-badgers for duplicate). If those 20 questions get closed and reopened, perhaps there's something unclear with the site policy? (In fact, it was a mod who closed that particular question)
    – Andrew T.
    Jul 22, 2019 at 7:32
  • The title is not part of the question. It is only a short synopsis that aids in finding the appropriate actual Q&A, which are placed in the body of all posts. This is an argument for understanding how SE works, not against closing questions as duplicate that are attempting to obtain the same answers.
    – Nij
    Jul 24, 2019 at 20:02

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