Questions tagged [opening]

Questions relating to the first few moves in a game

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14
votes
7answers
9k views

Openings - e4 vs d4

In more than 90% of chess games I play in, the first move is either d4 or e4. When I am black, I try to counter e4 with Caro-Kann and Sicilian, and against d4 I usually just play d5 and see where ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Top sources for opening theory

Can anyone recommend any good sources such as periodicals, websites, or what not to stay up to date on the latest opening theory? I am willing to pay if the source requires such. How do the top ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

Should Black avoid the Two Knights Defense because of the Fried Liver Attack?

It seems like the Fried Liver Attack is too much for black to handle, so it seems it is best to avoid the Two Knights Defense as Black. An example of the Fried Liver Attack is below and Black just ...
18
votes
6answers
3k 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 -...
17
votes
6answers
33k views

What is a good, aggressive response against the Sicilian Defense?

I would like to learn a good response against the Sicilian defense (in your opinion), for both blitz and slower games. I am looking for a more aggressive response, since it fits best my style. ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does 6.Bg5 prevent 6…e5 in the Sicilian Najdorf?

In Gufeld's book, after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5!, [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5! he writes: "In this way White solves three ...
11
votes
2answers
11k views

What are the main ideas and goals in the Queen's Indian Defense?

There's no real surprise when it comes to the strategy for the King's Indian Defence: storm white's king side, maybe sac a few things, and mate (ideally). But what does a practitioner of the QID hope ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Alekhine's Defense variation, understanding white's overextended pawns, black's multiple early knight moves

I'm a casual, semi-serious chess player and have been an active player for over 10 years. In my time playing, one of the most unusual openings I have had the pleasure of playing against is known as ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the theoretical consensus on the Roscher Gambit?

Edit: My mind played a trick on me after the fact. As Akavall notes in a comment, the Chadaev-Carlsen blitz game that I mention below actually proceeded 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nf3, a different gambit ...
13
votes
8answers
23k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Can White play e4 followed by f3?

We know that 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 is a disaster for Black (Damiano Opening). But White has an extra move. Can he therefore play 1. e4 e5 2. f3 ? If Black replies 2... Nf6, White has 3. Ne2 (followed ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the Reversed Sicilian / King's English 1. c4 e5 more of a positional and quiet opening or a wild and tactical opening?

The only thing that deters me from playing 1. c4 followed by a Kingside Fianchetto is 1...e5 the Reversed Sicilian (also called the King's English). I like quiet, positional, strategic and ...
5
votes
1answer
755 views

Comprehensive list of ECO codes together with the list of moves

I am looking for a comprehensive list of ECO codes with various variations together with a corresponding list of moves. Basically something like: B01 Scandinavian (centre counter) defence 1. e4 d5 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Has the King's Indian Defense been refuted at the Grandmaster level?

I know about b4 in the bayonet and the Kramnik-Kasparov games of course. I also know that Mr. Radjabov has been unhealthy (hope he gets better soon) lately. Thanks in advance, your site is awesome, ...
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 ...
19
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the “stonewall formation”?

I use PyChess to play. It talks sometimes about how White or Black moved their pawns into "stonewall formation." How do they do that, and what are the position's advantages/disadvantages?
16
votes
6answers
10k views

Why is the King's Gambit not played often?

I have observed that the King's Gambit is usually not played at international level. Is there any specific reason for this?
14
votes
5answers
5k views

What are good openings for bullet chess?

It is evident that bullet chess has a different set of strategies from regular chess. It follows, therefore, that certain openings will be better or worse relative to their normal chess counterparts. ...
13
votes
4answers
681 views

What are openings which were once thought good, but are now shown to be inferior?

Are there any openings that were once often played, but are now known to be very bad moves?
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Which openings give a winning pawn-structure in the endgame?

For example in the Exchange Variation of the Spanish 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6, White gives Black the Bishop pair, but gains a potentially winning pawns-only endgame. Are there other ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

If 1. e4 c6 is considered as a sound defense for black, why is 1. c3 so rare?

At 365chess.com, 1.c3 is ranked as the 14th most common first move for white. If the Caro-Kann defense is considered as a sound defense, why is the Saragossa opening so rare for white? After all, ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Countering the Wayward Queen Attack

I'm a really new Chess 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
1k views

For Black, against the Caro-Kann Advance Shirov variation 4. Nc3 which move tends to lead to the most positional, slow, solid and strategic positions?

