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Questions tagged [1.e4]

1. e4 is White's most common first move (except at the top grandmaster level). It tends to produce open games.

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10 answers
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Is there value to learning openings as a new player?

Am a new player (had played before hadn't picked up a board for 3 years having never taken the game that seriously) and am going to try and commit to at least 1 rapid (10+5) game per day. Have made it ...
user8812's user avatar
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22 votes
7 answers
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Openings - e4 vs d4

In more than 90% of chess games I play in, the first move is either d4 or e4. When I am black, I try to counter e4 with Caro-Kann and Sicilian, and against d4 I usually just play d5 and see where ...
OmnipresentAbsence's user avatar
15 votes
14 answers
37k views

An aggressive opening for Black against 1. e4

I am a novice at chess. I am around 1400-1600 chess rating. I have struggled to find any sound aggressive openings for black against E4. As white I play the Scotch Gambit which I have great success ...
Stash's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
730 views

Ideas behind the 8.Bd3 line in the 4.Ng5 Two Knights Defense

In the Two Knights Defense, after [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8. Bd3 has become ...
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14 votes
3 answers
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How to best respond to an early black Qa5 in the Smith-Morra gambit?

I often play the Smith-Morra gambit. Recently I've been seeing black play an early Qa5, such as [fen ""] 1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 Qa5 4. * or [fen ""] 1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. Nf3 Qa5+ 4. * It ...
Douglas S. Stones's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Harry Potter Chess Analysis

So, I've been reading Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone. If you haven't read the book yet, or watched the movie, and you don't want any spoilers, stop reading this question. Continuing, there ...
Anonymus 25's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
4k views

Caro-Kann Apocalypse Attack

What are the main points, tactical or otherwise, backing up the so-called Apocalypse Attack vs the Caro-Kann? [Title "Caro-Kann Apocalypse Attack"] [fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR ...
A. N. Other's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is the Ulvestad variation playable for black?

The Ulvestad variation starts with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 b5 Now white's best is 6.Bf1 Nd4 7.c3 leading to this position: [FEN ""] [StartPly "13"] 1.e4 e5 2....
Andrew's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
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What is the opening value of 1. e4 in 2020?

Bobby Fischer: e4 -- best by test. What is the current theory or trend in theory behind this statement? We have seen huge strides taken in chess AI in the past two years. How is this affecting ...
Senrab's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
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What is the current theoretical state for the Chinese Dragon?

I use this line a lot, as it tends to lead to interesting games, and I was wondering whether any advances in theory have been made here. [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6....
atarw's user avatar
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9 votes
5 answers
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The Vienna Game: Good, inferior or bad?

I have been taking a look at 1.e4 2.e5 2.Nc3, which is known as the Vienna Game. At this point I have become familiarized with a substantial amount of variations and main lines. The principal ...
lafinur's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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What's wrong with 4...e5 in the Open Sicilian?

I like to play 4...e5 in the Open Sicilian in my games, usually facing something like this: [StartPly "8"] [fen ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb3 Nc6 I do this to: Chase the ...
Amr Ayman's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
681 views

1. e4 with backup plan

I recently started playing 1. e4. Since black has a big choice of replies, I would like to learn one opening at a time. If black plays something I haven't learned yet, I would like to resort to a ...
user1583209's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
711 views

What is a sharp line against the Lion?

What is a sharp line for White against the Philidor Lion: [FEN ""] 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 with 4...e5 The majority of games seem to be slow positional battles where Black is quite solid. 4....
Ywapom's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is the Advance Variation considered strong vs the Caro-Kann but not vs the Scandinavian?

As title above, why is the Advance Variation in these recent years considered strong vs the Caro-Kann, especially owing to White's early space advantage in the center, but not vs the Scandinavian? In ...
A. N. Other's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why isn't the English Attack popular vs. the Sicilian Kan?

As title above states, why isn't the "English Attack" popular vs. the Sicilian Kan? I mean the White setup in the Open Sicilian with Be3, Qd2, f3 and eventually g4 and h4. As far as I know, it is ...
A. N. Other's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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Accelerated Dragon, Modern Bc4 Variation (B35) 10.Ndb5!

After: [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 O-O 8.Bb3 a5 9.O-O d6 It appears 10.Ndb5 is difficult for Black to play against. I only found some games from 2008. ...
Ywapom's user avatar
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7 votes
10 answers
5k views

Switching from 1.e4 to 1.d4?

