Questions tagged [opening]

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

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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, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
225 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 ...
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  • 183
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.
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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 ...
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  • 183
3 votes
1 answer
103 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 ...
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  • 31
5 votes
3 answers
686 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 ...
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  • 115
-5 votes
1 answer
117 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, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
93 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 ...
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  • 2,338
5 votes
1 answer
117 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 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
461 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 ...
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  • 363
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 ...
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  • 309
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 ...
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  • 141
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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
183 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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 1,039
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 ...
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  • 1,050
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 ...
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  • 960
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 ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
97 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 ...
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-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.
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  • 95
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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
182 views

How do super-GMs, with the white pieces, avoid drawish positions?

I'm an amateur, so I don't have too much knowledge of contemporary opening theory, especially now that engine analysis allows frequent innovation. But I would like to ask the following: If two super-...
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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 ...
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  • 135
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 ...
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4 votes
5 answers
266 views

Any resource on 1. e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3 exd5 c6?

It's a variation of the Falkbeer countergambit that I'd like to learn to surprise my opponents but I can't find any resource on the internet. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3. exd5 c6 The only ...
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4 votes
2 answers
781 views

What is the great thing about Bc4 here?

Please forgive my blindness! I am a beginner and have not played in months. I was going to go Bd3, where my bishop would have been protected by a pawn and poised to strike one of the next potential ...
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  • 333
1 vote
1 answer
182 views

Funny chess starting positions

Recently, I found this funny position called Omicron. Are there are any other funny starting positions like this that can be used to have fun with friends? [FEN "2bqkb2/1rppppr1/np4pn/p6p/P6P/...
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1 vote
1 answer
97 views

What are good books on the Panov-Botvinnik Attack and playing with an IQP?

Respectively, what are good books for the Panov-Botvinnik Attack and playing with an isolated queen pawn?
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  • 135
2 votes
1 answer
90 views

Are there any recent books on the Caro-Kann English Exchange line(The Accelerated Panov Attack)?

I couldn't find any recent books, and most references seem to point towards just switching to the normal Panov-Botvinnik line. I'm specifically looking for a book on the White side of this line: [fen &...
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  • 135
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is f4 by White so rarely seen against the Dutch?

One of the more common responses to the Dutch Defense is as seen below: [FEN ""] 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 I understand the logic behind this fairly well. White establishes a strong queenside ...
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  • 435
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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  • 1,154
6 votes
2 answers
156 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?
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  • 3,450
4 votes
4 answers
184 views

How does one determine if a book move is objectively better than another?

For example, I have heard the following statements: After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6, the move 3. Bb5 is marginally better than the move 3. Bc4. Openings moves such as 1. e4, 1. d4, 1. Nf3, and 1. c4 are ...
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  • 7,715
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is a move called a "book move", if it leads to a familar book position but objectively speaking, this move is obviously inferior?

For example, after 1. Nf3 e5?, the move 2. Nxe5 is objectively the best continuation. However, the move 2. e4 leads to a familiar opening position. In this case, do we call 2. e4 a "book move&...
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  • 7,715
9 votes
2 answers
516 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 ...
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  • 7,715
6 votes
2 answers
206 views

Is Nxd5 playable in the Italian Game: Two Knights Defense?

The following move is considered dubvious in lichess.org opennings explorer because of the sacrifice in f7: [FEN "r1bqkb1r/ppp2ppp/2n2n2/3Pp1N1/2B5/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQK2R b KQkq - 0 5"] 1... ...
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1 vote
0 answers
56 views

Fragility of the King's Indian setup for black

I have been working on the Kings Indian setup/Pirc defense for black(from the advice of one of the comments on my previous posts) and have had quite some unsuccessful games. What I noticed was that a ...
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  • 269
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why doesn't Black develop the light-square bishop after 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3?

After 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Stockfish gives the best move as 2...e6, entering a QGD position. Why does Black voluntarily block the LSB instead of develop it first with 2...Bf5?
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  • 21.7k
2 votes
1 answer
261 views

Why is forking the king and rook a blunder in this Halloween Gambit line?

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR"] [Title "Halloween Gambit Game"] [StartPly "22"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nxe5 Nxe5 5. d4 Nc6?! 6. d5 Ne5 7. ...
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  • 1,050
5 votes
1 answer
112 views

Danish Gambit normal variation

I'm studying the Danish gambit lines and trying to understand a particular move: The engine (depth 30 Stockfish 14.1), and theory (by that I mean GrandMasters talking about it) suggest Nc3 without ...
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6 votes
5 answers
4k views

Is the Caro-Kann principled? Why is there no refutation?

As a beginner, one quickly learns about chess principles, and in particular, opening principles. The first openings most beginners learn are the Open Games. These were historically discovered first ...
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  • 1,154
1 vote
2 answers
164 views

Attacking the Spanish Opening

I'm studying the Spanish opening by developing some possible attacks against it and seeing how it could resist those attacks. In the below position, White has moved the light-squared bishop from f1 to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
388 views

Why should Black capture with different pawns in these similar Spanish game variations?

As a general “rule”, I have read that pawn captures toward the center should be preferred. I have found 2 different positions which look similar but the best way for Black to recapture with the pawn ...
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  • 1,050
0 votes
0 answers
65 views

Openings that are devastating for the opponent if they don't know the theory [duplicate]

I'm a 1200 on chess.com and people at my level play random openings. They usually don't blunder and the games often go to boring, equal endgames. I have been loving the Vienna game because most of my ...
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  • 269
1 vote
0 answers
38 views

How can I practice not blundering in the opening? [duplicate]

For a couple days now I have been searching for a way to practice openings. I do not want to memorize a specific opening, I want to exercise in responding to my opponent. I'm looking for some kind of ...
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  • 111
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Elo disadvantage due to one pawn move in Indian Chess

In Indian chess, the pawn doesn't move two squares, however in the western chess, pawn can move two squares. Now, since the pawn can't move 2 in the Indian style, the fianchetto is a natural square to ...
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  • 197
5 votes
3 answers
539 views

How to understand which positions result from certain opening

I was watching Irina Krush's great lecture on YouTube and, at 20:06, she asks "Which opening is this position from?" The answer is apparently the Sicilian, which made me wonder. How do you ...
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1 vote
0 answers
126 views

Can I counter the English opening with the same setup as the Pirc defense? [closed]

How can I counter hypermodern openings such as English opening when I play as black?
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  • 29
2 votes
0 answers
67 views

What are some common opening positions where reasonable looking moves are misplays?

A perfect example of what I'm looking for is a position like this one, the "Blackburne Shilling Gambit" 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nd4? [fen "r1bqkbnr/pppp1ppp/8/4p3/2BnP3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/...
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10 votes
1 answer
636 views

Is this theoretical novelty double-piece sacrifice actually sound?

Working my way through Hannes Langrock's book on the modern Morra Gambit (second edition), I came across an interesting sacrifice that he believes is at best worth a draw. Indeed that's also Stockfish'...
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