Chess opening

Chess opening


A chess opening is the group of initial moves
of a chess game. Recognized sequences of initial moves are
referred to as openings by White, or defenses by Black, but opening is also used as the
general term. There are many dozens of different openings,
and hundreds of named variants. The Oxford Companion to Chess lists 1,327
named openings and variants. These vary widely in character from quiet
positional play to wild tactical play. In addition to referring to specific move
sequences, the opening is the first phase of a chess game, the other phases being the
middlegame and the endgame. A sequence of opening moves that is considered
standard is referred to as “the book moves”, or simply “book”. These reference works often present these
move sequences in simple algebraic notation, opening trees, or theory tables. When a game begins to deviate from known opening
theory, the players are said to be “out of book”. In some opening lines, the moves considered
best for both sides have been worked out for twenty to twenty-five moves or more. Some analysis goes to thirty or thirty-five
moves, as in the classical King’s Indian Defense and in the Sveshnikov and Najdorf variations
of the Sicilian Defense. Professional chess players spend years studying
openings, and continue doing so throughout their careers, as opening theory continues
to evolve. Players at the club level also study openings
but the importance of the opening phase is smaller there since games are rarely decided
in the opening. The study of openings can become unbalanced
if it is to the exclusion of tactical training and middlegame and endgame strategy. A new sequence of moves in the opening is
referred to as a theoretical novelty. When kept secret until used in a competitive
game it is often known as a prepared variation, a powerful weapon in top-class competition. Aims of the opening
Common aims in opening play Irrespective of whether they are trying to
gain the upper hand as White and equalize as Black or to create dynamic imbalances,
players generally devote a lot of attention in the opening stages to:
Development: One of the main aims of the opening is to mobilize the pieces on useful squares
where they will have impact on the game. To this end, knights are usually developed
to f3, c3, f6 and c6, and both players’ king and queen pawns are moved so the bishops can
be developed. Rapid mobilization is the key. The queen, and to a lesser extent the rooks,
are not usually played to a central position until later in the game, when many minor pieces
and pawns are no longer present. Control of the center: At the start of the
game, it is not clear on which part of the board the pieces will be needed. However, control of the central squares allows
pieces to be moved to any part of the board relatively easily, and can also have a cramping
effect on the opponent. The classical view is that central control
is best effected by placing pawns there, ideally establishing pawns on d4 and e4. However, the hypermodern school showed that
it was not always necessary or even desirable to occupy the center in this way, and that
too broad a pawn front could be attacked and destroyed, leaving its architect vulnerable;
an impressive-looking pawn center is worth little unless it can be maintained. The hypermoderns instead advocated controlling
the center from a distance with pieces, breaking down one’s opponent’s center, and only taking
over the center oneself later in the game. This leads to openings such as Alekhine’s
Defense – in a line like 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4, White has a formidable
pawn center for the moment, but Black hopes to undermine it later in the game, leaving
White’s position exposed. King safety: The king is somewhat exposed
in the middle of the board. Measures must be taken to reduce his vulnerability. It is therefore common for both players either
to castle in the opening or to otherwise bring the king to the side of the board via artificial
castling. Prevention of pawn weakness: Most openings
strive to avoid the creation of pawn weaknesses such as isolated, doubled and backward pawns,
pawn islands, etc. Some openings sacrifice endgame considerations
for a quick attack on the opponent’s position. Some unbalanced openings for Black, in particular,
make use of this idea, such as the Dutch and the Sicilian. Other openings, such as the Alekhine and the
Benoni, invite the opponent to overextend and form pawn weaknesses. Specific openings accept pawn weaknesses in
exchange for compensation in the form of dynamic play. Piece coordination: As the players mobilize
their pieces, they both seek to ensure that they are working harmoniously towards the
control of key squares. Create positions in which the player is more
comfortable than the opponent: Transposition is one common way of doing this. Apart from these ideas, other strategies used
in the middlegame may also be carried out in the opening. These include preparing pawn breaks to create
counterplay, creating weaknesses in the opponent’s pawn structure, seizing control of key squares,
making favourable exchanges of minor pieces, or gaining a space advantage, whether in the
centre or on the flanks. Top-level objectives
At higher levels of competition, for many years the main objectives of opening play