I've only played 1.e4 as white so far (in clubs, tournaments, online, everywhere!), in the past 5 years since I learned chess. And it has been very fun, but I want to explore the dark side as well, as ...
chubbycantorset's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Flexibility over solidity? Defending against 1. e4

When defending against 1. e4, I'm a French Defense player. I enjoy the French Defense very much, and my win rate with it is fairly good. Lately, though, I've been wanting to explore new defenses, only ...
lafinur's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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is there a name for the opening moves 1. e4 b5?

While this is a terrible opening which gives up a pawn for nothing I would like to know if it has a name. Wikibooks state that it is called O'Neill Gambit but its citations lead nowhere. The only ...
cmgchess's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
240 views

Bishop's opening - what's the point of 4. Qe2?

In Panov and Estrin's Kurs debuytov the following line is proposed in response to 3. d3: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Qe2 What's the point of 4. Qe2? Basically you should avoid moving ...
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6 votes
5 answers
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I like to play 1. e4 but I dislike 1. ... c5. Can I continue with 2. c4?

I read a related but closed question here and I share a very similar feeling. I would love to play 1. e4 but I only feel comfortable when my opponent replies with 1. ... e5, or French, or Caro-Kann. I ...
Zuriel's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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Why isn't 6.Bc4 considered by theory in the 5.Bxf7+ Traxler Counterattack?

In the Traxler Counterattack of the Two Knights Defense, after [fen ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Ke7 6. Bb3 (6. Bc4) why isn't 6.Bc4 considered as a "serious"...
A. N. Other's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
812 views

Najdorf poisoned pawn with or without 7..h6 8 Bh4

In the Sicilian Najdorf poisoned pawn variation what is the difference between including the moves 7...h6 8 Bh4 (as many top players do) and not including them? [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4....
user1583209's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
413 views

Why isn't 5. f4 considered strong in the French Advance, main line?

Why isn't 5. f4 considered a strong move in the main line French Advance, after [fen ""] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 Everyone plays 5. Nf3 here, but isn't it logical to support e5 with ...
A. N. Other's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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In sicilian defence, why would white always exchange the c5 pawn. What harm would it do otherwise?

In 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4, why does white play and exchange the c5 pawn? If white does not do so, how can I take advantage of this? As an example: 1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 e6 3.Bb3 Nc6 4.Nf3 what is the best ...
vervenumen's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
6k views

Can White play e4 followed by f3?

We know that 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 is a disaster for Black (Damiano Opening). But White has an extra move. Can he therefore play 1. e4 e5 2. f3 ? If Black replies 2... Nf6, White has 3. Ne2 (followed ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
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How to play vs. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 d6?

As title above, how to play vs. [fen ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 d6 I see that this move (3...d6) is generally considered inferior in books, or not even mentioned in books about 3.Bc4, but I ...
A. N. Other's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
5k views

What to play as black after Bishop's Opening: 1. e4 e5; 2. Bc4

I keep losing at my chess club to the Bishop's Opening: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 I have no idea what to play after that, any help?
cascading-style's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is 5.c3 the most common move in the Ruy Lopez, Berlin defence, Beverwijk variation?

Disclaimer: I'm a very, very green player. After the first 4 moves, all of which seem natural given my understanding of basic opening principles (control the center, develop your knights, etc.), I ...
Derek Allums's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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Are there any lines in the Lopez Opening / MacLeod Attack that are actually good for White?

In an event I played in this past weekend, I was surprised when (playing Black) I encountered: 1. e4 e5 2. c3. I'd never seen this opening before - later web searching told me that it is the Lopez ...
patbarron's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
508 views

Sicilian Najdorf 6. Bg5 line

In the Najdorf can white play 7. Qd2 and plan later 0-0-0 for faster development? It looks very interesting. But we do not find such games with these move orders. Chess experts, please explain with ...
Club Player's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
454 views

Why is 7. f3 so ubiquitous in the Yugoslav Sicilian?

I'm a mid-level player just starting to systematically study openings, and I'm wondering why it is that after the signature Yugoslav initiation 6. Be3 by White, and the certain follow-up 6. ... Bg7, ...
Feryll's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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How could I have played this opening better?

