Questions tagged [opening]

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

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Looking for tactical Sicilian lines besides the Dragon and Najdorf

I am looking for a tactical Sicilian. But I don't want a really popular line like the Najdorf or Dragon that has been analyzed to death.
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4 votes
0 answers
226 views

What's the etymology behind the Great Snake Variation?

This is called the Modern Defense: [FEN ""] 1.e4 g6 This is called the Modern Defense: [FEN ""] 1.d4 g6 This is called the "English Opening: Great Snake Variation": [...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Looking for polyglot opening books

I understand the Polyglot opening format is open source, but I can't find available opening books for polyglot. I'm looking to use a book to automatically identify (and exclude) opening moves from a ...
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7 votes
5 answers
669 views

What is the point of c3 in the Sicilian Alapin?

In the Alapin variation of the Sicilian, the game goes 1. e4 c5 2. c3. However, this sequence just blocks the b1 knight from its best square, and it doesn't develop anything. Both squares attacked by ...
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5 votes
1 answer
179 views

Trouble with Opening ideas for 3. g3 in the Vienna game, Falkbeer Variation

I have been trying to practice my ability to strategize in positions and form long-term ideas, and this position has stumped me for a little bit. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 ...
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  • 155
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why did Lichess annotate this as a blunder?

Lichess analysis annotated 4. Nf3?? as a blunder preferring (4. Nc3) (see on Lichess). I am trying to understand the ideas that make this a blunder. At depth 23 with Stockfish 13+ NNEU, both were ...
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5 votes
1 answer
216 views

What is the idea behind 2...e6 in some Sicilian lines?

I've learned a bit of the Taimanov and have been playing it with some decent results, although I have not gotten very deep at all into it. Still, it bothers me that even though I've looked at a couple ...
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  • 153
2 votes
1 answer
306 views

What's the etymology behind this chess opening?

This line is called the Brooklyn Variation of Alekhine's Defense: [FEN ""] 1.e4 Nf6 2. e5 Ng8!? How did it get its name?
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9 votes
2 answers
394 views

Depth vs breadth of opening knowledge

When searching the web about how people learn about chess openings, I see many questions regarding the depth of the opening knowledge one has (with answers such as "I know some lines 20 moves ...
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  • 113
5 votes
2 answers
147 views

Strategic plans for Black in Fianchetto Variation of KID

As an intermediate-level KID player, I'm starting to face Catalan-style setups with d4 / c4 / g3 more often: [FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.Nf3 d6 6.O-O Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 I ...
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  • 1,847
2 votes
2 answers
272 views

Regarding a pawn sac in the Neo Grunfeld

I have been looking at the Neo Grunfeld. [FEN ""] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 d5 I am considering Nf3 followed by castling, thereby giving up the pawn. Does White has compensation for the ...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Who is the Ross Gambit named after?

Recently in an infamous online charity simul, against Vishy Anand's Zukertort opening 1. Nf3, Indian billionaire Nikhil Kamath played the dubious 1...e5?, the so-called "Ross Gambit" by ...
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  • 1,097
3 votes
1 answer
108 views

Most Dynamic Continuation for White in the Reti Advance variation (1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 d4)

I have been playing the reti with 1NF3 2C4 for the past 1 month and want to find a dynamic response to the advance variation (...2 d4) as the engine considers it to be the most critical try for black
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-1 votes
2 answers
115 views

Looking to improve my tactics and possibly develop an opening repertoire at the beginner/intermediate level [closed]

I am new to the game and I so far like it. I have watched people on the internet play, tried to copy their moves and have been maintaining an 800 rating on Chess.com and around 1000 on Lichess. I have ...
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2 votes
3 answers
337 views

Why is 1.g3 so much less common than the main opening moves?

1.g3 is by some databases one of the most successful opening moves, yet it is also much rarer than 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4 and 1.Nf3. Why? Related: Why do masters open 1.d4 more often than 1.c4? and Why is 1....
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2 votes
2 answers
156 views

Why does White trade off into an endgame in the main line of the Hungarian Defense?

I'm having trouble understanding the point of White's play in this variation (specifically 5.dxe5): [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Be7 4. d4 d6 5. dxe5!? dxe5 6. Qxd8+ Bxd8 Why does ...
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11 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why is 1. d4 2. c4 3. b3 so bad for white?

