Questions tagged [opening]

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

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19 votes
5 answers
7k views

What openings are recommendable for beginners to study?

I am a beginner. With reference to opening theory, which opening should I start learning? My friends are suggesting the Ruy Lopez.
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  • 199
7 votes
3 answers
763 views

How do I obtain statistics on openings?

I'm looking for statistics on the probability of a given opening being used in a game, and by what percent its use is growing or declining over some set timeframe, for example, over the previous year. ...
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  • 4,063
3 votes
1 answer
242 views

What openings are closed and defensive?

Which openings would be regarded as leading to a closed position and being defensive? Specifically, openings that would be drawish, even against stronger players, but there is still always a ...
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14 votes
3 answers
669 views

How do chess openings officially get recognized?

With so many combinations of moves possible, how do openings get recognized? For example, what is to prevent me from playing a series of moves and declaring it the xaisoft gambit or xaisoft heart-...
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9 votes
2 answers
892 views

How should one continue development against an unorthodox move by an opponent?

Let's say you have been practicing a certain opening such as the Ruy Lopez and you have all the main lines down and suddenly your opponent makes some unorthodox move that you did not encounter while ...
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11 votes
4 answers
10k 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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
5k views

Should I go for the Traxler Counterattack?

Many of my games as Black feature the Two Knights' Defence. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 Sometimes my opponent will play 4. Ng5, and I usually reply with 4 ... d5. It is not ...
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10 votes
5 answers
14k views

Is the Scandinavian Defence inferior?

As Black, I have never played the Scandinavian Defence, nor have I ever liked the Center Game for White. It seems like 1. e4 d5 wastes valuable time after 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 and Black's Queen must ...
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14 votes
8 answers
4k 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 ...
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  • 249
14 votes
7 answers
900 views

How can I deal with defenses I don't like?

I like to play 1. e4, as I favor open and dynamic positions, and feel comfortable with most black responses, but I there are some openings I don't like, e.g. Sicilian or French. My aversion might be ...
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  • 2,507
15 votes
4 answers
864 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?
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10 votes
5 answers
6k views

Do Barry attack and 150 attack really work that well with Colle-Zukertort?

As I was looking for advice on Colle-Zukertort as described here, I found additional info about 2 other attacks that can be used to improve my repertoire pretty efficiently. Here is the information I ...
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18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Which gambits have been most successful?

Besides the Queen's Gambit (which isn't really a gambit anyway), which gambits have been most successful as far as winning percentage and usage at high levels of play?
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24 votes
15 answers
13k views

Is Colle-Zukertort a good way to improve beginner play?

I'm still trying to improve my repertoire and building more towards aggressive openings which I find to better fit my playing style. Colle-Zukertort seems like a popular one and I've seen it ...
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20 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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  • 1,247
12 votes
4 answers
4k 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.,...
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35 votes
5 answers
15k views

Why is the Ruy Lopez such a common opening?

The Ruy Lopez opening is characterized by the moves: [fen ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Why is this opening so popular? It does not appear to be particularly special/unique for white or black, so ...
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28 votes
1 answer
2k views

What openings typify 21st century chess?

What openings are particularly typical of 21st century chess so far? To be more clear, which openings are particularly popular in the 21st century relative to the 20th century? For example, certain ...
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18 votes
5 answers
15k 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. ...
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9 votes
6 answers
3k 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 ...
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19 votes
5 answers
2k views

Which chess player has the most openings named after him?

I always thought it was interesting that chess players had openings named after them. The game of chess has only been popular and organized for about 150 years, yet all the most popular openings and ...
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are some of the main ideas in the Grand Prix attack?

I was looking at ways to improve my game by making it more sharp and be able to attack the kingside as quickly as possible, and I found a move that looks interesting called the Grand Prix Attack in ...
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5 votes
4 answers
9k views

What is the best defense against the King's Indian Attack?

How can I break the King's Indian Attack? I think my h7 square is vulnerable to attack; what is the best way to break this strategy?
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14 votes
2 answers
655 views

Has AI changed opening theory, and if so, how?

Pre-AI, it's hard to imagine that opening moves had changed much. Following the birth of computer engines, has AI changed opening theory, and if so, how?
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  • 4,063
5 votes
5 answers
438 views

What is the fastest way for a player to reach the stage where they are not opening with nonsense moves?

Assuming a player knows the rules, are there any free, one-player simulations that will rapidly teach a single player on their own how to move beyond opening with nonsense moves.
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40 votes
15 answers
40k 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 ...
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  • 4,063
8 votes
5 answers
3k views

Does 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 have to be a bad opening?

There seems to be a pretty nifty attack for White after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6: [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 fxe5 4.Qh5+ g6 5.Qxe5+ Qe7 6.Qxh8 I've played as White with this opening several times, ...
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  • 6,080
20 votes
6 answers
15k 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?
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  • 3,293
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

How can I to hold on to the pawn plus for black in the Queen's Gambit Accepted?

A few years back I used to play with a player who always accepted the queens gambit pawn and used to hold on to it and sometimes win with the pawn plus. Is there any specific variation that can be ...
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  • 3,293
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the best defense against Marshall Attack?

I have usually found the Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez to be very potent and very hard to counter. [fen ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 Are ...
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164 votes
30 answers
185k views

What are examples of very aggressive openings?

One of my favorite openings is the King's Gambit. It is extremely aggressive, and makes for a sharp tactical game without sacrificing too much material. It isn't played much at the highest level at ...
26 votes
7 answers
3k views

What proofs for refuted gambits are there?

I've stumbled upon this article a while ago, and I've also seen refutations for the Muzio Gambit (Joseph Kling & Bernard Horwitz - Chess Studies on Endings of Games). I'm wondering what other ...
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17 votes
7 answers
978 views

What are good openings to study to get more experienced players out of their comfort zone?

Sometimes I end up getting the opportunity to play a friendly game with someone who has played a lot more chess than I have; these games seem more fun and interesting for everyone (and I seem to end ...
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  • 273
10 votes
6 answers
437 views

What strategies should I be thinking about at the beginning of the game?

In the middle and the end of a chess game, there are visible consequences to almost every move you can make, there are more constraints limiting what is logical to move, and it is fairly ...
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9 votes
9 answers
991 views

What is the best way to free your queen as soon as possible?

We can open games in many ways (any of the pawns or knights) and then go ahead with different strategies. The queen being the most important piece, I would like to get it out in the field without ...
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  • 805
19 votes
9 answers
7k views

Opening with knight

I recently came across a game purportedly played by Napoleon (white) where he opened with 1. Nc3, and went on to win. I've never seen another game that did not open with a pawn. Does a knight opening ...
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  • 307
37 votes
4 answers
6k views

What are the consequences of an early a6 in the Sicilian?

Once I encountered an opponent who used a very early a6 in his Sicilian Opening. [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 What could have been his objective with this move and how should I have have countered ...
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