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?


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.


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.


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.

  • 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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