I recently played a game that opened like this: 1. d4 c6 2. c4 d5 { D10 Slav Defense } 3. b3 [FEN ""] My third move, 3. b3 is apparently so uncommon that Lichess doesn't have it in its ...
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5 votes
2 answers
161 views

Looking for an opening where stockfish puts out a queen early

I am by no means a chess person (like 1200 haha). I am designing a computer science challenge where the player has to find a bug in my chess program to beat stockfish in a game of chess. The bug is ...
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5 votes
1 answer
331 views

Why is the King's Indian often used to play for a win against 1. d4 when it allows an early queen trade?

Lichess's opening explorer database shows a 49% win rate for White wins compared to Black's 41% in the King's Indian, Exchange Variation. Meanwhile, the Master's database shows a whopping 64% draw ...
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4 votes
4 answers
848 views

How to realize this +2 evaluation in the Ruy Lopez, Steinitz defense

I played a game as White using the Ruy Lopez: Steinitz defense against a lower-rated player (1594 vs. 1500 on chess.com). While I won the game due to a blunder by my opponent in a drawn endgame, the ...
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  • 960
2 votes
3 answers
212 views

Knights on c3 & f3, bishops on d3 & e3 - what is this called, and is it sound?

Sometimes when opening I fall into this odd rut of developing knights to C3 and F3, and bishops to D3 and E3. (Or, as black, C6, F6, D6 and E6). For instance, the position after 7.Be3: [FEN "&...
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2 votes
2 answers
227 views

Openings that tempt opponents to overextend?

What are examples of provocative openings where the opponent can be baited into playing more aggressively than they normally would, ie. pushing a lot of pawns or sacrificing material to keep an ...
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5 votes
1 answer
242 views

Resources on Italian Game, Two Knights Defense with 4. d3 h6 and quick ...g5

Do any books or other resources discuss this variation for Black? Does it have a name? The general idea is to go 4...h6, then ...d6 and ...g5 in some order, depending on what White does. S. Mamedyarov ...
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  • 3,450
4 votes
1 answer
452 views

Why do modern Grandmasters prefer playing quiet openings?

I am rated 1450 and I am have been analyzing GM level games since I began playing chess. I noticed that most GMs consistently play balanced almost boring openings against each other and that only a ...
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  • 41
5 votes
2 answers
351 views

Franco-Sicilian Defense Theory [duplicate]

I am wondering what the main lines and point of the Franco-Sicilian Defense are for Black. I could barely find any theory about it online, and it' is my favorite opening as Black. As such, I am ...
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4 votes
1 answer
794 views

What does columns 1-24 mean?

I was reading Modern Chess Openings by Nick de Firmian, and found "columns 1-24 deals with 2...exf4 " in relation to a theory table. So what does "columns 1-24" mean?
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9 votes
3 answers
496 views

What are the ideas behind the 4.Qxd4 variation of Philidor's Defense?

I recently learned that this is a valid way for White to play for advantage against the Philidor: [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 According to the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
284 views

Why are English setups with g3 like the Catalan considered solid for White, while the Sicilian Dragon is risky for Black?

I know that the Sicilian Dragon is considered very risky for Black if White knows what they're doing; they can go for the Yugoslav Attack setup, play h4-h5 to break open the h-file, try and exchange ...
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12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why does black gain from this "center fork trick"?

In the following position, Bc4 by white is evaluated as a bad move that can be punished by ...Nxe4. Although I can see why it tactically works, I fail to see how the resulting position favors black. ...
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  • 419
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is Whale Variation a successful opening?

I am an early, intermediate in chess. I played the Whale Variation and won some games as White. But there is an issue when Black moves their knight to d4. I have a problem with it. Is the Whale ...
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1 vote
1 answer
117 views

Can one theoretically prove that these moves are marginally better?

I heard that for the first move, 1. e4, 1. d4, 1. c4 and 1. Nf3 are equally good and none of them is better than others, even marginally. However, after 1. e4, both 1... e5 and 1... c5 are marginally ...
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4 votes
2 answers
220 views

Does one need to know all popular openings if they wants to be a top-level player?

Let's say there is a player who knows nothing about Sicilian Defense. If they always start the game with 1. d4 or 1. c4 as white and play the Caro-Kann as black against 1. e4, it seems to me that they ...
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3 votes
1 answer
151 views

How did chess change over the 2010s and should I keep anything in mind for buying books from before 2010?

