Hot answers tagged

18

The opening in those games depends on your opponent just as much as you, so with the sample size being so small, don't take the statistic too much into account. The analogy with poker doesn't really work out too well. You definitely want to play "optimally" in chess against beginners! While in poker you can choose between different strategies that ...


16

Is there any value to learning openings as a new player? Yes. The main reason is to get a feel for the kind of patterns of the way the pieces develop in different situations. There are also good reasons to start with highly tactical openings since most of your improvement will come from improving your tactics, most of your wins will come from your tactics (...


14

White is one move ahead, and attacking. You can't be aggressive yet, or you'll just lose! You have two choices: either you try to contain white, and when that is done and the position is equal, then you try to become active yourself. Or, you let him expand, but make sure you'll have your own trumps as well. The first way will lead to more or less symmetric ...


13

Against a white d4-e5 pawn formation, Black wants to play c5 (see e.g. the French opening). In the Caro-Kann, that will cost two moves (c7-c6-c5), while in the Scandinavian, it's only one move since the pawn is still on c7. That's one tempo, and as @Qudit notes in the comments, in the main line Scandinavian White usually wins a tempo by chasing the black ...


13

It's still one of the best moves White can play. There's no clear consensus on whether 1.e4 or 1.d4 is better, but it's played frequently at the top level. Due to advancements in theory, I'd say 1.e4 isn't regarded quite as highly as it was in the past, but again it's most likely White's best/second best move. Advancements in AI aren't really affecting ...


12

This is a very difficult question, and there are several sides to it. 1: This is the most important advice you will ever hear: Chess is 99% tactics. It is all about tricks, forking and pinning your opponents. I can not count how many times I have played a wonderful opening, gotten some advantage on the long term to lose on some simple blunder. If Bill ...


11

After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb3 Nc6, the position is probably fine for black. However, after 4....e5, white seems to have a stronger reply: 5.Bb5+. According to the Game Database of ChessTempo, this is also the most popular move. Now, black has two options: 4....Bd7 or 4....Nd7. After both moves, white can put his knight on f5 and obtain a ...


11

I think the main reason behind Bd3 is to provide a "safe" retreat for the knight and keeps to e-file open. Both Nf3 and Nh3 have liabilities. A retreat to e4 also allow a further lose of time from f5, but this may be offset by black's LSB having less mobility. The other option is Bf1, which while playable, also goes against basic opening principles. ...


10

You can, but if you like most openings with 1.e4, it's probably not the most adequate choice for your "style" (the resulting position will be "slow" rather than a fast exchange of tactical blows. 2.c4 is a legitimate option, but here are a few alternatives you may want to consider: Find some line in the Open Sicilian: this is the ideal, but requires a lot ...


10

Comparing 6.Bb3 and 6.Bc4, the drawbacks of the latter are obvious since the bishop is not protected and can become a target to attacks: either by a black piece: Ne5, Na5, Qc5, Qd4... or, more probably, by the d-pawn: the typical ...d5 will gain a tempo for development On the other hand, I can see no advantage of having the bishop on c4 rather than b3. ...


9

White should trade bishops and use the unprotected knight to gain some extra tempo and gain a massive lead in development, e.g. [FEN ""] 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bh6 3. Bxh6 Nxh6 4. Qd2 Ng8 5. Nc3 4... Ng4 is best met by 5. h3 Nf6 (forced) 6. e5 Nd5 7. c4 Nb6 8. Qh6 and Black has problems completing his development, though there is no forced win at the moment. I ...


9

The game will get the characteristics of the Philidor Defense rather than the Italian Game. Wikipedia calls it the Semi-Italian Opening. I. A. Horowitz called the defence "solid", also writing: "It does not seem quite sufficient for equality." The Wikipedia article notes several possible continuations for White, with 4. d4 probably the best bet for ...


9

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 d6: 365chess.com database shows: MOVE | games | year | White + Draw + Black -------+-------+------+--------+--------+------- 4. d4 | 491 | 2018 | 50.3 % | 24.4 % | 25.3 % 4. c3 | 359 | 2018 | 53.5 % | 20.6 % | 25.9 % 4. d3 | 357 | 2018 | 45.4 % | 22.7 % | 31.9 % 4. h3 | 323 | 2016 | 42.7 % | 25.7 % | 31.6 % 4. Nc3 | ...


9

The International Master Gary Lane in his book about the Vienna game wrote in 2000 that this opening "has a long history and a bright future". He added "in these days of computer databases [already 20 years ago!], opening theory has become so intense that some variations have been analyzed to move 30. It is hardly surprising that some '...


8

Against a king pawn opening, one of the most straightforward and aggressive ways to defend is the Scandinavian. If you don't want much theory, I would suggest the Bronstein (also called Pytel-Wade) variation: [Title "Scandinavian, Bronstein variation"] [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 {This is ...


8

3...h6 is not a mistake, but it's certainly not the best move in the position. In the opening, one of your goals is to develop your pieces, and ...h6 doesn't do this. The only point of ...h6 seems to be to avoid the line 3...Nf6 4.Ng5, but this line is not dangerous to black at all. Play can continue 4...d5 5.exd5 Na5, and black will have good compensation ...


