Questions tagged [opening]

Questions relating to the first few moves in a game

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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 ...
6
votes
4answers
789 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Queen's Gambit Declined: Alatortsev variation, is there a high quality resource covering this line?

I am working on my opening repertoire, and I need ways to dodge the Exchange variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined with Nge2. Many masters use the Alatortsev variation to do this. After the ...
5
votes
2answers
737 views

Lowenthal-LabourdonnaisSicilian Kalashnikov Variation

I have been studying the Kalashnikov Sicilian: e4 c5 Nf3 Nc6 d4 cxd4 Nxd4 e5 (signaling the Lowenthal variation) Nb5 d6 (d6 signals the Kalashnikov variation) I have two books I have been studying ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Why are opening books so popular?

As title above, why are opening books so popular? I am sure that most players know that middlegame and endgame books are ultimately much more important for improving one's chess strength. That is not ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Uncovering the Accelerated Dragon opening

I had previously heard and seen in commentaries about the Dragon opening where black plays an early g6 to develop the bishop on g7 after the typical open Sicilian starting moves c5 cxd d6. But how ...
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
149 views

Central control disliked by engine in 1.e4 e6 2.d4 a6 3.c4

Recently I played a chess game that started with the moves: 1. e4 e6 2. d4 a6 and then I played 3. c4 which according to Stockfish is inaccurate. What is the reason for that? How is this situation ...
5
votes
5answers
708 views

Struggling to find a good opening with black? (Fide Elo 1950)

Okay so, I'm rated around 1950 on the FIDE rating list, and I struggle finding a good opening with black so basically my game with white is more or less perfected (3 different openings where I learned ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Fianchetto bishop vs. normal bishop?

I have found the following disadvantages of the fianchetto bishop: 1) The diagonal it controls is often blocked by the knight in its natural square. 2) The diagonal it controls is often blocked by ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Trade a bishop in the opening

In several openings white or black trades a bishop for a knight (Ruy Lopes exhange, Sicilian Rossomilo, Nimzo Indian etc). I have learned the bishop pair is worth a half pawn, and I have difficult to ...
5
votes
2answers
465 views

How to break through a stubborn Semi-Slav?

With every other middlegame formation, I know more or less what I would do if I were given a load of free tempi, and thus, what I should aim for in the present. However, concerning a highly defensive ...
2
votes
1answer
368 views

Is the 6.h4 Najdorf that bad?

I see that a few strong GMs are playing 6.h4 vs the Najdorf Sicilian. And I have also seen this move given a dubious (?!) value. Apart from its surprise value (always important in chess), I see it as ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

What is a good line against the King's Indian Defense for blitz play?

I am looking for a line as White against the King's Indian Defense to play in blitz. With the short time I find it hard to play the lines where White might be winning on the queenside, but has to ...
2
votes
3answers
301 views

For those who play the Catalan Opening, what are typical responses to the KID and slav defense?

I'm trying to form a 1d4 repertoire (exculsively 1e4 player) around the Catalan Opening. What are some lines that Catalan players play against the KID and slav defense(it seems the normal catalan ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the ideas behind the Blackmar-Diemer gambit?

I have a new chess student who likes risky openings. We conducted an exercise where we played the first 4 or 5 moves to see which openings come naturally to him. He chose the Scandinavian Defence and ...
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 ...
28
votes
13answers
24k 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

(For training purposes) Are there any openings with rook pawns that are more effective than others (and if so, what are they)?

(Originally I hoped a lengthy prologue would not be needed here, but some of the answers and comments have led me to write one so that the purpose of the question is clear, thus this is now much ...
3
votes
4answers
426 views

What are basic openings I need for black?

I'm an amateur player and want to learn a couple openings for black. I want to have a response for d4 and e4. I want one for each and hopefully one that is relatively straight forward (unlike Indian ...
4
votes
1answer
772 views

Best Continuation for this Counter to Queen's Gambit Accepted

[Title "White to move"] [fen ""] 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 e5 I've tried just taking the pawn at c4, but he takes my pawn at d4 and after exchanging some pieces I end with a broken pawn structure while ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

How did the Fried Liver Attack get its name?

Many chess openings get their name from a player who invented it and/or played it and/or documented it. Place names are also frequently used, denoting where an opening was first played or became ...
3
votes
0answers
56 views

Opening systems that enable strong tactics [duplicate]

First off I'm not looking for a gimmick / trap, but rather I'm looking for a new opening system for white / black that could enable more tactical options. For the last year or so I've been playing ...
11
votes
4answers
486 views

Knight constrained in advance Caro-Kann

Recently, I've been playing the Caro-Kann exclusively against 1. e4, with good results. The one line that I find somewhat confusing is the advance Caro - specifically, where does the kingside knight ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

What chess app displays the name of the opening being used in the game?

I used to have a chess app that would say the name of the opening being used when you played. Then my tablet broke, and I thought it would be easy to find that chess app, but no luck. Does anyone ...
4
votes
3answers
605 views

Alternative plan in the Caro-Kann

I'm a Caro-Kann player who is coming up against the line 1. e4 c6 2. c4. This line has a few names, such as the "Anti Caro-Kann" and the "Quasi Panov-Botvinnik". The books recommend 2...d5. Afterall ...
5
votes
3answers
310 views

Do chess AIs still use old-style opening books?