I presume I am being overly paranoid regarding this, and I definitely don't intend to turn away from older books at all, but were there any developments opening-wise, middlegame-wise, or endgame-wise ...
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  • 33
6 votes
1 answer
645 views

Two Knights of the Caro-Kann: 2.Nc3 vs 2.Nf3

Is there any difference at all in playing 2.Nc3 or 2.Nf3 in the Two Knights of the Caro-Kann? On Lichess, why is 2.Nc3 the second most common move in the Masters database, and 2.Nf3 played almost one-...
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7 votes
1 answer
385 views

Intuitive play vs learning strategies

When I first 'learned' chess, it was just the moves of each piece and then I started playing. I had no plan at all other than just moving pieces and trying to take from my opponent and protecting ...
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  • 81
1 vote
1 answer
284 views

Why are avoidable openings played instead of systems?

It's been a while since I've played OTB chess, but I've gotten back into playing it online. Before my break (I was rated ~1400 USCF), I was a heavy advocate of the English Opening: rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/...
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8 votes
3 answers
977 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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4 votes
3 answers
336 views

Openings where Black castles queenside and White castles kingside

I really enjoy opposite-side castling positions where I'm able to launch pawn storms and put my opponent under pressure. For this reason, I actually enjoy the Exchange French as Black / I want to take ...
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9 votes
6 answers
502 views

Where can I play against specific openings?

Is there a website where you can play against real people with an opening already installed by default? For example, I want to play against the English opening, but my opponents rarely play it, so I ...
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  • 101
2 votes
2 answers
403 views

What is White's main plan in Sicilian Keres variation?

I want to learn a new opening in the Sicilian defense called the Keres variation. What is White's main plan here? [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Ne2
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11 votes
5 answers
2k views

Up to which rating is my strategy in the opening is applicable?

I don't want to waste time on opening preparation. By this, I mean that I don't want to have to understand/memorize the moves or the typical plans in the middlegame. I just want to develop my pieces, ...
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  • 2,485
1 vote
1 answer
52 views

How to score a certain move in a PGN, for how well opening theory is followed

I am making a bot that plays opening moves from a PGN. When the player reaches a position out of PGN, I want to give a score to the player how well he followed the PGN. What kind of statistics can I ...
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  • 473
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Developing the king before developing most of your pieces

I saw this opening for the first time and was amazed by the position of the white king. [FEN "?"] [startply "21"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h6 5. g4 Bd7 6. h5 e6 7. f4 c5 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
241 views

How much does adding an opening book to a relatively weak chess program affect its strength?

Jonathan Schaeffer in One Jump Ahead (via the Chess Programming Wiki): To solve the opening problems of his chess machine, Belle, Ken Thompson typed in opening lines from the Encyclopedia of Chess ...
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  • 376
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Find an opening based on the position of one player only

Given a position for just one player, how can I check to see if there is a standard opening that leads to that position? For example, how could I find if there is an opening that leads (or may lead, ...
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  • 261
4 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to avoid falling into unfamiliar traps in the opening stage?

I will be playing with a player in a few days and his level (1400ish) is slightly lower than mine (1500ish). However, he is very familiar with dubious gambits and opening traps and I can easily lose ...
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2 votes
2 answers
347 views

Attacking as Black in the Caro-Kann

Is it possible to play the Caro-Kann aggressively/tactically as Black? What are the attacking chances/ideas for black in the Caro-Kann? Or is it simply the wrong opening for that? I found a few ...
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  • 1,154
2 votes
2 answers
238 views

What openings can I play against most openings?

I'm looking for a "universal" opening. One example is the King's Indian, which you can play against e4, d4, and several other openings. What other openings, for Black or White, can be played ...
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0 votes
1 answer
163 views

Will I have to memorize all this?

I never studied openings so decided to try it.My plan is to play e4 openings and Caro-kann for black. Now to learn the Caro-kann,I have to look at the Advance,exchange and Nc3/Nf6 stuff variations. ...
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  • 2,485
2 votes
2 answers
663 views

What's the point of the Two Knights French?

According to lichess, if Black simply goes 3...Nf6 against the Two Knights Variation, then the main line is 4.e5 Nfd7 5.d4. This is the exact same position as White would have reached if they'd played ...
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