See the tweet from 2023 world chess champion challenger (and 2021), Russian supergrandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi, regarding the Carlsen–Niemann controversy:

https://twitter.com/lachesisq/status/1575839031358672896 which links to this telegram post https://t.me/nepo64/17 and I think there's meant to be a part 2 https://t.me/nepo64/18

I'm extremely familiar with chess, so I have a feeling it's about openings or something. (Update: As it turns out, I'm extremely familiar with 9LX but not really familiar with chess. The answer is well yeah an answer to do with openings. And since 9LX is pretty much chess without openings, I think this is why I was unable to get it.)

In particular, this drama involves the possibility that Hans somehow knew Magnus preparation i.e. what opening move Magnus was going to play (e.g. someone on Magnus' team sold him out to Hans... or, for instance, Hans hacked into Magnus' laptop or whatever), but I'd like to know what exactly Nepo means by this phrase, please.

Here's where Nepo uses the phrase 'первой линии', which google translate translates as '1st line':

  1. Ты выиграл партию, играя строго по первой линии!
  2. Предположим, что и такое бывает, но гораздо, гораздо реже, чем в случае с отдельной партией по первой линии. Тут может помочь только статистика.
  3. Ты выиграл онлайн-турнир, играя по первой линии!

2 Answers 2


Первая линия — лучшее продолжение, предлагаемое шахматной программой (source: https://chessmatenok.ru/slovar-shahmatnyh-terminov/)

Играть по первой линии - делать те же ходы, что предлагает некоторая шахматная программа, make same moves that some chess program recommends

  • ah ok thanks... 1 - makes a lot of sense. any idea if there's a corresponding english chess term for this russian chess term? 2 - maybe a less literal translation is like 'engine line' of '1st line' ? i don't think i've ever heard a term like this in english chess. looking up glossary of chess i don't see anything when i look up '(insert space here)line'
    – BCLC
    Oct 1, 2022 at 9:25
  • Pavel Mayorov, is 'main line' a fair translation? Please see my answer.
    – BCLC
    Oct 2, 2022 at 12:28
  • 1
    @BCLC I've seen "engine's first choice" used in this context. E.g. "18 moves played by Adam match with the engine’s first choice".
    – il--ya
    Oct 22, 2022 at 16:53

I think it's 'main line'

The principal, most important, or most often played variation of an opening


Based on Pavel Mayorov's answer about chess terms, I looked in the English glossary of chess and I needed to look for '(insert space here)line', but I guess I didn't look carefully enough because I missed 'main line'.

Here's an answer from reddit user intoOwilde

I am not entirely sure since I am only learning russian myself but my hunch is that it might correspond to the english version "the main line", as in the theoretical main line? Which is a common enough expression in english to refer to what is considered best in a variation, of course. Would be nice to see if someone can corroborate

and follow-up

Well, it was a bit of both. "Первый" indeed means "first" and "Линая" is line, so it literally translates to first line. Considering that "main line" is a regular expression in chess and from the context of what Yan wrote it seemed kinda close.

My chess experience is 4 years of watching Agadmator, a 1400 Chess.com rating, a 1700 Lichess rating, a few half-assed Chessable courses, a few half-understood books by Mikhail Tal, and many lost games to better players. ;-) the russian "main" would rather be "Главный", by the way, I was surprised it wasn't that, but it is still understandable

  • 1
    No, "main line" is something completely else. Consider this phrase for example "In the Nc6 line of the Kaufmann Attack (played almost as much as the mainline, and the engine's top choice), white can opt for the position on the left (assuming black plays d5, which is the top move)." As you can see "main line" and "engine's top choice" are contrasted here. As this is a Russian Language SE, and Pavel Mayorov's answer is sufficiently complete (and should be accepted, really), I'm not giving my own answer. But appropriate English translation would be "engine's 1st/top choice/line".
    – il--ya
    Oct 22, 2022 at 17:04
  • @il--ya what's your opinion of this answer?
    – BCLC
    Oct 30, 2022 at 18:12
  • @il--ya Updated answer.
    – BCLC
    Nov 4, 2022 at 6:02
  • "main line", per defenition, "the principal, most important, or most often played variation of an opening", so it applies to openings only! "Main line" is translated into Russian as "основное продолжение". See for example Philidor's defence in wikipedia: Russian "3.d2-d4 — основное продолжение", English "Main line: 3.d4". On the other hand, you can play the whole game by following 1st/top line. And even in opening, "1st line" does not necessarily follows "main line". So as I already said, this is something completely different.
    – il--ya
    Nov 22, 2022 at 10:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.