Questions tagged [opening]

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

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Sharp lines in the QGD, for black?

As a 1.e4 player who deeply enjoys sharp lines and studying/memorizing openings, I have always struggled with responding to 1.d4 since it leads to slow positional lines which usually have multiple ...
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  • 830
7 votes
1 answer
146 views

Filter PGN for games for one sided openings

I want to filter a PGN database for games where one side plays a series of moves but I don't care what the other side does during that sequence. For example the bongcloud is where one side plays 1. e3 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
200 views

Why is 2…f6 a blunder in the Center Game?

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR"] [Title "Center Game"] [StartFlipped "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. d4 f6?? Stockfish says that 2…f6 was a blunder and recommends 2…...
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  • 1,050
4 votes
1 answer
496 views

Where does the name of the Guatemalan Defense come from?

I recall reading a story that the Guatemalan Defense (1. ... b6, 2. ... Ba6) is named after a game of correspondence chess that was played between (presumably some chess team representing) Guatemala ...
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4 votes
3 answers
340 views

Play/learn Sveshnikov Sicilian as a beginner?

I've read countless times, that beginners should not play the Sicilian. On the other hand, one often reads that the opening does not matter for beginners. There are many courses claiming the included ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Opening positions where declining a gambit is a blunder

Are there any gambit lines in which declining the gambit is a blunder or at least can be considered a misplay?
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How can you deal with gambits/traps opening, assuming you don't know the theory of the opening yet?

For example, the Danish opening: [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 cxb2 5. Bxb2 where basically, White gives up two pawns for positional play. And if you don't know the theory, ...
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6 votes
2 answers
491 views

Can deep preparation for the early novelty be useful?

As far as I know, most novelties at top-level games happen near moves 10 to 15. Before that, players just follow the lines, deeply knowing several best moves that lead to reasonable variations. But ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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What is the best approach when an opponent's queen is in the center and all of their pieces are developed?

I have played several games where my opponent's queen is somehow placed in the center of the board. However, this type of aggressive move positions my king in a dangerous spot. I can't castle because ...
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2 votes
2 answers
358 views

White is down 3 pawns in opening, but it doesn't seem like white is really losing

Lichess suggests Re3, Nb1, h4, Bf1, and e5 as top 5 moves. Evaluation is within (-0.7, 0.5). I expected it to be the evaluation to be at most -1. What's going on? [FEN "rnbnk1r1/pp1p1p1p/2p1p1p1/...
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5 votes
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Why is 4…Bb4 an inaccuracy in the Berlin Defense?

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR"] [Title "Berlin Defense"] [StartFlipped "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Bb4?! When White castles, ...
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  • 1,050
1 vote
3 answers
121 views

Chess openings variations on-line

I need a web site, where there are links with the names of openings and they and their variations are illustrated graphically rather than as a chess notation like here move by move. Does this exist ?
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1 vote
1 answer
108 views

Is it computationally feasible to find a board with proven outcome, reachable in 2 plies?

As is well known, neither the 0-ply game, the starting state, nor 1-ply games, all of white's first moves, have rigorously proven outcomes. Not even first moves for white considered very bad (1. g4) ...
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0 votes
0 answers
156 views

Best apps for chess openings [duplicate]

Can you recommend best chess apps for preparing openings? It is weakest part of my game and soon I will be playing my first local chess turnament. It would meant a lot to me! Also, can you give me ...
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  • 119
4 votes
2 answers
403 views

How do I find good games to memorise for the openings I play?

I have read other questions like this and I find people responding "just doing tactics is less effort and helps more". But personally, I find it really easy to memorise things, so I'm ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Looking for a French exchange sub-variation where white castles long

I remember seeing a video a while back, which introduces this sub-variation to spice things up and to surprise black when they expect a dull draw game. I don't think it has a name, and I can't quite ...
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  • 2,338
6 votes
1 answer
120 views

What is the point of 6...Ne8 in the f3 Nimzo?

4...O-O followed by 6...Ne8!? is a popular line in the f3 Nimzo at master level, but I'm still struggling to understand why it's played. [FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 O-O 5.a3 ...
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  • 1,847
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are the advantages of keeping the identity of a second secret?