(See also this related question and this related off-site discussion.) Do state-of-the-art chess AIs still normally start games in human-compiled opening books of master games? Years ago, as far as ...
4
votes
2answers
544 views

How to beat King's Fianchetto Opening Modified (White)

[fen "r1bqkbnr/ppp2ppp/2n1p3/3p4/3P4/6P1/PPP1PPBP/RNBQK1NR w - - 0 1"] I have a few friends who I play with. Recently they have picked up on one of our better player's openings and it's surprisingly ...
5
votes
3answers
602 views

chess book for kids (9-11 y.o.)

Are there any chess books accessible for kids in the 9-11 age range that don't waste the first half of the book teaching how the pieces move, castling rules and en passant capture? I am expecting some ...
3
votes
5answers
134 views

Whose games should I collect for Scotch Opening?

I have been adopting the Scotch opening recently with some moderate success. I would like to know whose games should I look at to have a good understanding. I see that Nakamura and Kasparov deploy ...
27
votes
8answers
15k 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. ...
7
votes
4answers
752 views

As black, how should one respond to 4. Qe2 by white in the Russian Game, Damiano Variation?

I recently played a game on as black. My opponent and I transposed into, according to Lichess, the Russian Game, Damiano Variation, when white played Qe2 on move 4. I wasn’t sure how to reply, and I ...
5
votes
9answers
2k views

1. c4 vs c3 Sicilian

I am a chess player ranked at around 1400. As white I play 1. e4 and am confident playing against most responses except for the Sicilian. I don't want to go into the main lines so I am studying the c3 ...
5
votes
4answers
858 views

The earliest possible knight fork

I hope it's OK with a question on the fringes of existing opening theory. If white wants to combine pawn moves f4 and b4 early in the opening, he has to be aware of the possibility of black ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the best scoring openings in chess 960

I don't play chess 960, or Fischer's chess. I've seen a lecture or two about it, but I was never interested. Last week I was a bit bored so I decided to participate in a chess tournament on chess.com....
6
votes
4answers
471 views

How to know how good an opening/defense scores?

I play Philidor defense, Lolli attack, Fried Liver attack... Other people choose to play well known openings/defenses, so i decided to ask the following questions. Everyone learns the Najdorf defense ...
4
votes
8answers
823 views

Is this a good idea for starting the game?

Usually I am a defensive player. Because of this, a few years ago, I created an opening set of moves, where I moved every other pawn forward 1 space, starting with pawn A2. To be more specific, I ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

In Bb5 systems against the Sicilian, why does White exchange their b5 bishop without playing a6?

Isn't White giving up too much, i.e. one tempo in the opening and the bishop pair, for too little, i.e. doubled pawns? For example, after [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 Bc6 is the second ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Why always 4…dxc6 and not 4…bxc6 in the Ruy Lopez Exchange?

[FEN "r1bqkbnr/1ppp1ppp/p1B5/4p3/4P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQK2R b - - 0 1"] In the Ruy Lopez Exchange, black always takes back the bishop with 4...dxc6. In Timothy Taylor's 2011 book Slay the Spanish, he ...
9
votes
5answers
384 views

What opening is recommended if white is only playing for a draw?

If in a tournament game, white is only aiming for a draw, what openings and strategies will be recommended for him? I guess that the answer may depend on the following different mindset for black: ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Strongest / most aggressive 1. d4 openings

I'm curious to know what are some of the 1. d4 openings (Queen's Pawn), especially if they are highly agressive and/or are regularly used at higher GM level of play. I really want to learn all I can ...
11
votes
3answers
873 views

Why is c4 bad when playing the London against a King's Indian?

Recently I (rated ~1900 "classical" on Lichess) played the following opening: 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Nf3 O-O 5.Nbd2 d6 6.c4 [FEN "rnbq1rk1/ppp1ppbp/3p1np1/8/2PP1B2/4PN2/PP1N1PPP/R2QKB1R w KQ - ...
5
votes
3answers
504 views

How to play vs. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 d6?

As title above, how to play vs. [fen ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 d6 I see that this move (3...d6) is generally considered inferior in books, or not even mentioned in books about 3.Bc4, but I ...
3
votes
5answers
227 views

Why is 3. Nc3 played in mainline of the Modern Defense?

After: [FEN ""] 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 by far the most common third move is 3. Nc3. This goes against the principle of not blocking the c pawn with the knight as white, now of course principles can be ...
12
votes
5answers
449 views

Analyzing this opening I played

I just played what I believe was a set of moves that gave me an overwhelming advantage (I exchanged 2 minor pieces for rook + 2 pawns + prevented castling + doubled pawns + exposed enemy king): (I am ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Software with support for Database with opening analysis

I'm looking for a software tool that will: Engine Support. For analysis suggestions. Support for software evaluation of the moves. I guess this is optional, although I've seen this feature in ...
6
votes
1answer
462 views

King's Gambit, Wagenbach Defense 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 h5

Has this gambit (6.Ng5!) been played? (I only found games with 6.Ne5.) Is it any good? Is it the refutation of Black's silly 3...h5 (the Wagenbach Defense)? [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 h5 4.d4 ...
12
votes
3answers
391 views

Ideas behind the 8.Bd3 line in the 4.Ng5 Two Knights Defense

In the Two Knights Defense, after [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8. Bd3 has become ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

How does Alphazero Respond to the QGD?

I recently started reading Game Changer, the new(ish) book on Alphazero, and I'm really enjoying it. My one issue so far is that I can't find, in the book or elsewhere, games where Alphazero played ...
11
votes
6answers
6k 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, ...