8

Black's main threat after 3... c6 is d5; it looks like Qe2 is an attempt to prevent that, by indirectly attacking pawn e5, even with check. However, I'm not so sure that it works as intended, because Black can play d5 anyway, e.g. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Qe2 d5! 5. exd5 cxd5 6. Bb5+ Nc6 7. Qxe5+ Be7 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. O-O Bd6 and ...


8

You should focus on understanding the openings principles- center, development, king safety. If you understand those ideas you'll usually be able to find good moves even if you don't know the theory. Play openings that lead to open and tactical positions because those are the ones that will help you improve the fastest. 1.e4 with white. 1.e4, e5 with black. ...


8

As an amateur player, you should know the connotation that 2...Nf6 (The Petrov defense) has a reputation of being more boring and more of a draw than 2...Nc6 (leading to the Ruy Lopez, Italian, and Scotch games). However, this really doesn't apply at the amateur level. In fact, you're much more likely to win or lose than draw, unlikely to the masters' ...


7

When black plays the Dragon, recently, the top players tend to choose 9.0-0-0 and 9.g4, instead of 9.Bc4. For example, Topalov-Lu Shanglei, Wei Yi-Lu Shanglei, Caruana-Nakamura and Karjakin-Nakamura. According to the Game Database of ChessTempo, after 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0, 10....Rc8 is the most popular choice. A couple of months ago, two books about the ...


7

This line is not very popular because black can challenge the bishop with 7…h6. Now white is forced to exchange his bishop against the knight, either by taking right away 8.Bxf6 or after 8.Be3 Ng4. This is something you'd rather avoid, though its not immediately problematic for white. If you try to avoid this with 8.Bh4 you run into 8…Nxe4. I actually lost ...


7

As you mentioned, 4.g4 is interesting and not as stupid as it may look. If you don't like the positional maneuvering game, I think 4.f4 could be try for you. There is one suicidal line that really isn't my taste, but for sure it is aggressive, at least till you get mated. It's [FEN ""] 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.Ng5 O-O 7.Bxf7+ ...


7

It is not the most ambitious choice, but should be playable. It has been played by 2500 rated players. Basically by playing c4 you weaken your dark squares and black could try to take advantage of it by the following set up. [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 e6 6.Nge2 Nge7 7.d3 O-O If you are fine with such position go for it. I wouldn't ...


7

The inclusion of 2. Nc3 ahead of f2-f4 is most significant. Consider 1. e4 e5 2. f4. Does 2. f4 aid White's development? Does 2. f4 make a threat? In both cases, no. 1. e4 e5 2. f4 isn't a threat because if we gave White an additional move for 3. fxe5, then 3...Qh4+ ruins White's day. That's the first reason for 2. Nc3: by guarding e4, it means f2-f4 will ...


6

There are a lot of good resources on 1. e4 e5 lines. I would recommend you combine some study of an up-to-date theoretical work (Bologan's two books, Black Weapons, and Bologan's Ruy Lopez are very good, and all you would need for a long time) with going through some games. For example, if you want to get a good feel for where your pieces belong and ...


6

White doesn't always play d4. Apart from the line you mention, there is also the King's Indian Attack and the Closed Sicilian, where white plays g3 and Bg2, the Grand Prix Attack, where white plays f4 and the Rossolimo, where white plays Bb5 (after Nc6 or d6). In all those lines d3 is usually played instead of d4. But 3.d4 is the most common line: It ...


6

I don't see why you can't just ignore the Queen on a5 for now and play Nf3, followed by Bc4 and 0-0. Then, there is no pin on the c3 pawn anymore and he must take on c3, after which you retake with Nxc3 and you're back into a normal Morra gambit position with his queen oddly placed on a5. If he doesn't take on c3, then you just take back on d4 with a large ...


6

I don't think that this variation has a name. Variations that are infrequently played are less likely to be named. I don't have access to Megabase right now, but I can't even find a game starting with 1. e4 b6 2. e5 in online databases. You're already well away from main lines with 1... b6. 2. e5 seems weird (2. d4 would be my choice) and 2... Nc6 will ...


6

The reason to play 1.e4 e5 2.c3 is probably to go for a slow manoeuvring/strategic game without much theory. After the natural 2...d5, white can go for 3.d3 and in case of 3... dxe4 4.dxe4 Qxd1 5.Kxd1. This transposes into a familiar position with one tempo up and reversed colors compared with 1.e4 d6 2.d4 d5 3.dxe5 dxe5 4.Qxd8 Kxd8. Note that in the line ...


6

The Bishop's Opening often transposes to the Italian, so black's response depends on which line he wants to play after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4: 3....Bc5 or 3....Nf6. The former allows the Evans Gambit (4.b4), while in case of the latter, black should be ready for 4.Ng5. According to the GameDatabase of ChessTempo, after 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4, the most popular ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible