Chess terminology


Gambit - accidental loss of a pawn in the opening
Development - deploying your pieces to squares on which they get kicked around and lose several tempi
First board - weak player who is used as a sacrifical lamb to allow everyone else to have at least some chance of winning
Flight square - escape square for your king, which later turns out to be covered
Good bishop - bishop which is rendered useless by the opponent's pawns
J'adoube - A loophole in the touch-move rule
Novelty - a move which has been played before, but was discarded as poor
Outpost - A fantastic-looking square for a knight, from which it serves no purpose and gets locked out of the game
Sound sacrifice - Giving up material for an attack which succeeds because the opponent was unable to find the correct defence

These are off the top of my head, and it would be good to turn this into a collaborative work!


Attack - a short, sharp-pointed nail

Bad Bishop - another Catholic caught in a sex scandal

Baroque chess set - unrepaired chess set

Bishop pair - strange bed fellows - but don't ask, don't tell

Bishops of the opposite color - very strange couple

board - what spouses are at chess tournaments

Center Counter - small table in the middle of the room

Colle - opening for dog lovers

Danish Opening - opening for pastry lovers

Discovered check - one that fell behind the desk a long time ago

fool's mate - usually the wife or girlfriend of a chessplayer

Fried Liver Attack - a form of indefestion

Knight ending - dawn

self-help mate - a bigamist

statemate - a spouse who keeps repeating the same old bad jokes

woodpusher - lobbyist for the timber industry

Fianchetto - Pinnochio's last name

Zugzwang - German for "constipated" and used when it hurts to move



Lol, excellent billwall. I especially like bad bishop and fool's mate.


To Madhacker and Billwall.. You made me smile with your chess terminologies and their definitions. I wish we have a lot of chessplayers like your kind. Intelligence with sense of humor. 

I am a Filipino but now living in Canada. I am a little bit sad that Canadians are not so keen with Chess. Hockey and Football are their favorites. With their everchanging extreme weather, I don't blame them though.  Thank you to both of you and may your tribe increase.



Open file - The location of a very bad bishop.


Or the location of your opponent's doubled rooks


Passed pawn - The videos you click past until you find one you like.


Forced mate, smothered mate - I hate to think what these are



A pawn chain which is posted near on the promotion.


A pawn who thought that he must open a pawn shopFrown


Sacrifice - A euphemism, prevalent among masters, for having hung a piece.