I wanted to learn a good opening against 1.d4 that does not involve the second move being 1...d5. I personally don't like symmetric positions very much. To give you an idea of the type of openings I play right now, for white, I play Catalan and I play French against 1. e4. Anyone have any ideas for responses I should look into?

  • 2
    This is purely opinion based, but sounds like you should look into Nf6 on move 1 and then either play a Nimzo, KID, Benoni, or Grunfeld - depending upon your preferences. Each of those is unsymmetric with winning chances on either side. Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 20:40
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    I don't play any of these openings so a comment - I think 1 d4 e6 is a reasonable idea given you play the French. Against 2 e4 you play the French. Against 2 c4 play 2 Nf6 and look into the Nimzo- and Queen's Indians
    – Ian Bush
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 8:24
  • 2
    Related: What is a good French-like defense against 1. d4?
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 15:44

3 Answers 3


Try the Grunfeld or King's Indian Defense. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 (usually the follow-up, although 2. Nf3 is also common) 2...g6 3. Nc3 is the start of both lines, then either 3...d5 for the Grunfeld or 3...Bg7 for the King's Indian.

Although the Grunfeld involves ...d5, it is by no means symmetric (usually). The main line continues 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3, after which White has a massive pawn center that Black seeks piece play against. The King's Indian is, of course, not symmetric either.

You could also play the Nimzo-Indian, a very respectable opening. This also begins 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4, but now you play 2...e6, intending to meet 3. Nc3 with 3...Bb4. If White plays 3. Nf3, you can try the Queen's Indian Defense 3...b6.


I suggest c5. As commented by @NoseKnowsAll it is called the Old Benoni Defense. If white is a pro they will probably have an edge because of their experience but generally, for your criteria (it is not symmetrical) it has the highest statistics for black winning in some of the databases such as https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=2&n=7&ms=d4&ns=7. Note that it is moderately common (+16k games in the database cited above) which makes the statistics more meaningful than some uncommon moves like a5.

  • Why not play 1...Nf6 and then play 2...c5, basically the Benoni, it should will be fine against most white setups. In 1.d4 c5, if white plays 2. e4 there is not much black can do to avoid Sicilian.
    – Akavall
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 17:51
  • However the OP seemingly does not want to play the Sicilian, seeing as he plays the French instead of the Sicilian against 1.e4. But he accepted your answer, so I must be missing something.
    – bof
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 11:39

i dont know how strong it is but i always play the budapest gambit 1.d4,Nf6 2.c4,e5!? 3.dxe5,Ng4 4.Nf3,Nc6 5.Bf4,Bb4+ 6.Nbd2,Qe7 for a few different reasons. the best of these reasons is a trap that ends in checkmate. ive won at least 50 games with it. after 7.a3?,Ngxe5 8.Bxe5,Nxe5 9.axb5??,Nd3#.

  • I play the Budapest sometimes myself, but I don't think that it is a good choice for someone who likes the French. The trap that you refer to is maybe good for blitz against lower rated players, but unless White makes that blunder, that particular variation doesn't allow Black to fully equalize (despite regaining the pawn). Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 12:07

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