Give you a queen in chess.

newname

Senior Member
Vietnamese
#1
Hi,

I am a weaker player, so I tell my friend:
1 ‘you must give me a queen and a knight’.
2 ‘You must give me a handicap of a king and a queen.’
3 ‘ You must give me a start of a king and a queen.’
4 ‘You must give me a head start of a king and a queen.’

Are they idiomatic?

Thank you.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    #2
    This means the stronger player will play the game with 1 less queen and 1 less knight.

    For that meaning, 1 and 2 are idiomatic. We also say "you must spot me a queen and a knight".

    For that meaning 3 ("a start") and 4 ("a head start") are not idiomatic.

    In a race (or a game that is like a race) a "head start" means you start running first, or you start some distance ahead.
     

    newname

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    #5
    Thank you very much. By the way, what’s wrong with spotting a king? The game will be over when all your opponent’s pieces are captured. It’s much more fun. You should give it a try.:D
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    #6
    Thank you very much. By the way, what’s wrong with spotting a king? The game will be over when all your opponent’s pieces are captured. It’s much more fun. You should give it a try.:D
    You can play anything you want, but it is not "chess". In chess, the game is not over when all your opponent's pieces are captured. That's not how it was played 1500 years ago. It isn't how it is played today.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    #7
    When you play someone in chess, the usual terminology is to give them odds of a piece.
    So I would say instead of 1) You must give me odds of a queen and knight or give me queen and knight odds.
    Colloquially you could just use give instead of give odds, but not in writing.

    Sentence 2) is correct.

    As pointed out, you cannot give odds of a king.

    As for spot, I have never heard this and obviously I can't comment on how frequent it is since it seems to be a US word (colloquial). Spot is normally used to spot the opponent's plan.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    #9
    Yes, the pronoun is optional when you are talking generally (i.e. meaning to give anyone odds).

    But if I were to play someone, I would say to them I can give you/You can have odds of a queen/queen odds.
     
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