Questions tagged [opening]

Questions relating to the initial moves of the game and their aims

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11 votes
5 answers
874 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 ...
13 votes
2 answers
650 views

Has AI changed opening theory, and if so, how?

Pre-AI, it's hard to imagine that opening moves had changed much. Following the birth of computer engines, has AI changed opening theory, and if so, how?
1 vote
1 answer
90 views

Opening suggestion where my side castles king side and has king side majority

I'm looking for a set of openings that are more likely to lead into positional play where my side castles king side and have king side majority. Theoretical advantage is not required. The plan is to ...
4 votes
3 answers
656 views

What are White's main ideas in the exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez?

I was wondering what are the main ideas for White are in the exchange variation, Ruy Lopez opening. [fen "r1bqkbnr/1pp2ppp/p1p5/4p3/4P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQK2R w KQkq - 0 5"]
3 votes
2 answers
223 views

Is the Marshall Attack a draw?

I have been experimenting with the Marshall as of late. Most master games in the three main lines 11...c6, 11...Nf6, and 11...Bb7 seem to lead to a draw. While this isn't necessarily a bad result with ...
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can you recommend a variation in the English opening for a technical player?

I'm looking to study the English opening. To cut down my homework, I would like to focus on one or two variations. Why am I interested in the English opening, I hear you cry? Mostly because I want to ...
5 votes
7 answers
552 views

Trapped by this strange opening line, how to proceed?

I play this kid that does strange things in the game. I thought in this following game that he was using the Pirc defense as Black, when it opened 1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.Nc3. Then he goes off with 3...d5. ...
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to respond to the Taimanov attack in the Benoni?

[FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.f4 Bg7 8.Bb5+ How can black respond in the following position?
25 votes
9 answers
7k views

Systematic approach to learning opening/endgame theory?

Some relevant information: I've been playing chess for 4 years, and for 3 in tournaments, although I've only played in about 10 tournaments so far (3 big ones, like the Pan Ams and Chicago Open). My ...
4 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why does anybody allow the Queen's Indian Defense?

People often play: d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 And allow both the Queen's Indian Defense: 4... Ba6 OR 4... Bb7 And the Catalan: 4... d5 5. Bg2 Why not play: g3 and transpose into Catalan, ...
21 votes
6 answers
10k views

Why do some openings have Indian in their name?

Why are a few chess openings named King's Indian Defense, Queen's Indian Defense, Nimzo-Indian defense, and so on? What is the significance of Indian in all these opening names? What's India's ...
4 votes
4 answers
709 views

Rossolimo 3.Bb5 vs open Sicilian against c5-Nc6 sicilian

Many chess players nowadays recommend the Rossolimo against c5-Nc6 Sicilian: [fen ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 However, I find the open sicilian to be easier to play: [fen ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 ...
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

What influenced the development of the King's Indian Defense?

The King's Indian Defense is characterized by the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6. (As opposed to 2...e6, with the intention of developing the Bishop to the Queen-side.) Black aims for a strong King-side ...
1 vote
2 answers
444 views

The number of legal positions after n plies

What is the number of legal positions after n plies for n=1 through 5? I know that for n=1 it is 20.
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is testing an opening by having a computer play against itself viable?

Recently, I got into a brief argument with a colleague when I mentioned that I wanted to use an engine playing against itself to generate a larger sample size for a rare sideline. His argument was ...
4 votes
2 answers
324 views

What are the ideas behind Grob's Attack (1. g4)?

What are the strategic ideas of the Grob's Attack? Is it meant to initiate a kingside attack? Or is it meant to grab space on the kingside and use that space to maybe initiate an attack in the center ...
3 votes
1 answer
101 views

wish to print posters of the variants of certain openings for my 7-yo

My son is an avid chess player. He has a good chess teacher who prefers to focus on a specific opening and its variants as well as responses while studying with him. So, I wish to get an editable file ...
5 votes
3 answers
681 views

How do you analyze this position holistically?

