I notice that as Black, I virtually always play d5 as my first move. It's usually in response to 1. e4 (Scandinavian Defense) or 1. d4 (Queen's Pawn Game). As a hypothetical, if I premoved 1... d5, what is the worst that could happen? Are there any openings in which it is not a strong move?


Against 1.c4. This will allow white to exchange their c-pawn for black d-pawn and later gain a tempo. 2. cxd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3, or 2...Nf6 at some point will be followed with e4 with tempo. All in all, white can take control of the center.

According to lichess' database 1.c4 d5 is very rarely played.

However, the move is probably not losing; stockfish gives it: 0.6. The significance of this advantage varies a lot depending on the player's strength.

  • 3
    2...Nf6 can be met with 3.e4! because of 3....Nxe4? Qa4+ – David Jan 14 at 7:55
  • 3
    I'm not claiming 2 ... Nf6 is wonderful, but after 3 e4 c6 4 dxc6 Nxc6 5 Nc3 e5 Black has some compensation for the pawn gambitted - I've definitely seen worse (most often on my own board) – Ian Bush Jan 14 at 11:57
  • 1
    @IanBush you're right and I wouldn't be surprised if 3.d4 were a better move than 3.e4 – David Jan 14 at 12:32
  • 4
    Everything in this answer also holds for 1. e4 d5, even the SF evaluation matches – B.Swan Jan 14 at 12:57
  • @B.Swan, I think there are some differences that make 1.c4 d5 more favorable for white then 1.e4 d5. 1. White still has two center pawns, so they can get stronger control of the center. 2. In 1.e4 d5, even though the knight jumps to c3 with tempo, it blocks the c-pawn, which makes it a little bit harder for white to coordinate, in 1.c4 d5, the c-pawn is already traded, so it is not an issue. – Akavall Jan 14 at 19:43

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