In chess games where my opponent is White, White may play 1. e3 or 1. d3, so when I play 1...e5 and 1...d5 in response, I find myself in a reversed opening where I have the opening advantage. What are the advantages to playing like this?

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    "I find myself in a reversed opening where I have the opening advantage." I'm not sure about that. White is still the first to play. – d4zed Sep 14 '20 at 7:53
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    Some people just prefer to play Black. – Annatar Sep 14 '20 at 7:56
  • @d4zed Now I am the one who is 'white'. The position is identical to one where Black has the first move. – user24344 Sep 14 '20 at 8:05

Some reasons I can think of to play this way:

  • White player just wants to play with black pieces for whatever reason (just training their black repertoire?)
  • White player wants to be sure their opponent don't use an opening book. As far as I know chess opening books (unlike baduk ones) don't have a "symmetry search" feature, so with this trick you just get out of the book from the beginning. Of course White player can use an opening book all the same, but it can become a bit tricky. And of course you can't use the opening book from the chess portal (like the case in lichess).

There's nothing special about this type of position. Play sound, solid chess. Activate your pieces, put your king into safety and occupy the center without overextending. You'll have an easier time than normal achieving an equalized middlegame


Hu.h, that's weird. Your opponent asked the same question earlier. I play 1. e3 and get a reversed French, or 1. g3 and get a reversed King's Indian? What are the advantages in that?

There are none. Grandmaster Larsen used to play 1. a3 to steer for a Reversed Najdorf in the '50s, and while he was glad when it happened, he found it was nothing special.

Your only goal in the opening, no matter what you hear here, is to reach a playable middlegame, one with rough equality in center control, development, and king safety. You can get through any opening paying attention to that, and especially while minding the tactics. People think they need to learn openings in order to survive them, but people don't lose in the opening because they're bad at the opening, they lose in the opening because they're bad at tactics.

  • Funny detail: 1. e3 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.exd4 d5 transposes to a French Defence! 1.g3 is a fine move, but it's not popular because it's just like 1.Nf3 but allowing black for one extra option (1...e5) – David Sep 14 '20 at 15:10

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