So I was solving a puzzle, and I got it wrong in my first attempt, so I checked with the engine and understood the solution. But I think that I am missing some aspects of the puzzle as I'm able to get ...
25 votes
8 answers
3k views

What should I do about the dilemma of castling early?

OK, it has been said that one of the opening fundamentals is to castle early, but I have a dilemma with this and it may very well be a natural dilemma that has to be dealt with or there may be signs ...
-5 votes
1 answer
115 views

How well is a variant in which Black moves first?

Would it be good a chess variant if Black makes the first move instead of White? Notations will change, of course. For example, since Black makes the first move with a king's pawn push of two steps, ...
6 votes
3 answers
835 views

Why is 5. f5 so necessary in the Dzindzi-Indian Opening/Modern Defense: Pterodactyl, Beefeater Variation?

I have played a couple of games as black with this line. It is a simple plan: to put pressure on the weak c3 and c4 pawns. This line is mainly known as the Dzindzi-Indian Opening, according to the ...
4 votes
2 answers
161 views

Move order in Samisch King's Indian, Panno Variation

This is the traditional move order given for the Panno Variation of the Samisch King's Indian: [FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 My question ...
9 votes
2 answers
513 views

What are the openings that are popular among club players, but are (more or less) rejected by modern professional players?

For example, I see club players playing King's Gambit as well as the Four Knights Game a lot but almost never see these openings in the games of modern professional players. Are there other openings ...
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Best way to play against Glek system?

I just wanted to ask which is the best way to play against the Glek system. It's quite a rare opening. So there are two lines. One line is with Bc5 and the other is with d5. Which line according to ...
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there a horizontally mirrored London System, and what is it called?

London System is an opening for white, that goes d4, Bf4, e3, Nf3, Nd2, c3. The move order generally doesn't matter too much and there are lots of ways to transpose into this. However, what I want to ...
11 votes
4 answers
10k views

How should I play against the Philidor defense?

As white, I often encounter the Philidor Defense by black: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 I usually play Nc3 or d4 on the next move, but is this the best move? What are some lines (advantages or ...
5 votes
1 answer
116 views

Why not e3 instead of e4 in Grunfeld Russian system?

In the position below White continues with e4 after, say, Black castles. grunfeld-defense: [FEN ""] [StartPly "10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 ...
5 votes
3 answers
3k views

London System: how to defeat copying moves?

I played the London system for the first time today and encountered a problem in my second game (I won my first). [fen "rn1qkb1r/ppp1pppp/5n2/3p1b2/3P1B2/5N2/PPP1PPPP/RN1QKB1R w KQkq - 4 4"] What is ...
2 votes
3 answers
460 views

How to deal with Black's dark-squared bishop on d6 in the London system

I have problems when black places his bishop on d6 in the London. Take for instance the following game: r1bq1rk1/p2n1ppp/2n1p3/1p1pP3/2p5/2P1P1B1/PPBN1PPP/R2QK2R w KQ - 1 12 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 { D00 ...
5 votes
6 answers
503 views

What are the most dangerous counters to 1.e4 .. 2. f4?

I have a bit of a habit of playing 1.e4 with the follow-up 2.f4 in lightning (1 0) games. In response to 1..e5, it becomes the King's Gambit. Apparently, against 1..c5 it's known as the McDonnell ...
1 vote
2 answers
762 views

Is the Danish Gambit viable for Class D tournament play?

I've been recently playing the Danish Gambit online in blitz. It started as a dare from one of my friends, but I've had ludicrous success with it due to common mistakes from my opponents. Also, I ...
10 votes
3 answers
595 views

Did it make sense for Lasker to play the Exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez in 1914?

In 1914, world champion Emanuel Lasker was trailing future world champion J.R. Capablanca in a tournament, meaning that he needed to win, not just draw, against Capablanca. He played the exchange ...
6 votes
2 answers
155 views

What is the idea behind the Sicilian Flohr Variation?

[FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qc7 Is this merely a transpositional device to avoid some lines of the Taimanov Sicilian, or does it have any independent ideas?
1 vote
2 answers
111 views

Are there any protocols for folding chessboard, where the dividing line should appear?

A folding chessboard will always have a dividing line in between the 2 halves of the unit. Is there a guideline where exactly the line should appear; Should it be between the armies (seen mostly) or ...
5 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is King's Gambit said to be refuted?

We all known that Bobby Fischer has published the famous "A Bust to The King's Gambit", where the gambit is said to be losing for white. Why is it so? Is there any line that can secure black ...
4 votes
2 answers
401 views

How do I find good games to memorise for the openings I play?

I have read other questions like this and I find people responding "just doing tactics is less effort and helps more". But personally, I find it really easy to memorise things, so I'm ...
3 votes
4 answers
723 views

Purpose of h4 on the main line of the Caro Kann

I'm beginning to study the Caro Kann defense and I don't fully understand why white plays h4-h5 on the main line. I can see that you get some space with that move, but the pawn on h5 might be a ...
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

Where Does Lichess Get Its Names for the Openings?

On lichess.org, when you turn the opening book on in an analysis board, you get names for the openings. For example, after 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 c6, lichess says the opening is called "Czech ...
1 vote
2 answers
117 views

Who decides to name an opening?

Some openings are named after the players who spent their whole career playing a particular type of opening. For eg. Alekhine for Alekhine Defense, Philidor for Philidor Defense, William Evans for ...
6 votes
2 answers
380 views

What is White's compensation in the Smith-Morra Gambit, Paulsen Formation (a6, e6, Nc6) after an early ...Na5?

The variation is almost forced if White aims for the standard Smith-Morra setup. At the end White is a pawn down and no longer has two bishops, but is well developed. However Black's setup does not ...
1 vote
1 answer
182 views

Does opening preparation contribute a lot in winning games?

It is often said that Opening preparation is considered one of the most vital things a chess player needs to learn when they start getting better(above 2000 elo). Many chess players are known for ...
5 votes
1 answer
236 views

White's plan in Smith-Morra gambit?

Related The Smith-Morra gambit, or the Morra gambit, is where white sacrifices one pawn to get early development while black has not really done anything. This gambit is also used against the Sicilian ...
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is 3...c5 a blunder in the Center Game Accepted?

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR"] [Title "Center Game Accepted"] [StartFlipped "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. Qxd4 c5?? Stockfish says that 3…c5 was a ...
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is white winning if it gets to play the first two moves (an extra tempo)?

Has there been any analysis done on if white wins if it gets a free move in the starting position (let’s say e4)? Then, the game continues as normal. From a human perspective it seems playing e4 and ...
5 votes
2 answers
669 views

How to understand black's advantage in this line of the Polerio defense?

In the following line of the Polerio defense, black has an advantage close to -2 according to the engine: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb3 Nxb3 7. axb3 ...
-2 votes
1 answer
96 views

Is there a strategy to win chess960 games?

Chess960, a variant where the backrank pieces are all randomized subject to a few constraints, is a variant of chess where you cannot really memorize openings. Is there a strategy in chess960 so it is ...
5 votes
6 answers
1k views

What is the most sound, yet still sharp, gambit?

I have played chess seriously for a little over a year and my style is an aggressive one. I started off playing really dubious gambits (at least in my opinion) like the King's Gambit and the Latvian ...
-4 votes
3 answers
93 views

The best first move in chess [closed]

I'm new to chess and I want to ask you what do you think is the best first move in chess.
4 votes
3 answers
339 views

Play/learn Sveshnikov Sicilian as a beginner?

I've read countless times, that beginners should not play the Sicilian. On the other hand, one often reads that the opening does not matter for beginners. There are many courses claiming the included ...
8 votes
1 answer
252 views

Correlation between opening usage

Is there statistical analysis of which openings players play as Black when they play a certain opening as White and vice versa? For example, is it the case that people that play 1. ..c6, often leading ...

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