were to obtain the better position when playing as White and to equalize when playing as Black. The idea behind this is that playing first
gives White a slight initial advantage; for example, White will be the first to attack
if the game opens symmetrically. Since about the 1950s another objective has
gradually become more dominant. According to IM Jeremy Silman, the purpose
of the opening is to create dynamic imbalances between the two sides, which will determine
the character of the middlegame and the strategic plans chosen by both sides. For example, in the main line of the Winawer
Variation of the French Defense, White will try to use his bishop pair and space advantage
to mount an attack on Black’s kingside, while Black will seek simplifying exchanges and
counterattack against the weakened pawns on White’s queenside; both players accept different
combinations of advantages and disadvantages. This idea was a doctrine of the Soviet school
of chess. A third objective, which is complementary
to the previous ones and has been common since the 19th century, is to lure the opponent
into positions with which the player is more familiar and comfortable than the opponent. This is usually done by transpositions, in
which a game that apparently starts with one opening can reach a position that is normally
produced by a different opening. Opening repertoires Most players realize after a while that they
play certain types of positions better than others, and that the amount of theory they
can learn is limited. Therefore, most players specialize in certain
openings where they know the theory and which lead to positions which they favor. The set of openings a player has specialized
in is called an opening repertoire. The main elements a player needs to consider
in a repertoire are: As White, whether to open with 1.e4, 1.d4,
1.c4, or 1.Nf3 As Black, a defense against any of these openings
A very narrow repertoire allows for deeper specialization but also makes a player less
flexible to vary against different opponents. In addition, opponents may find it easier
to prepare against a player with a narrow repertoire. The main openings in a repertoire are usually
reasonably sound, that is, they should lead to playable positions even against optimal
counterplay. Unsound gambits are sometimes used as surprise
weapons, but are unreliable for a stable repertoire. Repertoires often change as a player develops,
and a player’s advancement may be stifled if the opening repertoire does not evolve. Some openings which are effective against
amateur players are less effective at the master level. For example Black obtains active play in return
for a pawn in the Benko Gambit; amateur players may have trouble defending against Black’s
activity, while masters are more skilled at defending and making use of the extra pawn. Some openings which are played between grandmasters
are so complex and theoretical that amateur players will have trouble understanding them. An example is the Perenyi Attack of the Sicilian
Defense which yields an immensely complicated and tactical position that even strong players
have difficulty handling, and that is beyond the comprehension of most amateurs. Opening nomenclature
Major changes in the rules of chess in the late fifteenth century increased the speed
of the game, consequently emphasizing the importance of opening study. Thus, early chess books, such as the 1497
text of Luis Ramirez de Lucena, present opening analysis, as does Pedro Damiano, and Ruy López
de Segura. Ruy Lopez’s disagreement with Damiano regarding
the merits of 2…Nc6 led to 3.Bb5 being named for him as the Ruy Lopez or Spanish Opening. Opening theory was studied more scientifically
from the 1840s on, and many opening variations were discovered and named in this period and
later. Opening nomenclature developed haphazardly,
and most names are historical accidents not based on systematic principles. The oldest openings tend to be named for geographic
places and people. Many openings are named after nationalities,
for example Indian, English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Scotch, Russian, Italian, Scandinavian,
and Sicilian. Cities are also used, such as Vienna, Berlin,
and Wilkes-Barre. The Catalan System is named after the Catalonia
region of Spain. Chess players’ names are the most common sources
of opening names. The name given to an opening is not always
that of the first player to adopt it; often an opening is named for the player who was
the first to popularize it or to publish analysis of it. Eponymic openings include the Ruy Lopez, Alekhine’s
Defense, Morphy Defense, and the Réti Opening. Some opening names honor two people, such
as the Caro–Kann. A few opening names are descriptive, such
as Giuoco Piano. More prosaic descriptions include Two Knights
and Four Knights. Descriptive names are less common than openings
named for places and people. Some openings have been given fanciful names,
often names of animals. This practice became more common in the 20th
century. By then, most of the more common and traditional
sequences of opening moves had already been named, so these tend to be unusual or recently
developed openings like the Orangutan, Hippopotamus, Elephant, and Hedgehog. Many terms are used for the opening as well. In addition to Opening, common terms include