At the top levels of chess the identity of the coach/assistant is sometimes kept secret. What are the advantage(s) of this? I found: That mystery [second] turned out to be the intensely creative ...
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  • 1,751
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

Ruy Lopez - why does Black not take e4?

In the following Ruy Lopez opening; [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 (5... Nxe4) Now the question, instead of Be7 why does Black not play Nxe4 as e4 is not defended? ...
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  • 111
2 votes
3 answers
258 views

What is this opening called?

I would like to know what this opening is called, if someone has made a bad move, and who stands better. Finally if this opening is played by grandmasters here.
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5 votes
1 answer
135 views

How feasible is 7.Qa4+ in this Ponziani sideline?

Recently I played a game with a fairly standard Ponziani opening when something slightly interesting occurred. The game started as thus: [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.d4 Nxe4 5.d5 ...
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  • 435
2 votes
2 answers
238 views

Marshall Defense transposition to Gruenfeld

Can this move order be considered a good surprise weapon against 1.d4 players since the Marshall Defense is known to be dubious and now black is trying to transpose it to a Gruenfeld. From my ...
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  • 615
1 vote
2 answers
178 views

Transpose to the Slav as Black after 1. ...Nf6?

What is the best move order to transpose to the Slav after Nf6? The reason this may be interesting is that Nf6 is much more flexible than d5 and still allows to go for hypermodern setups, depending on ...
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  • 1,154
7 votes
1 answer
250 views

Why is the immediate ...d5 in the 4. d3 Italian not played?

The line may seem suspicious at first, but after a few precise moves (some may say artificial moves) by Black an interesting middlegame position is reached. I did some analysis on my own and probably ...
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  • 3,450
4 votes
1 answer
214 views

Does the opening 1. a4 a5 improve White's position? (a bit silly)

Thou shalt not play chess in your sleep as it happened to me this night, Corona caused deprival symptoms or not. Already arriving with German Bahn was a nightmare (now that was realistic), but somehow ...
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2 votes
1 answer
192 views

London system move order

The standard London System consists of the setup moves: d4, Bf4, e3, Nf3, Nbd2, c3, Bd3. I'm wondering about the nuances of what the most accurate move order is to play it in. Here are some of my ...
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  • 1,847
3 votes
2 answers
434 views

What is the history of the Shanzi Wall Opening?

in a recent Eric Rosen video, he played against someone who used an opening which he calls the "Shanzi Wall Opening". He briefly demonstrates the moves to this opening at the end, but he ...
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3 votes
2 answers
180 views

King's Indian Attack - "pet lines"

I am reading about the King's Indian Attack (aka Barcza System), and article says that this system is "rarely used at the highest levels except to avoid certain pet lines". I wonder what are ...
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  • 191
8 votes
2 answers
845 views

Why do we need to exchange black bishop in A43 Benoni Defense?

[FEN "rnbqk1nr/pp1pppbp/6p1/2pP4/2P5/2N5/PP2PPPP/R1BQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] The only reason for developing the black bishop was to snipe the border during middle game and endgame, but in the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
376 views

How good is 1. e4 c5 move for black? Why does Stockfish play it?

I've been running some engine vs engine games out of boredom and noticed Stockfish, when playing as black, 90% of the time played c7-c5 on white's e4. I've never actually seen a human play this, in ...
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3 votes
2 answers
512 views

What is this line/trap in the Caro-Kann called? After Bf5, White chases Black's bishop and plays e6

What is this line/trap in the Caro-Kann called? If Black plays Bf5 on move 3, White chases Black's bishop around with several aggressive pawn moves (similar to the Tal variation) with the ultimate ...
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4 votes
2 answers
81 views

Opening specific tactic material source

My chess course kiddies requested KID specific tactics material. Now I never play KID. For Sicilian, I would say "specific" means, for example, Nxb5,Nxe6,Nd5,Nf5...had my fair share of these ...
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13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Semi-Slav name origin

The name Semi-Slav suggests that somehow it's half of a Slav. How did this name come about? Or what does it mean? The two openings seem completely different to me due to the fate of the c8 bishop.
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6 votes
1 answer
247 views

Straightforward refutation of the Stafford gambit

I recently found the the following line that completely neutralizes the Stafford gambit, and lets white keep the pawn with a healthier structure and a calm game ahead with plenty of winning chances. [...
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5 votes
1 answer
766 views

What is the idea behind a d4 e3 f4 pawn setup?

I have seen this particular d4 e3 f4 pawn-setup played a few times, sometimes arising from the Bird opening (as below), sometimes from 1.d4: [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w ...
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the the idea behind this popular double pawn sacrifice line In the Evans Gambit?

I am learning a bit of Evans Gambit theory lately, and when exploring a Master level games database, I have found this surprising line. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. ...
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  • 301
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can a beginner's "opening repertoire" consist of only "opening principles"?

Let's say I play only e4/e5 (but this question might also come up on d4/d5). If I was a beginner - unaware of opening theory - but could count at least 3 moves ahead, could I survive (=not be lost at ...
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  • 173
8 votes
1 answer
214 views

What factors make the Nimzowitsch Defense inferior to other 1.e4 defenses?

I was analyzing variations after 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 the other day. All of the following lines seem to score well for Black and lead to pretty comfortable positions: [FEN ""] 1. e4 Nc6 2. d4 d5 ...
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  • 1,847
4 votes
2 answers
162 views

Move order in Samisch King's Indian, Panno Variation

This is the traditional move order given for the Panno Variation of the Samisch King's Indian: [FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 My question ...
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  • 1,847
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

In the Benoni / Symmetric Benoni structures, what is Black supposed to do after a6/a4 is played?

In the Benoni (exd5 cxd5) and Symmetric Benoni (exd5 exd5) structures, Black will often try to play a6 to try and play b5, but White can easily stop this plan with a4 / a later a5. After this happens, ...
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  • 1,847
4 votes
1 answer
230 views

How does the Grand Prix Attack compare to the Rossolimo/Canal Attack?

How does the Grand Prix Attack compare to the Rossolimo/Canal Variations for someone who wants to develop an anti-Sicilian repertoire? What are the pros and cons of each opening? Thanks.
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  • 1,847
4 votes
3 answers
135 views

Why does Black play b6 in these lines of the King's Indian?

In this position, White is threatening to play some combo of Bxc5 / Nxe5: [FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.O-O e5 8.d5 Nc5 9.Qc2 a5 10. Bg5 h6 11.Be3 Here ...
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  • 1,847
4 votes
1 answer
163 views

Why don't masters play 7...e5 against the Fianchetto Variation of the King's Indian?

In the Lichess database, this is the most popular way to play against the Fianchetto Variation of the KID: [FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.O-O e5 But at ...
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  • 1,847
2 votes
1 answer
276 views

Do main lines score significantly better?

Even at highest levels players make significant, but human, mistakes. On the other hand there exists a great amount of opening theory, with lines studied in depth, especially the mainlines. Isn't the ...
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5 votes
3 answers
233 views

Is the Dunst Opening with 3. Nce2 unsound?

I am trying to find a line in the Dunst Opening where: White's guaranteed to develop his bishop to an active square such as c4 or b5. Black doesn't get to suffocate White by playing d3. So far I ...
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  • 1,847
2 votes
2 answers
86 views

What's the accurate move order for this line?

[FEN ""] 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.f4 d5 (4...Qb6 5.Nf3 d5 6.e5 Bg4 7.Be2) 5.e5 Qb6 According to the Lichess Masters database, both 4...Qb6 and 4...d5 5.e5 Qb6 are sidelines for Black ...
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  • 1,847
2 votes
1 answer
202 views

Resources for learning about the Gurgenidze System of the Caro-Kann as Black

I'm ~1900 rapid on Lichess. As Black, I like to play this defense against 1.e4 (picked up from watching Hikaru's streams): [FEN ""] 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 (4.f4) (4.Be3) Are ...
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  • 1,847
1 vote
1 answer
192 views

Where can I download chess games from a specific position into a PGN file?

Is there a website that will let me search for master-level games from a specific chess position and download them into a PGN file for free?
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  • 1,847
3 votes
0 answers
78 views

Rep Suggestions for Petrosian System in Gruenfeld

I was wondering what people suggest against the Petrosian System in the Gruenfeld. I'm "club strength" and am just starting to learn the Gruenfeld. I'm especially curious about this c5-b5-...
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13 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why are side pawns better than center pawns in this position?

So center pawns are usually regarded as more powerful than side pawns, which is why I have a question about this position. After 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 c5 the engine and theory recommend playing 3. e3 to ...
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