Questions tagged [opening]

Questions relating to the first few moves in a game

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13
votes
4answers
3k views

How many different ways are there to checkmate in the early game?

We all know the shortest possible checkmate is 4 ply: f3 e5 g4 Qh5# This isn't the only possible move order. In fact, there are 8, depending on whether white moves the f or g pawn first, ...
4
votes
2answers
180 views

Conceptually, what makes the Sicilian opening sensible for black?

We all know the Sicilian as shown below, is one of the most famous and commonly employed openings in chess. But compared to the other replies, which tend to be more about fixing the center (such as e5,...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Introduction to the Sicilian

I am trying to work on my openings and start playing the Sicilian as a response to 1. e4 but I am slightly overwhelmed by the huge amounts of resources available. I am rated around 1850 FIDE and I ...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

Definition of Soundness

What exactly does it mean for a gambit to be unsound? I see this term being used a lot but I have yet to come across a precise definition. Is it enough for white to lose the advantage that comes ...
2
votes
3answers
147 views

A question on psychology / strategy in Chess opening

Is it a good idea to play unusual openings (openings except d or e file) (like c4, played by Bobby Fischer on the game of the century ) to confuse the opponent and stop him/her to play his/her natural ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Bad symmetrical variations

I know that symmetrical variations of some openings are good up to a certain point, after which White gets a significant advantage (like gaining a piece or even mating the opponent's king). One such ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Are there any gambits which yield an advantage for the side down material?

For this question I'm interested only in gambits that: Are real gambits. That is, the side that's risking the material actually ends up down material + cannot count on winning the material back. This,...
1
vote
1answer
280 views

Novice - Capitalizing on players not knowing their openings?

I am a 1400-rated player currently working on my theory and understanding of openings. I am good at learning lines, much more so than others at my rating. But I'm less sure on where/how to learn the ...
1
vote
2answers
280 views

How to “bore your opponent to death”?

“The Caro-Kann has often been maligned for being dry and boring, played by those wishing to bore their opponents to death.” – IM (WGM) Jovanka Houska Are there other defenses in which black can bore ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

What to choose to play as black if you play King's Indian Attack as white?

I am around 1700 - 1800 player on chess.com, mainly playing 3+2 and 5+5 games and as white I always play KIA, but what I have noticed recently is that with white my score is much better that as black -...
6
votes
1answer
253 views

Are there any known examples of spurious strong chess openings, which have been determined to be dubious with the introduction of the first engines?

I'm curious about the history of chess openings. Nowadays there is a lot of theory about what opening moves are considered mainstream and (near) optimal, such that either side can keep up with their ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is this opening trap called, and how should I play afterwards? How can I refute the gambit, and play if I accept it?

I played a short and funky game as Black on Lichess not too long ago, in which I fell victim to a gambit trap that caught me totally off guard. Due to the mental blow that I received, I didn't play ...
2
votes
3answers
175 views

Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation

[FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. Nc3 f6 Theory recommends 5. ... f6. Why? What is the specific reason behind this move? How this move helps Black? Other than 5. ... f6, are ...
3
votes
3answers
224 views

Sicilian Defence, Dragon Variation

[FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. O-O-O d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bd4 What is White's plan & idea behind 12. Bd4 move?
9
votes
3answers
784 views

Why is c4 bad when playing the London against a King's Indian?

Recently I (rated ~1900 "classical" on Lichess) played the following opening: 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Nf3 O-O 5.Nbd2 d6 6.c4 [FEN "rnbq1rk1/ppp1ppbp/3p1np1/8/2PP1B2/4PN2/PP1N1PPP/R2QKB1R w KQ - ...
8
votes
2answers
227 views

Openings in King of the hill

As you probably know, "King of the hill" (KOTH) is a variant of chess where one can win either like in classical chess or by putting the king in the central squares, namely d4, e4, d5 and e5, by a ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

Which opening requires the longest amount of chess moves? [closed]

For most openings that I play (e4 and d4 openings) I have observed that they take exactly 4 moves (e.g. Giuoco Piano Game without variation). C50: Giuoco Pianissimo, Italian four knights variation ...
2
votes
6answers
292 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
161 views

What’s the point of early …a6 move in Queen’s Gambit Declined?

As title above, what is the point or the main idea of a very early ...a6 Pawn move in Queen’s Gambit Declined? I see that the move is fairly popular at GM and even top level.
-7
votes
2answers
333 views

Is it racist that white pieces move first in a chess game? [closed]

There is a movement in chess endorsed by several grandmasters called “MoveForEquality”, which revolves around the idea that the black pieces should start first instead of the white pieces. The ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

What is this opening/position called, and what is white’s best move?

[FEN "r1bqk2r/pppp1ppp/2n2n2/2b3B1/4P3/8/PPP2PPP/RN1QKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] Do you know the name of this opening/position? Additionally, please tell me what white’s best move is in this position. I ask ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Trompowsky: why does 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 d5 3.e3 e6 score so highly for white in master games?

I'm trying to find a suitable response to the Trompowsky using LiChess. I saw the following line, which looks like it might transpose into more familiar QGD territory. [fen ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 d5 3....
1
vote
0answers
33 views

What's a good way to learn openings when coming back to chess as a former 1400-1600 player? [duplicate]

my question can be seen in the title. I used to play chess competitively in my teenager-years and would like to come back to it now. The important stuff is still in my head and I am not doing too bad ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

(For training purposes) Are there any openings with rook pawns that are more effective than others (and if so, what are they)?

(Originally I hoped a lengthy prologue would not be needed here, but some of the answers and comments have led me to write one so that the purpose of the question is clear, thus this is now much ...
4
votes
3answers
423 views

How to play vs. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 d6?

As title above, how to play vs. 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 cannot see a ...
3
votes
3answers
133 views

In Caro-Kann Defense, what are the differences between 3. Nc3 and 3. Nd2?

After 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5, what are the differences between 3. Nc3 and 3. Nd2? It seems 3. Nc3 is more popular, though after 3. ... dxe4, I failed to see the difference.
7
votes
1answer
569 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
168 views

Why aren't 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bh6, and 1.e4 b6 2.d4 Ba6 considered by theory?

As the title above, why aren't 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bh6, and 1.e4 b6 2.d4 Ba6 (or eventually beginning with 1.d4) for Black not even considered by theory? Isn't the eventual early trade-off of White's strong ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Is the English opening the most suitable for beginners?

Here are my understandings of the English opening: The English opening is as good as 1.d4. Since it is less common than 1.e4 and 1.d4; it is more likely that an average amateur player is less ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Why is 7…Ne4 8.Bd2 such a popular line in this variation of the Queen's Indian Defence?

This is the opening I'm referring to: [fen ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O Be7 6.c4 O-O 7.Nc3 Ne4 8.Bd2!? The other white book moves at this point seem sensible 8.Qc2 or 8.Qd3, or even ...
4
votes
2answers
452 views

How to beat King's Fianchetto Opening Modified (White)

I have a few friends who I play with. As of recent they have picked up on one of our better players openings and its surprisingly effective for development of white pieces and positioning. I can't ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Why always 4…dxc6 and not 4…bxc6 in the Ruy Lopez Exchange?

[FEN "r1bqkbnr/1ppp1ppp/p1B5/4p3/4P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQK2R b - - 0 1"] In the Ruy Lopez Exchange, black always takes back the bishop with 4...dxc6. In Timothy Taylor's 2011 book Slay the Spanish, he ...
6
votes
3answers
656 views

As black, how should one respond to 4. Qe2 by white in the Russian Game, Damiano Variation?

I recently played a game on as black. My opponent and I transposed into, according to Lichess, the Russian Game, Damiano Variation, when white played Qe2 on move 4. I wasn’t sure how to reply, and I ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Using the tree window in SCID on a subset of games in the database

With a database open in SCID, one can use the tree window to explore openings. Among other things, it shows the frequency of each move that has been played in the current position and how well that ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

If 1. e4 c6 is considered as a sound defense for black, why is 1. c3 so rare?

