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With so many combinations of moves possible, how do openings get recognized? For example, what is to prevent me from playing a series of moves and declaring it the xaisoft gambit or xaisoft heart-attack? What organization officially recognizes openings?

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+1 for xaisoft heart attack –  Tony Ennis Feb 20 '13 at 2:54
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

There's no organization that officially names openings. Generally, the first person to publish professional-level research for a sequence of moves gets to name it.

Many openings with modern names were first played 200 years ago.

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You don't need to publish it professionally to have an opening named under you.

Take the example of the recently played Grunfeld defense in the game 1 of WCC 2012 Anand vs Gelfand.

It's a little-known fact that the first person to play Grunfeld defence was a Moheschunder Bannerjee in 1855, but because Ernst Grunfeld used it to stun Alexander Alekhine at Vienna in 1922; hence, the opening was named after Grunfeld.

If you end up using it in a popular/famous duel then also it can be named after you.

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Correct. If you're a leading GM and play it in a tournament, then that can happen. I believe that qualifies as publishing professional research. Besides, who would have the brass to say, "Look at this move by GM X! I name it after ME!" A person doing this would be mocked. Now, if the opening gains no further attention for many years, then it can be done. –  Tony Ennis May 12 '12 at 13:35
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An opening is named after successful professional USE by a world class player, in world class events.

Many "openings" are played by amateurs, either accidentally or on purpose, that don't get names. But if a line is played in high level tournaments by X, and X wins a large percentage of his games, people come to recognize it as X's opening, and name it after him or her.

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