Questions tagged [opening]

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

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31
votes
8answers
19k views

What's a good way to learn opening theory?

I'm a hobbyist chess player and usually play online. While I've seen thousands of great chess games and win a fair number of games online, the one thing that I have struggle with is studying openings. ...
33
votes
5answers
13k views

Why is the Ruy Lopez such a common opening?

The Ruy Lopez opening is characterized by the moves: [fen ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Why is this opening so popular? It does not appear to be particularly special/unique for white or black, so ...
148
votes
27answers
168k views

Very Aggressive Openings

One of my favorite openings is the King's Gambit. It is extremely aggressive, and makes for a sharp tactical game without sacrificing too much material. It isn't played at the highest level at ...
32
votes
17answers
31k views

Good openings for a beginner (for white)

I am a beginner in chess and I like to play some of my friends who are basically at the same level. Usually who wins is based on who makes that one amazing (and lucky) move and quite frankly I want to ...
25
votes
8answers
3k views

Does the first-move advantage for White have real meaning apart from the highest levels of play?

Most games that involve taking turns, with one player going first by lot or agreement, have some sort of advantage to going first. Tic-tac-toe, for instance, is a guaranteed draw for player 1, ...
14
votes
8answers
7k views

Database of every possible move in chess

Imagine that there is a chess database of every possible move and position. This database contains all possible moves from opening to end game. If I played using my intuition against a chess engine, ...
15
votes
2answers
499 views

Wrong lines of play to illuminate right lines

De Firmian's Modern Chess Openings is a good book. I like it. However, the book teaches right lines of play. It teaches few wrong lines. Should one not also study wrong lines—the blunders, the ...
31
votes
10answers
25k views

What openings are good for the repertoire of a tactical player?

I'm preparing an opening repertoire for a small "open tournament" that will take place in a few weeks. I think I'm quite decent at tactical play, and I like situations that give me the initiative - ...
12
votes
11answers
23k views

What can I play against 1.d4?

I've been playing chess for some time and I've studied lots of theory, but I don't know what to play against 1. d4. I'm searching for something with good chances for black but without much theory. ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How to decide when is a3/h3 needed?

a3/h3 are frequently used to prevent the bishops from pinning the knights. I always have a hard time deciding whether to play them or not. Playing them loses moves and tempo while not playing can ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
404 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,...
4
votes
3answers
531 views

Suggest a line for a player who does not want to be dragged into the Sicilian

I am a very bad Sicilian player and I am easily played out of book in the Sicilian defense. I need a line that would prevent my opponents fom going into the Sicilian defense. I have tried c4, but ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I learn a new opening?

Often times, when I find myself going through the lines of a new opening, one that I would like to start using in my games I hit the concrete wall after a couple of days of studying it. Due to the ...
24
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

What are black's possible plans in the exchange variation of the Queen's Gambit?

I've reached this position, or something similar, a zillion times as both black and white (main line exchange queen's gambit): [fen ""] 1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 Be7 7.Bd3 ...
9
votes
3answers
873 views

How can one determine the opening or transposed opening from the existing pawn formation/structure?

I was once told that you can determine an opening or transposed opening just by how the pawns are structured on the board. Is this the method normally used to determine if an opening was transposed ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Should I go for the Traxler Counterattack?

Many of my games as Black feature the Two Knights' Defence. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 Sometimes my opponent will play 4. Ng5, and I usually reply with 4 ... d5. It is not ...
21
votes
5answers
6k views

What is 'space' on a chessboard?

I know, I know, this sounds like a ridiculous question, but bear with me. As an example of my lack of understanding, let's take the advanced variation of the French defense. [title "Advanced ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Beginner Openings/Defenses to learn

What are good openings/defenses to study for both black and white for beginners. I've messed around with the sicilian defense and it is not bad, there's just so many variations and different types of ...
3
votes
1answer
456 views

Is there any way to gain equality with the QGD Marshall Defence?

The Marshall defence goes 1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nf6?! I played this game recently as white. It was the first time I saw the Marshall in a game and the real contest was over by move 14. [FEN ""] [StartPly "...
34
votes
9answers
34k views

Is there a good online opening training software?

There are a lot of websites to train your tactics, but I can't find any for opening repertoire. I am looking for something similar to 'Chess Position Trainer' but online, where I can import a pgn file ...
15
votes
5answers
7k views

Understanding vs. Memorization

Is memorization necessary in modern chess? Whenever I play chess, I always run out of time because I move slowly in the opening; unlike others who move fast in the opening because they have memorized ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

Software for opening repertoire practice

I am developing an opening repertoire for white based on d4 and c4. I think this is going all right, but what I am looking for is a chess program that can exercise my repertoire knowledge. ...
8
votes
2answers
14k views

List of how AlphaZero evaluates openings

In his process of learning Chess and getting stronger and stronger each second AlphaZero learned openings. Some were played often at the beginning, but lost in AlphaZero's popularity over the time (e....
19
votes
5answers
6k views

Bird's Opening and the Dutch Defense

A naturally positional class-C player (c. Elo 1500), I have learned in recent years to push my f-pawn two squares early in the opening, to force myself to play tactical chess. The King's Gambit (...
18
votes
3answers
7k views

What is a tabiya and what is their importance?