Game, Defense, Gambit, and Variation; less common terms are System, Attack, Counterattack,
Countergambit, Reversed, and Inverted. To make matters more confusing, these terms
are used very inconsistently. Consider some of the openings named for nationalities:
Scotch Game, English Opening, French Defense, and Russian Game—the Scotch Game and the
English Opening are both White openings, the French is indeed a defense but so is the Russian
Game. Although these do not have precise definitions,
here are some general observations about how they are used. Game 
Used only for some of the oldest openings, for example Scotch Game, Vienna Game, and
Four Knights Game. Opening 
Along with Variation, this is the most common term. Variation 
Usually used to describe a line within a more general opening, for example the Exchange
Variation of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Defense 
Always refers to an opening chosen by Black, such as Two Knights Defense or King’s Indian
Defense, unless, of course, it has ‘reversed’ in front of it, which makes it an opening
for White. The term “defense” does not imply passivity;
many defenses are quite aggressive. Gambit 
An opening that involves the sacrifice of material, usually one or more pawns. Gambits can be played by White or Black. The full name often includes Accepted or Declined
depending on whether the opponent took the offered material, as in the Queen’s Gambit
Accepted and Queen’s Gambit Declined. In some cases, the sacrifice of material is
only temporary. The Queen’s Gambit is not a true gambit because
there is no good way for Black to keep the pawn. Countergambit 
A gambit played in response to another gambit, almost always by Black. Examples of this include the Albin Countergambit
to the Queen’s Gambit, the Falkbeer Countergambit to the King’s Gambit, and the Greco Counter
Gambit. System 
A method of development that can be used against many different setups by the opponent. Examples include London System, Colle System,
Stonewall Attack, Réti System, Barcza System, and Hedgehog System. Attack 
Sometimes used to describe an aggressive or provocative variation such as the Albin–Chatard
Attack, the Fried Liver Attack in the Two Knights Defense, and the Grob Attack. In other cases it refers to a defensive system
by Black when adopted by White, as in King’s Indian Attack. In still other cases the name seems to be
used ironically, as with the fairly inoffensive Durkin’s Attack. Reversed, Inverted 
A Black opening played by White, or more rarely a White opening played by Black. Examples include Sicilian Reversed, and the
Inverted Hungarian. The Reti, King’s Indian Attack and Reversed
Sicilian, and other “Black played by White with an extra tempo,” often start with 1.Nf3
or 1.c4. A small minority of openings are prefixed
with “Anti-“. These are openings intended to avoid a particular
line otherwise available to one’s opponent, for example the Anti-Marshall Attack in the
Ruy Lopez) and the Anti-Meran Gambit. Classification of chess openings The beginning chess position offers White
twenty possible first moves. Of these, 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.Nf3, and 1.c4 are
by far the most popular as these moves do the most to promote rapid development and
control of the center. A few other opening moves are considered reasonable
but less consistent with opening principles than the four most popular moves. The Dunst Opening, 1.Nc3, develops a knight
to a good square, but is somewhat inflexible because it blocks White’s c-pawn; also, after
1…d5 the knight is liable to be driven to an inferior square by …d4. Bird’s Opening, 1.f4, addresses center control
but not development and weakens the king position slightly. The Sokolsky Opening 1.b4 and the King’s and
Queen’s fianchettos 1.b3 and 1.g3 aid development a bit, but they only address center control
peripherally and are slower than the more popular openings. The eleven remaining possibilities are rarely
played at the top levels of chess. Of these, the best are merely slow such as
1.c3, 1.d3, and 1.e3. Worse possibilities either ignore the center
and development such as 1.a3, weaken White’s position, or place the knights on poor squares. Black has twenty possible responses to White’s
opening move. Many of these are mirror images of the most
popular first moves for White, but with one less tempo. Defenses beginning with 1…c6 and 1…e6,
often followed by the center thrust 2…d5, are also popular. Defenses with an early …d6 coupled with
a kingside fianchetto are also commonly played. The most important scheme of classifying chess
openings for serious players is by ECO code, a series of 500 opening codes assigned by
the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings. Although these codes are invaluable for the
serious study of the chess opening, they are not very practical for a broad survey of the
chess opening as the codes obscure common structural features between related openings. A simple descriptive categorization of the
chess opening is King’s Pawn Openings, Queen’s Pawn Openings, and Others. Since these categories are still individually
very large, it is common to divide each of them further. One reasonable way to group the openings is:
