White is playing a QGD Tarrasch with colors reversed.

It's a bit like the Colle except that White plays a little bit more ambitiously, by moving his c-Pawn to c4 rather than to c3, and by developing his Queen's Knight to c3 rather than to d2. So it can't be worse than the Colle.

In the QGD and the Semi-Slav, Black will want to play ...c5. In the Semi-Slav, Black loses one tempo by playing ...c7-c6 (it loses one tempo because Black will eventually play ...c5 anyway) in order to threaten to play ...dxc4 followed by ...b5 winning the c4-pawn, in order to induce White to play 5.e3 to defend the c4-Pawn at the price of locking his queen's bishop behind the pawn chain. But here, in this White system, White locks his queen's bishop voluntarily, without Black having played ...c7-c6. So it's like a Semi-Slav where Black is one tempo up. Black will play ...c5 in one single move rather than in two.

  • 2
    Note that just because you can play the same set of moves against every Black response, it doesn't mean the types of position that will arise from them will have anything to do with each other, so it may not be a great practical choice to never adapt to what your opponent is doing
    – David
    May 30, 2023 at 13:15
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    Yes, seriously, as @David comments, any approach that involves ignoring your opponent's moves is inevitably sub-optimal... even if not super-horrible. Plus, wouldn't it be boring to "play chess" by just spinning out the same moves every time regardless of your opponent? :) May 30, 2023 at 16:02
  • I play this all the time because I never get the pawn back in QGA (which is an achievement to boot :-) May 30, 2023 at 20:08

1 Answer 1


How good is this unnamed White opening system? d4, Nf3, e3, c4, Nc3 (in some order)

How good any set of opening moves by one side is depends entirely on what moves the opponent plays. A key part of play at higher levels is to try and trick the opponent into a transposition whereby the opponent's moves give them a bad game.

This principle can be taken even further. Often a reversed opening is entirely different in character. For instance the Dutch Defence and Bird's Opening are usually very different. Similarly when white plays the English and black replies with 1...e5 and it turns into a sort of reversed Sicilian it is usually completely different in character.

So, bottom line: just how good your sequence of moves is for white depends entirely on what black plays.

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