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- The Queen's Indian Defence is one of Black's toughest and most respectable choices against queen's pawn openings and is a favorite of world-chess players such as Vladimir Kramnik, Vishy Anand, Michael Adams and Judit Polgar. From the outset Black employs the dynamic principle of controlling the center with pieces rather than pawns, and this can lead to rich and complex chess. The Queen's Indian is a multi-dimensional opening which appeals to aggressive and positional players.alikeThe Grunfeld Defence is a dynamic and popular counterattacking weapon for Black against queen's pawn openings. Former World Champion Bobby Fischer and current world number one Garry Kasparov head a long list of grandmasters that have utilized this opening with continued success The Najdorf system in the Sicilian Defence has a legendary reputation as a defensive weapon for Black. It is an opening where people often strive for a full point, instead of simply defending the position with the black pieces. Many great players have contributed to the development of this complex opening. There were two world champions who formed much of their careers using the Najdorf system as their weapon of choice against 1.e4: Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov. Both players celebrated spectacular successes with it, both used the Najdorf during their child prodigy years and retained it as an important part of their repertoire during their entire careers. For Garry Kasparov this added up to experience with the Najdorf at the very highest levels of chess.
The first moves of a chess game are the opening moves, collectively referred to as the opening. Recognized sequences of opening moves are referred to as openings or defenses, and have been given names such as the Ruy Lopez, Sicilian Defense, and Queen's Gambit Declined. There are dozens of different openings, which vary widely in character from quiet positional play to wild tactical play.
A sequence of opening moves that is considered standard or follows that given in a reference work is referred to as "the book moves" or simply "book." These reference works often present these move sequences in theory tables. A new move in the opening is referred to as a "novelty" or "theoretical novelty." At the point at which a game deviates from previously 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 to 30-35 moves or more. Serious chess players often spend years studying the openings, and continue doing so throughout their careers, since opening theory is constantly being refined.
Although a wide variety of moves are played in the opening, the aims behind them are broadly speaking the same. First and foremost, the aim is to avoid being checkmated and avoid losing material, as in other phases of the game. However, assuming neither player makes a blunder in the opening, the main aims include:
1. Development: the pieces in the starting position of a game are not doing anything very useful. One of the main aims of the opening, therefore, is to put them on more useful squares where they will have more impact on the game. To this end, knights are usually developed to f3, c3, f6 and c6 (or sometimes e2, d2, e7 or d7), and both player's e- and d-pawns are moved so the bishops can be developed (alternatively, the bishops may be fianchettoed with a manoeuvre such as g3 and Bg2). The more rapidly the pieces are developed, the better. The queen, however, is not usually played to a central position until later in the game, as it is liable to be attacked otherwise, when its value means it has to be moved, which can waste time.
2. 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 (or d5 and e5 for Black). 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 centre from a distance with pieces, breaking down one's opponent center, and only taking over the center oneself later in the game. This leads to openings such as the Alekhine Defense - in a line like 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. c4 Nb6 5. f4 (the Four Pawns Attack) White has a formidable pawn center for the moment, but Black hopes to undermine it later in the game, leaving White's position exposed.
3. King safety: in the middle of the board, the king is somewhat exposed. It is therefore normal for both players to either castle in the opening (simultaneously developing one of the rooks) or to otherwise bring the king to the side of the board via artificial castling.
Apart from these ideas, other strategic plans 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 (e.g. gaining the bishop pair), or gaining a space advantage, whether in the centre or on the flanks.
In more general terms, many writers (for example, Reuben Fine in The Ideas Behind the Chess Openings) have commented that it is White's task in the opening to preserve and increase the advantage conferred by moving first, while Black's task is to equalise the game. Many openings, however, give Black a chance to play aggressively for advantage from the very start.
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 Winawer Varation of the French, 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 (in particular, trading off one of White's bishops to blunt this advantage) and counterattack against the weakened pawns on White's queenside.
