in a recent Eric Rosen video, he played against someone who used an opening which he calls the "Shanzi Wall Opening". He briefly demonstrates the moves to this opening at the end, but he also sort of gives the impression in the video that it's a very well-known opening. It comes off as one that the viewers will likely know about, and that he would be disappointed if someone beat him using it.

However, searching online, the only things I could find about this chess opening were:

  • a lichess study about it, which 404's (missing page here — there's a partial cached version here which doesn't really give much explanation and only the first chapter is cached)
  • and a non-helpful post on a possibly-joke Reddit page here

I can see the point of it is to construct a "wall" out of your pawns and bishop+knight+queen (though the details of the variations remain a mystery). Because I can't find much information about this, combined with the way Eric Rosen referenced it, it made me wonder,

What is the history of this opening? Where does it get its name? How old is it? Is it the subject of a meme or something lately? Is it a strategically good opening to play?

  • My Google Fu is probably stronger than yours :-), in any case I strongly expect this is a joke/meme by Rosen. The name obviously is copied from the Berlin Wall, plus very probably this event: scmp.com/news/china/article/1152009/… Oct 10, 2021 at 7:55

2 Answers 2


I looked this opening up about a week ago or so, all I could find was that lichess study and a 4chan thread. Seems to be more of a meme opening. Looks extremely dubious as well.


There is a poster on the /chess/ thread in 4chan.org/tg/ who started this opening and shilled it relentlessly. It's just one dude who has enough time to post about it constantly and pay streamers to play it lol. The guy who made it has even streamed on Twitch but I can't remember his username. There's nothing legitimate to it and the opening itself is a system which just gives you a worse position.


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