Questions tagged [opening]

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

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164 votes
30 answers
185k views

What are examples of 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 much at the highest level at ...
35 votes
5 answers
15k 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 ...
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8 votes
3 answers
971 views

Is there a free online chess repertoire tool?

Is there a free online chess repertoire tool? It can be some place where you register, save variations and comments, and navigate with a board what you do. I was used to chessply, but apparently it ...
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39 votes
17 answers
39k 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 ...
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37 votes
8 answers
46k 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. ...
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15 votes
7 answers
12k 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, ...
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15 votes
2 answers
611 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 ...
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  • 4,431
5 votes
2 answers
563 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,...
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  • 3,320
36 votes
10 answers
32k 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 - ...
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  • 2,899
13 votes
11 answers
30k 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. ...
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  • 1,321
28 votes
8 answers
5k 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, ...
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14 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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24 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 1,135
5 votes
3 answers
945 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 ...
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  • 517
20 votes
6 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 1,481
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 ...
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18 votes
11 answers
37k views

Looking for an aggressive opening for black vs 1. d4

I like the King's Gambit a lot, and even the Latvian Gambit as black (with dubious results), so my style is very aggressive openings with potentially sharp lines and hack n' slash type of tactical ...
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22 votes
5 answers
11k 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 ...
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  • 4,431
19 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
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20 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
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  • 621
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why isn't Bird's Opening at least as popular as the Dutch Defence?

The Dutch Defence is a fairly popular response to 1. d4. So shouldn't 1. f4 (Bird's opening), viewed as a Dutch plus a tempo, be at least as popular?
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10 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 201
9 votes
3 answers
950 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 ...
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  • 16.5k
6 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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  • 6,080
22 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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  • 589
4 votes
1 answer
667 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 "...
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51 votes
9 answers
73k 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 ...
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  • 4,263
18 votes
5 answers
11k 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 ...
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  • 443
40 votes
15 answers
40k views

What is the worst opening move, and why?

Grouping of initial moves of a chess game are well known, though I've never seen analysis of the worst possible opening move, any thoughts? If so, please provide more than just a move, but the exact ...
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  • 4,053
17 votes
5 answers
6k 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. ...
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  • 5,494
26 votes
7 answers
4k views

Which notable players in chess history successfully used dubious openings?

I am reminded of a famous game between Karpov and Tony Miles where Miles played 1...a6 against Karpov's 1. e4 and still won the game. [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq -...
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  • 9,235
9 votes
2 answers
25k 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....
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  • 389
22 votes
3 answers
9k 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 ...
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20 votes
5 answers
7k 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 (...
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  • 4,431
24 votes
7 answers
11k views

What is a good French-like defense against 1. d4?

I enjoy playing the French Defence as black against 1. e4, for the following reasons. It often creates a closed position without wild tactics It takes white away from the more familiar lines (1... e5 ...
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  • 1,247
21 votes
7 answers
18k 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 ...
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13 votes
2 answers
648 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?
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  • 4,053
8 votes
2 answers
4k views

How to create your own opening book for your own chess engine?

I am currently working on a chess engine in Java. I am using the minimax algorithm with alpha-beta pruning to select the best move. However, it is inefficient to use the algorithm for selecting ...
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  • 181
6 votes
1 answer
824 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 ""] ...
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  • 4,459
6 votes
5 answers
5k 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?
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  • 163
4 votes
5 answers
2k 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.
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  • 645
26 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
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19 votes
6 answers
10k views

How to deal with your opponent's queen if your opponent rejects any trades?

If my opponent brings out his/her queen early in the game, I usually attack it with my own queen. The opponent can either accept the trade or reject it. If he/she accepts, I have no questions at all. ...
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  • 657
17 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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  • 7,715
13 votes
7 answers
23k views

Countering The Wayward Queen Attack

I'm a new player =I just started playing again after an over 10 year hiatus. I'm (sadly) in the 600s. I've been studying openings and I seem to do better in games where I can use the Italian game or ...
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11 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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  • 1,079
10 votes
1 answer
676 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 ...
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  • 6,690
9 votes
1 answer
6k 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 ...
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  • 406
8 votes
1 answer
599 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 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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