Double King Pawn, Symmetric or Open Games Single King Pawn or Semi-Open Games
Double Queen Pawn or Closed Games Single Queen Pawn or Semi-Closed Games
Flank openings Unusual first moves for White
The Indian systems are the most important of the Semi-Closed Games, and warrant separate
treatment. Open games: 1.e4 e5 White starts by playing 1.e4. This is the most popular opening move and
it has many strengths—it immediately works on controlling the center, and it frees two
pieces. The oldest openings in chess follow 1.e4. Bobby Fischer rated 1.e4 as “Best by test.” On the downside, 1.e4 places a pawn on an
undefended square and weakens d4 and f4; the Hungarian master Gyula Breyer melodramatically
declared that “After 1.e4 White’s game is in its last throes.” If Black mirrors White’s move and replies
with 1…e5, the result is an open game. The most popular second move for White is
2.Nf3 attacking Black’s king pawn, preparing for a kingside castle, and anticipating the
advance of the queen pawn to d4. Black’s most common reply is 2…Nc6, which usually leads
to the Ruy Lopez, Scotch Game, or Italian Game. If Black instead maintains symmetry and counterattacks
White’s center with 2…Nf6 then the Petrov’s Defense results. The Philidor Defense is not popular in modern
chess because it allows White an easy space advantage while Black’s position remains cramped
and passive, although solid. Other responses to 2.Nf3 are not seen in master
play. The most popular alternatives to 2.Nf3 are
the Vienna Game, the Bishop’s Opening, and the King’s Gambit. These openings have some similarities with
each other, in particular the Bishop’s Opening frequently transposes to variations of the
Vienna Game. The King’s Gambit was extremely popular in
the 19th century. White sacrifices a pawn for quick development
and to pull a black pawn out of the center. The Vienna Game also frequently features attacks
on the Black center by means of a f2–f4 pawn advance. In the Center Game White immediately opens
the center but if the pawn is to be recovered after 2…exd4, White must contend with a
slightly premature queen development after 3.Qxd4. An alternative is to sacrifice one or two
pawns, for example in the Danish Gambit. Many other variations after 1.e4 e5 have been
studied; see Open Game for details. 1.e4 e5 Double King’s Pawn Opening or Open
Game 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Ruy Lopez
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 Scotch Game 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Italian Game
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 Four Knights Game 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 Petrov’s Defense
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 Philidor Defense 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Vienna Game
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bishop’s Opening 1.e4 e5 2.f4 King’s Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Center Game 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 Danish Gambit
Semi-open games: 1.e4, Black plays other than 1…e5 In the semi-open games White plays 1.e4 and
Black breaks symmetry immediately by replying with a move other than 1…e5. The most popular Black defense to 1.e4 is
the Sicilian, but the French and the Caro–Kann are also very popular. The Pirc and the Modern are closely related
openings that are also often seen, while the Alekhine and the Scandinavian have made occasional
appearances in World Chess Championship games. The Sicilian and French Defenses lead to unbalanced
positions that can offer exciting play with both sides having chances to win. The Caro–Kann Defense is solid as Black
intends to use his c-pawn to support his center. Alekhine’s, the Pirc and the Modern are hypermodern
openings in which Black tempts White to build a large center with the goal of attacking
it with pieces. Other semi-open games have been studied but
are less common; see Semi-Open Game for details. 1.e4 c5 Sicilian Defense
1.e4 e6 French Defense 1.e4 c6 Caro–Kann Defense
1.e4 d5 Scandinavian Defense 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 Pirc Defense
1.e4 Nf6 Alekhine’s Defense 1.e4 g6 Modern Defense
Closed games: 1.d4 d5 The openings classified as closed games begin
1.d4 d5. The move 1.d4 offers the same benefits to
development and center control as does 1.e4, but unlike with King Pawn openings where the
e4-pawn is undefended after the first move, the d4-pawn is protected by White’s queen. This slight difference has a tremendous effect
on the opening. For instance, whereas the King’s Gambit is
rarely played today at the highest levels of chess, the Queen’s Gambit remains a popular
weapon at all levels of play. Also, compared with the King Pawn openings,
transpositions among variations are more common and critical in the closed games. The most important closed openings are in
the Queen’s Gambit family. The Queen’s Gambit is somewhat misnamed, since
White can always regain the offered pawn if desired. In the Queen’s Gambit Accepted, Black plays
…dxc4, giving up the center for free development and the chance to try to give White an isolated
queen pawn with a subsequent …c5 and …cxd5. White will get active pieces and possibilities
for the attack. Black has two popular ways to decline the
pawn, the Slav and the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Both of these moves lead to an immense forest
of variations that can require a great deal of opening study to play well. Among the many possibilities in the Queen’s
Gambit Declined are the Orthodox Defense, Lasker’s Defense, the Cambridge Springs Defense,
the Tartakower Variation, and the Tarrasch and Semi-Tarrasch Defenses. Black replies to the Queen’s Gambit other
than 2…dxc4, 2…c6, and 2…e6 are uncommon. The Colle System and Stonewall Attack are
classified as Queen’s Pawn Games because White plays d4 but not c4. They are also examples of Systems, rather
than specific opening variations. White develops aiming for a particular formation
without great concern over how Black chooses to defend. Both systems are popular with club players
because they are easy to learn, but are rarely used by professionals because a well-prepared
opponent playing Black can equalize fairly easily. The Stonewall is characterized by the White
pawn formation on c3, d4, e3, and f4, and can be achieved by several move orders and
against many different Black setups. The position in the diagram and the move sequence
given below are typical. Other closed openings have been studied but
are less common; see Closed Game for details. 1.d4 d5 Double Queen’s Pawn Opening or Closed
Game 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Queen’s Gambit
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 Queen’s Gambit Accepted 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 Queen’s Gambit Declined
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 Slav Defense 1.d4 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.Bd3 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.f4 Stonewall
Attack 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Colle System
Indian Defense Systems: 1.d4 Nf6 The Indian systems are asymmetrical defenses
to 1.d4 that employ hypermodern chess strategy. Fianchettos are common in many of these openings. As with the closed games, transpositions are
important and many of the Indian defenses can be reached by several different move orders. Although Indian defenses were championed in
the 1920s by players in the hypermodern school, they were not fully accepted until Soviet
players showed in the late 1940s that these systems are sound for Black. Since then, Indian defenses have been the
most popular Black replies to 1.d4 because they offer an unbalanced game with chances
for both sides. The usual White second move is 2.c4, grabbing
a larger share of the center and allowing the move Nc3, to prepare for moving the e-pawn
to e4 without blocking the c-pawn. Black’s most popular replies are:
2…e6, freeing the king’s bishop and leading into the Nimzo-Indian Defence, Queen’s Indian
Defence, Bogo–Indian Defence, Modern Benoni, or regular lines of the Queen’s Gambit Declined,
2…g6, preparing a fianchetto of the king’s bishop and entering the King’s Indian Defense
or Grünfeld Defense, and 2…c5 3.d5 e6, the
Modern Benoni, with an immediate counterpunch in the center. Advocated by Nimzowitsch as early as 1913,
the Nimzo-Indian Defence was the first of the Indian systems to gain full acceptance. It remains one of the most popular and well-respected
defenses to 1.d4 and White often adopts move orders designed to avoid it. Black attacks the center with pieces and is
prepared to trade a bishop for a knight to weaken White’s queenside with doubled pawns. The King’s Indian Defense is aggressive, somewhat
risky, and generally indicates that Black will not be satisfied with a draw. Although it was played occasionally as early
as the late 19th century, the King’s Indian was considered inferior until the 1940s, when
it was taken up by Bronstein, Boleslavsky, and Reshevsky. Fischer’s favored defense to 1.d4, its popularity
faded in the mid-1970s. Kasparov’s successes with the defense restored
the King’s Indian to prominence in the 1980s. Ernst Grünfeld debuted the Grünfeld Defense
in 1922. Distinguished by the move 3…d5, Grünfeld
intended it as an improvement to the King’s Indian which was not considered entirely satisfactory
at that time. The Grünfeld has been adopted by World Champions
Smyslov, Fischer, and Kasparov. The Queen’s Indian Defense is considered solid,
safe, and perhaps somewhat drawish. Black often chooses the Queen’s Indian when
White avoids the Nimzo-Indian by playing 3.Nf3 instead of 3.Nc3. Black constructs a sound position that makes
no positional concessions, although sometimes it is difficult for Black to obtain good winning
chances. Karpov is a leading expert in this opening. The Modern Benoni is a risky attempt by Black
to unbalance the position and gain active piece play at the cost of allowing White a
pawn wedge at d5 and a central majority. Tal popularized the defense in the 1960s by
winning several brilliant games with it, and Fischer occasionally adopted it, with good
results, including a win in his 1972 world championship match against Boris Spassky. Often Black adopts a slightly different move
order, playing 2…e6 before 3…c5 in order to avoid the sharpest lines for White. The Benko Gambit is often played by strong
players, and is very popular at lower levels. Black plays to open lines on the queenside
where White will be subject to considerable pressure. If White accepts the gambit, Black’s compensation
is positional rather than tactical, and his initiative can last even after many piece
exchanges and well into the endgame. White often chooses instead either to decline
the gambit pawn or return it. The Catalan Opening is characterized by White
forming a pawn center at d4 and c4 and fianchettoing his king’s bishop. It resembles a combination of the Queen’s
Gambit and Réti Opening. Since the Catalan can be reached from many
different move orders,, it is sometimes called the Catalan System. The most important Indian Defenses are listed
below, but many others have been studied and played; see Indian Defense for details. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 2.d5 e6 Modern Benoni
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 Benko Gambit 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 Nimzo-Indian Defence
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 Queen’s Indian Defense 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Catalan Opening
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 Grünfeld Defense 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 King’s Indian Defense
Other Black responses to 1.d4 Of the defenses to 1.d4 other than 1…d5
and 1…Nf6, the most important are the Dutch Defense and the Benoni Defense. The Dutch, an aggressive defense adopted for
a time by World Champions Alekhine and Botvinnik, and played by both Botvinnik and challenger
David Bronstein in their 1951 world championship match, is still played occasionally at the
top level by Short and others. Another fairly common opening is the Benoni
Defense, which may become very wild if it develops into the Modern Benoni, though other
variations are more solid. Several other uncommon semi-closed openings
have been named and studied, see Semi-Closed Game for details. 1.d4 c5 Benoni Defense
1.d4 f5 Dutch Defense Flank openings The flank openings are the group of White
openings typified by play on one or both flanks. White plays in hypermodern style, attacking
the center from the flanks with pieces rather than occupying it with pawns. These openings are played often, and 1.Nf3
and 1.c4 trail only 1.e4 and 1.d4 in popularity as opening moves. If White opens with 1.Nf3, the game often
becomes one of the d4 openings by a different move order, but unique openings such as the
Réti and King’s Indian Attack are also common. The Réti itself is characterized by White
playing 1.Nf3, fianchettoing one or both bishops, and not playing an early d4. The King’s Indian Attack is a system of development
that White may use in reply to almost any Black opening moves. The characteristic KIA setup is 1.Nf3, 2.g3,
3.Bg2, 4.0-0, 5.d3, 6.Nbd2, and 7.e4, although these moves may be played in many different
orders. In fact, the KIA is probably most often reached
after 1.e4 when White uses it to respond to a Black attempt to play one of the semi-open
games such as the Caro–Kann, French, or Sicilian, or even the open games which usually
come after 1.e4 e5. Its greatest appeal may be that by adopting
a set pattern of development, White can avoid the large amount of opening study required
to prepare to meet the many different possible Black replies to 1.e4. The English Opening also frequently transposes
into a d4 opening, but it can take on independent character as well including the Symmetrical
Variation and the Reversed Sicilian. Larsen’s Opening and the Sokolsky Opening
are occasionally seen in grandmaster play. Benko used 1.g3 to defeat both Fischer and
Tal in the 1962 Candidates Tournament in Curaçao. With Bird’s Opening White tries to get a strong
grip on the e5-square. The opening can resemble a Dutch Defense in
reverse after 1.f4 d5, or Black may try to disrupt White by playing 1…e5!?. 1.b3 Larsen’s Opening
1.b4 Sokolsky Opening 1.c4 English Opening
1.Nf3 Zukertort Opening 1.Nf3, 2.g3, 3.Bg2, 4.0-0, 5.d3, 6.Nbd2, 7.e4
King’s Indian Attack 1.f4 Bird’s Opening
1.g3 Benko Opening Unusual first moves for White First moves other than the king pawn, queen
pawn, or flank openings are not regarded as effective ways to exploit White’s first-move
advantage and thus are rarely played. Although some of these openings are not actually
bad for White, each of the twelve remaining possible first moves suffers one or more of
the following defects compared to the more popular choices:
too passive for White gratuitously weakens White’s position
does little to aid White’s development or control the center
develops a knight to an inferior square See also
Outline of chess: Chess openings Chess opening book
List of chess openings List of chess openings named after people
List of chess openings named after places List of chess gambits
Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings Chess opening theory table
Middlegame Endgame
Checkmates in the opening References Bibliography External links
Chess Opening Videos and Analysis Wikichess, open chess repertoire project
Chess openings guide Chess Opening Explorer on Chessgames.com
Searchable Database of Chess Openings Unorthodox Chess Opening’s Yahoo! group
A Collection of Chess Wisdom – The Opening Chessville.com
Chess Siberia Chess Openings
A Method for Comparing Chess Openings

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