I've heard the term Tabiya used online though I've never really run into it in any chess book I've read. I have an idea of what the term means but I'm not sure I'm correct, so first I'll say what I ...
19
votes
7answers
14k views

How should rooks be developed in the opening?

The opening is definitely a weak area in my chess game and I always feel like my rooks sit unused until well into the middle game (?). Is that just how things go, or is there a strategy that allows ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Recommended mobile app or website to memorize openings?

I'm looking to improve my game's opening. Just wondering if any of you could recommend an app or website dedicated for this?
4
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the first moves chosen (White), by brute force chess engines?

Title says it all. Feel free to add comment, theory, or explanation. Just to clarify, this is only regarding turn 1 of White, and no proceeding turns after it.
22
votes
5answers
2k views

What proofs for refuted gambits are there?

I've stumbled upon this article a while ago, and I've also seen refutations for the Muzio Gambit (Joseph Kling & Bernard Horwitz - Chess Studies on Endings of Games). I'm wondering what other ...
20
votes
5answers
7k views

Why do masters open 1.d4 more often than 1.c4?

Why do masters open 1.d4 more often than they open with the English 1.c4? STATISTICS According to 365chess.com, 1.d4 is five times as common. Moreover, even if one admits Réti's 1.Nf3 as an ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Trading queens in the opening

Which standard openings in chess usually pave the way for an early queen trade in the game? In other words, which opening has a high probability of exchanging the queens in the opening itself? Does ...
11
votes
1answer
492 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?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the latest ideas for Black against the Samisch King's Indian Defense?

I am always afraid of the Samisch variation of the King's Indian. It's the main reason why I switched to Chebanenko Slav (or ..a6 Slav, or Kamsky's Slav). But my opponents seem to be always prepared ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I play Colle System against Kingside Fianchetto?

I enjoy the Colle System as white, because it often leads to a strong kingside attack for white without exposing my own King to significant danger. However, when my opponent castles behind a ...
7
votes
1answer
408 views

Did Indian systems really have fianchettos?

Wikipedia quotes: The Indian Defences by g6 coupled with d6, or b6 coupled with e6, were largely taught to European players by the example of Moheschunder and other Indians, to whom the ...
6
votes
4answers
540 views

What are all the possible combinations of openings which work well together? (like the Slav+Caro-Kann combo)

One well known very good combo is the Caro-Kann + the Slav: The main objective of both of these openings is to develop the light-squared Bishop to f5 before it gets locked inside the Pawn chain. They ...
6
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the best defense for White against the Traxler Counter Attack?

I had posted the question Should Black avoid the Two Knights Defense because of the Fried Liver Attack? After seeing the Traxler Counter Attack from Black, it made me wonder if White should just avoid ...
5
votes
2answers
559 views

Is 1. Nf3 good for white in bughouse?

I was wondering... When me and my friends play bughouse, a very common opening we play is 1. Nf3 Nf6, 2. Ng5 Ng4, 3. Nxf7 Nxf2, 4. Nxd8 Nxd1 Is this a good choice of opening in bughouse?
5
votes
1answer
571 views

What are all the most common transpositions between the Caro-Kann Panov–Botvinnik Attack with 5…e6 6. Nf3 Bb4 and the Nimzo-Indian Defence?

I would like to know what are all the most frequent transpositions between the two following openings: . The Caro-Kann Panov–Botvinnik Attack with 5...e6 6. Nf3 Bb4: [StartPly "12"] [FEN ""] ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What are some lines of the Queen's Gambit symmetrical variation for white?

Some people who I play always play the symmetrical variation, and I don't know how to play it for white. [fen ""] 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c5
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Are there good variations for White against the Sicilian that do not involve an early d4?

If White opens e4 and Black replies c5, that's the Sicilian defense. Typical next moves are 2. Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4, etc. Are there good variations for White where he DOESN'T play d4? I've heard ...
10
votes
1answer
548 views

Why almost nobody plays …6…b5 in the Lipnitsky Najdorf?

[FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 everybody plays 6... e6 and then ...b5. Is 6...b5 right now a mistake? I don't ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the main strategic concepts in the Grunfeld?

I recently picked up on the Grunfeld and I am quite pleased with this opening. To improve my skill at playing this opening; What are the most important strategic/thematic concepts that I should ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

To what move depth should you analyze a chess position

I'm trying to learn a chess opening and using a chess engine (stockfish8) to analyze the position but I'm wondering what move depth should I set it to (e.g., 25, 30 35 half moves).
3
votes
1answer
731 views

ChessDB databases import

I've just installed the ChessDB software hosted at SourceForge. While discovering the software I see that the databases that come with the software are empty and I would like to know how to import ...
2
votes
5answers
842 views

Do I have to follow the openings moves when the response is different?

This question concerns the opening. For example, in the Danish gambit: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 cxb2 5. Bxb2 white reaches the desired position. But what happens if the ...