You've now learned a lot about OPEN GAMES - openings starting 1. e2-e4 e7-e5.

You've also learned about the FRENCH DEFENSE, the SICILIAN DEFENSE and the QUEEN'S GAMBIT.

But there are many more openings you might like to learn - and as you get stronger and play stronger opponents you're more likely to meet them.

We'll introduce you to some of them in this lesson.


The starting moves are 1. e2-e4 c7-c6 2. d2-d4 d7-d5.

Like in the FRENCH DEFENSE, Black attacks the White pawn on e4.

The advantage is that Black's not blocking in his Queen's Bishop - the disadvantage that he's taking a square away from his Knight.

The CARO-KANN has a reputation as a safe and solid opening for Black.

White has the same decision to make as in the French: to exchange, advance or defend.

Again, 3. e4-e5 is the ADVANCE VARIATION.

3. e4xd5 is the EXCHANGE VARIATION, in which a good line for White is 4. c2-c4 (the PANOV-BOTVINNIK ATTACK).

Or White can defend with 3. Nb1-c3 (or Nb1-d2). Unlike in the French, Black almost always plays d5xe4 in reply to a Knight move. White then plays Nc3(d2)xe4 and Black can choose from Bc8-f5, Nb8-d7 or Ng8-f6.

The CENTER COUNTER or SCANDINAVIAN DEFENSE is another way for Black to THREATEN the White e-pawn.

This is another popular and fairly solid opening for Black.

There's no reason for White to do anything other than take the pawn at once, when Black will lose a bit of time with one of his pieces.

After White takes the pawn Black has a choice.

He can recapture at once: Qd8xd5, when White can gain time by threatening the Queen with Nb1-c3. Black's most usual reply is Qd5-a5.

Black's alternative is to play Ng8-f6, planning to take back with the Knight. A simple move for White in reply is d2-d4, intending, if Black plays Nf6xd5 (Bc8-g4 is an alternative) to play c2-c4 and drive the Knight back.

Now we move on to a family of openings where Black FIANCHETTOES his King's Bishop - playing g7-g6 and Bf8-g7.

This is the PIRC DEFENSE - it's pronounced PEERTS, not PERK!

White has to defend his e-pawn here - usually he'll choose Nb1-c3. