Questions tagged [opening]

Questions relating to the first few moves in a game

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16
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the worst opening move in Chess960 for White?

Is there a first move for white in Chess960 i. which white can immediately blunder a piece or lose a significant advantage (say -2.0 or so)?
2
votes
1answer
31 views

How to use a Polyglot book in C# with a chess engine

I would like, if possible, for someone to provide a code snippet of a basic logic to access a Polyglot book file. I'm having trouble finding the file format documentation, so I don't know how to ...
24
votes
3answers
6k views

Can anyone tell me name of this opening where knight is sacrificed?

Is there any way to take knight and save rook at same time? Please do tell name, so I can search on YouTube. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 3. Nxe5 fxe5 4. Qh5+
6
votes
2answers
119 views

Is it ethical to refer to opening book for the first few moves of a correspondence game? [duplicate]

I am still learning chess (been playing ~6 months steadily now and am at ~1300) and have recently been enjoying correspondence chess with a 3 day time control. I find it gives me time to really ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Ideas and tactics behind the 4.h4 (or 5.h4) attack vs. the Gruenfeld?

What are the main ideas and tactical themes behind the early h2-h4 attack vs. the Gruenfeld? I mean, the 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.h4 (or 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.h4, which seems to me a fairly related line) ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Move orders in the 6.Qc2 Anti-Meran Semi-Slav

After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 White can play the so-called Shabalov-Shirov Gambit‎ with 7.g4!? on the grounds that 7...Nxg4 allows 8.Rg1 and the important g7 Pawn is ...
4
votes
3answers
142 views

The Sicilian Defense Kalashnikov Variation: Why shouldn’t white play 5.Nxc6 here?

I get a lot of weaker players, who opt out of main lines, and they play 5.Nxc6?! against me. It has seemed to happen a lot lately. Why is that bad, and why shouldn’t white play that? Note: This is ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Why doesn't white take after 8..c5 in the Grünfeld, Spassky variation?

I was looking through the titular variation and am confused why there are no master games with 9.dxc5. Is it simply because white doesn't want to give up the central pawn, even if they can gain a ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Why isn’t Black forced to prevent e4 in this Queen’s Indian Game?

Today, I played this game in which I played the Queen’s Indian Defense. This position was reached: I played Be7, which is a correct move. I wonder however, why Black isn’t forced to play Bb7 in ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is 1. Nf3 not nearly as popular as 1.e4 and 1.d4?

The opening move 1. Nf3 is considered as a perfectly sound opening and it is popular, but not nearly as popular as 1.e4 and 1.d4. Here are my thoughts about this: In most openings, white will make ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

What is black’s compensation in the main line of the Caro Kann?

After move 10 in the main line of Caro Kann, black has already moved its light-squared bishop four times, while white manages to develop quite a bit. What exactly is blacks compensation for the lack ...
7
votes
2answers
206 views

Firouzja vs Kovalev: what went wrong for black in the opening?

In the first round of the ongoing Wijk aan zee Masters tournament, Firouzja won vs Kovalev. Apparently, right out of the opening white had gained a winning edge. In particular, somewhere around 16......
11
votes
3answers
669 views

Books on opening theory organized around tactical/strategic motives, not opening lines

"Understand your openings, not just memorize lines" is a common advice given to a club level player. However, most opening books are still organized around lines, amended with some explanations that ...
2
votes
0answers
103 views

What are some of the best chess opening moves, for white and black? [closed]

I am wondering the best opening moves are for both white and black, because I have won games with the pawn move 1. d2-d4.
6
votes
4answers
1k views

D5 move closing my bishop activity

I would like to know why playing d5 in these two positions is useful for me (Black).
4
votes
3answers
256 views

To what extent is the openness/closedness of positions determined by white? By black?

Say I am playing as white and I strongly prefer closed positions while my opponent strongly prefers open positions. To what extent do I have control over this? Will the game more likely end with a ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

What does black achieve with 1.d4 c6?

I have faced 1...c6 as a reply to my 1.d4 quite a few times recently, and this makes me wonder why people play this as oppose to 1...d5. In addition to playing the Slav with 2.c4, I have an option of ...
-6
votes
1answer
99 views

Myths and conventional WhizDumb of the internet [closed]

What is good advice and what were myths and whizdumb of the internet that kept you from improving as much/fast as you could have? Play more games? NO! Focused training helps more than playing random ...
2
votes
3answers
135 views

How to counter white's attempt to get a massive center in the Giucco Piano?

[FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 When white plays 4. c3 and prepares to push d4 to get a massive center, how is it possible to prevent them from doing so, or at least put a lot of ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Are there any moves that are more popular in databases of GM games but are objectively inferior?

Usually in a particular opening position, if move A is more popular (in GM games) than move B, then either move A is objectively better than move B, or move A is equally good as move B. Are there ...
0
votes
2answers
107 views

What is the most effective openings to beat a 2200-2400 rated computer at chess?(With White and Black)

I have had good positions with the Hippopotamus opening with its Kings Indian structure(ranging up to +3 in evaluation) but in the end, the tactical superiority of the computer always gets in the way ...
7
votes
3answers
563 views

In the Dutch Defense, why does white play b3 and Ba3?

In the Stonewall Dutch Defense, why does white play b3 and Ba3? Should I try to avoid it, or does it not matter? [fen ""] 1. Nf3 e6 2. d4 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O Bd6 6. b3 O-O 7. c4 c6 8. Ba3
11
votes
3answers
658 views

Why 4… Nxb4 is not played in Evans gambit?

4... Nxb4 is never played on chesstempo database for +2200 players games, being Bxb4 the most popular move. I don't find any significant change after capturing the pawn with the knight unless after 5....
8
votes
1answer
201 views

Difference between 7. Qc2 vs 7. Qa4 in the Catalan

This is a position from the main tabia of Catalan Opening: rnbq1rk1/ppp1bppp/4pn2/8/2pP4/5NP1/PP2PPBP/RNBQ1RK1 w - - 0 7 d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 The main move for ...
7
votes
2answers
469 views

Is there a reason for MC's second move?

In this game, Magnus Carlsen made an unusual poor first move Nh3. Presumably, it was to throw off his opponent, especially since the game was under fast time controls, so that is understandable. But I ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How bad is 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. a3?

Is this move clearly losing for white? Chessgames.com shows 1 win and 2 losses for white only, and I could not find any other reference for this move.
16
votes
4answers
8k views

Carlsen beat a high ranking GM with 1 Nh3. Conclusions?

In 2018, Magnus Carlsen played a rapid game on chess.com agaisnt Grandmaster Aleksey Dreev in which his opening move was 1. Nh3. [Title "Magnus Carlsen-Alexey Dreev, Pro Chess League, chess.com INT, ...
4
votes
3answers
208 views

How to play vs the 1…e6 and 2…d6 Pawn structure?

I've noticed that sometimes beginners play 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d6 as Black. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d6 As strange as it may seem, I find it difficult to play vs this neglected defense. Is it better to ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Is a wasted tempo with an early …a6 or …h6 by Black in the opening really compromising?

Is a wasted tempo in the opening for Black with an early ...a6 or ...h6 really dangerous? For example, in the following opening: [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 a6 (or 3...h6) Or in the following: ...
5
votes
6answers
275 views

What was the first “Opening Repertoire” book?

As title above states, what was/were the first "Opening Repertoire" book/s? I remember that opening books of the 1970s and early 1980s weren't actually repertoires for White or Black, but treatises on ...
4
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you get to this trap position?

[FEN "rn1qkbnr/ppp1pppp/8/8/2B3b1/2N2N2/PPPP1PPP/R1BQK2R b KQkq - 0 1"] 1...Nf6 2.Bxf7+ Kxf7 3.Ne5+ Kg8 4.Nxg4 It's black to move. There is a trap: 1...Nf6 2.Bxf7+ Kxf7 3.Ne5+ Kg8 4.Nxg4 and white ...
2
votes
3answers
136 views

Are there any moves in the opening stage that are perfectly sound but not book moves?

In the opening stage, are there any moves that are perfectly sound but are not book moves? Here a book move, is defined in Wikipedia as follows: Opening moves that are considered standard (often ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the Bongcloud opening?

I have heard the Bongcloud opening mentioned on Chess.com, but I have never heard of that. Is this a real opening? What is this opening?
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Does using a less common opening make you a stronger player?

I want to ask about whether using and adopting a rarely used opening makes you a stronger player. I just started playing online chess (Lichess) a year ago, and as a beginner, I used to play the ...
38
votes
8answers
9k views

What are pros and cons around banning castling?

Vladimir Kramnik has proposed on chess.com that castling be banned for the good of the game. What are the kinds of objective points that might be made for & against this idea? Based on these, do ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Pawns pushes in the center

There are some situations in chess where a pawn push in the center is the most played move, and also the one suggested by engines. However this is not done for winning material, but just for trading ...
8
votes
2answers
441 views

Caro-Kann advance variation w/ 3. c5 dxc5

I like to play the Caro-Kann as black, and in response to the advance variation play 3... c5!? This works really well for me (~1800 USCF), but as I've gotten better I'm being forced to deal with the ...
10
votes
4answers
331 views

Advance of d4 in the Ruy Lopez

I was White in this position, and Black had just played f6. [FEN "r1bqkb1r/ppppn1pp/2n2p2/1B2p3/4P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQ1RK1 w kq - 0 1"] I played c3 to prepare a push of d4 and strike the center. ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

How does the move order 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 “rule out Philidor's Defence 2…d6”?

So I was reading "An Opening Repertoire for the Positional Player", by Gufeld and Kalinich, and found the title's assertion. And I just can't think why after "1. e4 e5 2. Nc3", d6 would be bad for ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Can black play the London system?

After 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3, Black usually plays Nf6 or e6 (which blocks his light-square bishop) and I wonder if it is possible for him to adopt the ideas from the London System and play Bf5 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Opening Moves: Pawn Chains and Countering Attacks

What is it called when your opponent opens with their pawns in a zigzag formation, leaving the front line defended by the back? (Pawn Chain) Also what is the best way to counter this move?
2
votes
2answers
142 views

Elephant gambit game analysis

I would like to get some explanations on the mistakes and blunders of my game posted below. My Lichess rating is around 1770, so I do not know if the mistakes of the game are hard to spot for my level ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the Exchange French considered drawish?

Why is the Exchange French considered so drawish since it is very early in the game, so it seems like there would be a lot more play left. A lot of lower rated players play it against me, although I ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Sicilian Dragon

[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. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Rc8 11. Bb3 Ne5 12. h4 Qa5 13. h5 Nxh5 14. g4 Nf6 15. Bh6 Bxh6 16. Qxh6 Rxc3 17. bxc3 ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Playing against the 2…c5 systems in the Kings Indian Attack against the French

[FEN ""] 1. e4 { Shockingly, I did not play 1.a3} 1... e6 2. d3 c5 This can still transpose into the main line with 3...d5. But I played a game with this yesterday, and my opponent played Nc6, d6, ...
6
votes
4answers
798 views

Artificially isolated pawn in the Caro-Kann

I would like to know why it is so disadvantageous to have an advanced artificially isolated pawn when it can be exchanged by another pawn. I refer to situations where a side cannot mantain such square ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Why not 1.d4 Nf6 2.d5?

Why isn't 1.d4 Nf6 2.d5 a good move? It gains space in the center. As beginners we are told that after 1.d4, 1...d5 directly opposes White's ambitions in the center, stopping d4-d5 (similarly, in some ...
9
votes
5answers
12k views

Is this really played by 2200+ players?

I came across the following game and was surprised to find that it was played between players with 2200+ ratings: How do players of level 2200+ lack the very basics of opening principles to play a ...