Early in the history of chess the lack of an adequate or widely used system of chess notation made it very cumbersome to describe the opening moves of a game. It was natural to assign names to sequences of opening moves to make them easier to discuss. Opening theory began being studied more scientifically from the 1840s on, and many opening variations were discovered and named in this period and later. Unfortunately opening nomenclature developed haphazardly, and most names are more historical accidents than based on any systematic principles.The oldest openings tend to be named for geographic places and people. Many openings are named after nationalities, for example 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 Defense, Morphy Defense, and the RÃ©ti System. Some opening names honor two people, such as with the Caro-Kann.
A few opening names are descriptive, such as Giuoco Piano (Italian: "quiet game"). 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 â?? 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 don't have precise definitions, here are some general observations about how they are used.
Used only for some of the oldest openings, for example Scotch Game, Vienna Game, and Four Knights Game.
Along with Variation, this is the most common term.
Usually used to describe a line within a more general opening, for example the Exchange Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined.
Always refers to an opening chosen by Black, such as Two Knights Defense or Kings Indian Defense.
An opening that involves the sacrifice of material, usually one or more pawns. Gambits can be played by White (e.g., King's Gambit) or Black (e.g., Latvian Gambit). 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. For example, after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 (the Queen's Gambit Accepted), White can regain the pawn immediately by 3.Qa4+ if he wishes.
A gambit offered in response to an opponent's gambit; or, any gambit played by Black. Examples of this include the Falkbeer Countergambit to the King's Gambit and the Greco Counter Gambit (an old-fashioned name for the Latvian Gambit).
A method of development that can be used against many different setups by the opponent. Examples include RÃ©ti System, Barcza System, and Hedgehog System.
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 (also called the Durkin Opening).
A Black opening played by White, or more rarely a White opening played by Black. Examples include Sicilian Reversed (from the English Opening), and the Inverted Hungarian.
Classification of chess openings
Various classification schemes for chess openings are in use. The ECO scheme is given at list of chess openings.
The beginning chess position offers White 20 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 kicked to an inferior square by ...d4. (Note that after 1.Nf3 the analogous 1...e5? just loses a pawn.) 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 11 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 like 1.a3, weaken White's position (for instance, 1.f3 and 1.g4), or place the knights on poor squares (1.Na3 and 1.Nh3).
Black has 20 possible responses to White's opening move. Many of these are mirror images of the most popular first moves for White, but with a tempo less. 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 king-side fianchetto are also commonly played.
One reasonable way to group the openings is
Â· Double King Pawn or Open Games (1.e4 e5)
Â· Single King Pawn or Semi-Open Games (1.e4 other)
Â· Double Queen Pawn or Closed Games (1.d4 d5)
Â· Indian Systems (1.d4 Nf6)
Â· Other Black Defenses to 1.d4 (including the Dutch and the Benoni)
Â· Flank Openings (including 1.c4, 1.Nf3, 1.f4, and others)
White starts by playing 1.e4 (moving his King's pawn 2 spaces). This is the most popular opening move and it has many strengths â?? it immediately works on controlling the center, and it frees two pieces (the queen and a bishop). The oldest openings in chess follow 1.e4 and many lie along the Ã?pine Dorsale. 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 and preparing to advance the queen pawn to d4. Black's most common reply is 2...Nc6, which usually leads to the Ruy Lopez, Giuoco Piano, Two Knights Defense, or Scotch Game. If Black instead maintains symmetry and counterattacks White's center with 2...Nf6 then the Petrov's Defense results.
The most popular alternatives to 2.Nf3 are 2.Nc3 (the Vienna Game), 2.Bc4 (the Bishop's Opening) and 2.f4 (the King's Gambit). All of these three 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 1800s. 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, 2.d4, 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. The early queen developments of the Parham Attack and the Napoleon Opening look amateurish. Indeed they are generally only played by novices, but the Parham Attack has been played in a few grandmaster tournament games. The Portuguese Opening, Alapin's Opening, Konstantinopolsky Opening, and Inverted Hungarian Opening are rare, offbeat tries for White.
Of the defenses in this section, only the Damiano Defense is truly bad, although the Elephant Gambit and the Latvian Gambit are very risky for Black. The Philidor Defense is not popular in modern chess because it allows White an easy space advantage while Black remains solid but cramped and passive.