What are some openings that are extremely difficult to obtain a draw in? I have been recently playing openings like the Ruy Lopez and facing a lot of draws.

  • 5
    If you play f3 and g4 it is extremely difficult to obtain a draw. ;-) Apr 4, 2015 at 9:41
  • 2
    You can answer 1.c4 with resignation, as Oscar Panno did.
    – Keba
    Apr 4, 2015 at 12:34
  • Lots of draws happen with lots of people. Depends more on how good you are and how good your opponent is. Jan 21, 2020 at 23:50

3 Answers 3


If you play more aggressively and choose sharper lines, your draw rate will go down - though not necessarily the way you want it to.

Generally gambit lines are sharp, whether you are giving or taking the pawn. So you could play the King's Gambit instead of the Ruy Lopez.

Another possibility is to play the Italian Game and choose the Evans Gambit against 3…Bc5 and 4.Ng5 against 3.Nf6.

But although the Ruy Lopez is a rather strategic opening, a high draw rate in your games is more likely connected to your style of play. If you keep the tension, i.e. not going for exchanges, and try to build a strong kingside attack, you should get a lot of decisive games even in the Ruy.


To avoid draws, pick openings that offer a lot of imbalances. Most striking is any gambit. Of course most openings are ultimately refuted but playing the kings gambit, evans gambit, smith morra, and etc will work for a while. Plus, a lot of gambits are refuted in a way where the opposing side simply equalises in a drawish game. If it is desired to play openings that are sound or close to sound, then playing openings such as the scotch, sicilian, King's Indian, Dutch (leningrad), french, caro kann, grunfeld, queens gambit, etc. What ever you do, avoid symmetrical openings like the exchange slav or the exchange french. It is important to note that the opening may not be to blame, it may very well be your playing style. Perhaps you play too safe. Put in some exchange sacrifices, attack, gambit a pawn for lines or initiative, and fight.


The most "undrawable" openings (against you) are the ones that you play the best. If you are getting too many draws from your openings, you do not know them well enough to punish your opponents for their (inevitable) mistakes. (This advice does not apply if you e.g. continually get advantageous middle games, and then lose the advantage in the endgame; then you should work on your endgame.)

Former world champion J.R. Capablanca played only a handful of openings, played them time and time again, and played them perfectly. He could catch the tiniest error by an opponent, usually over the board, and if not then, in a post mortem for the next time. This was usually enough for him to win, since he was (in his time) the world's best endgame player.

He had a legendary undefeated streak for eight years. When he was finally defeated, it was because his opponents used openings he was unfamiliar with.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.