At 365chess.com, 1.c3 is ranked as the 14th most common first move for white. If the Caro-Kann defense is considered as a sound defense, why is the Saragossa opening so rare for white? After all, ...
-1
votes
2answers
160 views

Is there a good opening that revolves around a “crab” pawn structure? [closed]

I have often (or this one video just got it stuck in my head) heard Youtube videos (time 2:37, nothing else relevant) refer to this kind of pawn structure as a “crab” pawn structure (below, white ...
5
votes
2answers
134 views

Is this the only opening that allows one side to end up with three knights?

In Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin counter-gambit, Lasker trap, black ended up with three knights, which should be rare. Here white should not capture the additional knight in the next move (8. Rxg1 ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

How would one respond to the Sodium attack?

The Sodium attack is characterised by the move 1.Na3, tending to be followed by the fianchetto of the bishop. This opening has never been played by myself, but I seem to encounter it quite frequently ...
2
votes
5answers
159 views

Is learning the English Opening helpful for learning the Sicilian Defence? How about vice versa?

Is learning the opening 1. c4 e5 as white helpful in learning the opening 1. e4 c5? How about vice versa? Are the ideas behind the Sicilian Defence as black very similar to the ideas behind the ...
5
votes
3answers
170 views

Top players move order when playing QGD?

Why is typical move order for QGD among top grandmasters 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5? Why does not black immediatelly go 1. ..d5? Also, why is QID via 3. ..b6 almost never played?
2
votes
5answers
180 views

Why is 3. Nc3 played in mainline of the Modern Defense?

After: [FEN ""] 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 by far the most common third move is 3. Nc3. This goes against the principle of not blocking the c pawn with the knight as white, now of course principles can be ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

KID Gligoric-Taimanov Variation [E92] Black inaccuracy? Move 7 … Nc6

Is there a specific reason why Stockfish thinks Black's 7th move is an inaccuracy? Reference Game Aronian v Carlsen I'm currently going over The King's Indian in Thirty Classic Games at Chessable ...
2
votes
3answers
175 views

For those who play the Catalan Opening, what are typical responses to the KID and slav defense?

I'm trying to form a 1d4 repertoire (exculsively 1e4 player) around the Catalan Opening. What are some lines that Catalan players play against the KID and slav defense(it seems the normal catalan ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Traxler Counter Attack [duplicate]

e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6. Kf1 Qe7 1) Chess.com computer at Level 10 plays 5. Nxf7. Theory recommends 5. Bxf7. Which line to follow in my game in tournaments? Please ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Is 9…Nxe5 recommended in this line of the Short Variation of the Advance Caro-Kann?

This question relates to the following possible continuation of the Short Variation of the Advance Caro-Kann: [fen ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 c5 6.O-O Nc6 7.c3 Bg6 8.a3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

What are some ideas for black in the Ruy Lopez when white plays an early d3?

If white plays an early d3 in the Ruy Lopez (presumably after c3 to give the light-squared bishop a retreat square) what are some ideas for black? I'm talking about those lines where white doesn't ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

Comparing 9…a6 to 9…b6 in the Panov-Botvinnik Attack

This question is motivated by a recent LiChess game where I was black where I played the Caro-Kann and white played the Panov-Botvinnik Attack: [fen ""] [Site "https://lichess.org/J9cdDkL5"] [Date "...
5
votes
2answers
182 views

Do chess AIs still use old-style opening books?

(See also this related question and this related off-site discussion.) Do state-of-the-art chess AIs still normally start games in human-compiled opening books of master games? Years ago, as far as ...
3
votes
3answers
213 views

How can the Danish Gambit be exploited?

When dealing with gambits, especially ones where your opponent could have a lot more active pieces to pressure you. Is declining the best approach? A friend of mine usually always wrecks me with the ...
-1
votes
2answers
334 views

Are AlphaZero's openings objectively better than the others? [closed]

Are AlphaZero's openings objectively better than the others? If so, why haven't top grandmasters like Carlsen exlusively adopted them in their own games?