I'm a 1800 Elo player that likes positional, quiet, drawish, slow, boring and strategic openings. As Black against 1. e4 I play the Caro-Kann. But there is one variation of the Caro-Kann that I ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What are good openings for White during a blitz game?

It seems as though White can easily dominate the tempo in a blitz game through a strong, aggressive opening. Is this the case? What openings are strong for White when there is a short time limit (e.g.,...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Does this opening have a name? 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4

I've stumbled upon this opening a few times, and I'm pretty sure it must be known, but I couldn't find the name of it in my book: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 ... Is someone familiar with ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Why Anand and Carlsen insisted on playing the same opening/defense

They played the Berlin defense and Ruy Lopez. Well the question is more like: why Anand insisted to play Ruy Lopez again and again. wouldn't be better if he had tried najdorf and nimzo indian earlier? ...
8
votes
3answers
939 views

A Consistent Grunfeld Repertoire

I'm starting to play against stronger competition who know how to play their openings, so I'm trying to figure out my repertoire. I have recently decided to stick to playing the Grunfeld against 1.d4, ...
8
votes
9answers
10k views

How to play against the Grob attack 1.g4

I am looking for resources/ideas (i.e. ECO doesn't seem to have a lot on this opening) to play against the Grob attack. (Both for facing it and to prepare to play it as White). So far what I have ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the ideas behind the Short variation in Advance Caro-Kann?

What are the main strategic and tactical ideas behind the so-called Short variation in Advance Caro-Kann? I mean this line: [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Isn't White's ...
7
votes
4answers
726 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to test the quality of an opening book?

Over the years I manually maintained an opening repertoire in a PGN file (with several "games" per ECO index on average), and now realized I can generate different opening "books" from it - for SCID, ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Are there known opening gambit lines for black in the French defence?

I play the French defence with both colours (white and black) and generally play any of the orthodox main line openings (there are many eg Advance, Exchange, Classical,Tarrasch etc giving rise to many ...
6
votes
2answers
242 views

What Is Controlling The Center?

I keep reading about the importance of controlling the center in an opening, however (and forgive me my ignorance), I'm unsure if control means to occupy the center squares or to position pieces such ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What to do when your opponent doesn't play along in the opening?

I looked around and could not find an answer for this. I've studied a pretty good amount of opening theory and so I know the "correct" moves for some basic lines. Most e4 openings and a fair amount ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Against Alekhine's defense, can White avoid 2. e5?

An opponent I have heretofore easily beaten has started playing Alekhine's defense against me. I am no longer easily beating my opponent, and indeed would be repeatedly losing to him, if only he had ...
5
votes
2answers
389 views

Can a set of moves be a transposition and a variation?

I am confused about the differences between a transposition and variation. I know that a transposition is when you start of with one opening and a set of moves after that leads to another opening and ...
5
votes
2answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

11. ..Qg5 in Svesnikov possible?

As a Svesnikvov player (rated ~1800) the following idea was shown to me recently: [Title "11. ..Qg5!?"] [StartFlipped "1"] [fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.e4 c5 2....
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What to play as black after Bishop's Opening: 1. e4 e5; 2. Bc4

I keep losing at my chess club to the Bishop's Opening: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 I have no idea what to play after that, any help?
3
votes
3answers
413 views

What's with the Petrov?

The Petrov or Russian opening is seldom seen these days: [fen ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 Why? Is it fully refuted? Or merely uncomfortable for Black?
28
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is the Ruy Lopez a sensible opening for white?

As an amateur, I prefer the Scotch game as opposed to Ruy Lopez, since I feel that White loses tempo and Black seems to gain tempo with queenside counterplay in the main line. [title "Ruy Lopez"] [...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

How to play for a draw

In this video: Levon Aronian vs Magnus Carlsen Round 1 - 2013 Candidates Chess Tournament [FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 And now, Kevin said: "You can tell that the game is ...
13
votes
8answers
3k views

Is pawns supporting pawns a good opening strategy?

For my opening strategy in most chess games I play, I usually move my pawns forward two, then one in an alternating strategy, until I have a sort of WWW shape with my pawns. That way, if anyone takes ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Giving up Knight and Bishop for castled Rook and Pawn

The opening showed here is quite common. Is it generally a good or a bad idea to give up a Knight and a Bishop for the King-side castled Rook and the f-pawn? In terms of their "standard" value, both ...
11
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
6k views

How to play against the Polish opening?

1. b4 It seems like that black can some how equalize. Despite this, I somehow get tricked and lose my games against this opening.
10
votes
4answers
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 ...