This was a recent game on chess.com. The "Maximum" analysis tool they have says my first mistake isn't until move 9, but I felt like I misplayed the opening even earlier. Indeed black's white squared ...
Derek Allums's user avatar
  • 1,127
5 votes
3 answers
386 views

Scotch opening 5.Nf3

Yesterday Anish Giri played the scotch opening at the Tata Steel Tournament with the strange looking move(to me) 5.Nf3. [fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 ...
Don's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can you recommend a closed opening for black against 1.e4?

What is a good opening system for black that leads to closed play against 1.e4? E.G. - against 1.d4 I like to play the Slav & am looking into the Czech Benoni. I am looking for something similar ...
Jacob's user avatar
  • 317
5 votes
2 answers
354 views

What's the best move against this variation in the Philidor Defense?

What's the best Knight move for White against this variation (loved by beginners) in the Philidor Defense? [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 c5
A. N. Other's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
180 views

Why is there a clear difference in master's and other player' opening choice?

For example, based on the database at lichess, after 1. e4, 46.3% of the master games continue with 1... c5 while only 23.4% of all games continue with 1... c5 (31.7% continue with 1... e5). Another ...
Zuriel's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
1k views

After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3, is 2...Nf6 safer and easier to learn than Nc6?

I am an amateur player and do not have much time to study and memorise complicated opening lines. Am wondering after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3, if 2...Nf6 is a safer and simpler option for black than 2...Nc6. My ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 9,091
4 votes
2 answers
742 views

Ruy Lopez Open Variation

[FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 Why is 6. Re1 not played, prefer players 6. d4 only? Please answer with explanation and variations so that it could help all players.
Club Player's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
152 views

Symmetrical opening

In Capablanca's "Chess Fundamentals" this symmetrical oppening is considerd. [fen ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Bb4 5.O-O O-O 6.d3 d6 7.Bg5 The author then claims that a long analysis shows ...
MBolin's user avatar
  • 255
4 votes
2 answers
854 views

Vienna Gambit vs King' Gambit

The Vienna game/gambit goes as 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 .. 3. f4... Why is this considered much more solid/sound than just the King's gambit. It doesn't seem to me that the extra 2. Nc3 thrown in is doing ...
winawer's user avatar
  • 256
4 votes
2 answers
596 views

Giuoco Piano / Two Knights Defense / Fried Liver Attack

[FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Nxf7 Kxf7 7. Qf3+ Ke6 8. Nc3 Ncb4 White can play 9. Qe4 (Old variation protecting c2 square from ... Nxc2+ forking King and Rook and ...
Club Player's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
504 views

Ruy Lopez 3...a6 & 6...Bc5 setup - a4 vs c3+d4 idea for White?

Here's the position after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 [StartPly "12"] [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 There are 2 main ...
Ahu Lee's user avatar
  • 247
4 votes
2 answers
918 views

Repertoire book on the Ruy Lopez exchange variation?

[FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 Is there a good opening repertoire book for White advocating the Ruy Lopez exchange variation?
A. N. Other's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Which common response against 1.e4 did Magnus Carlsen say is a bad opening? And what was Carlsen's exact quote?

I remember that a year ago or two, Magnus Carlsen said that one of the response against 1.e4 was bad. I don't remember exactly which of them he was calling bad, but I think it was the French (or the ...
Fate's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
240 views

Should I just avoid playing 1. e4? [closed]

I can play 1. e4 as long as my opponent does not play 1... c5. However, I have recently been succeeding in playing 1. d4 despite knowing little to no theory. The only exception is that I am booked ...
Jossie Calderon's user avatar
3 votes
6 answers
3k views

What is the reason (if any) for 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3?

As title above, what is the point of playing 3.Nc3 (before d2-d4) after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6? Compared to the “normal” 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4? [fen ""] [Variant "Standard"] [ECO "B50"] [Opening "Sicilian ...
A. N. Other's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Top players strongly in favor of 1.e4

Which are some top players known to be strongly in favor of 1.e4 in the opening? In this respect I find interesting a comment by Fischer on Alekhine: "there is nothing light or breezy in his style". ...
exp8j's user avatar
  • 189
3 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to master 1.e4 repertoire from scratch

I was a hardcore 1.c4 player. But, for quite some time, the popularity of Nakhmanson Gambit, Jerome Gambit etc. has encouraged me to experiment with 1.e4. I have read 1.e4 with backup plan before. Now ...
Amlan Saha Kundu's user avatar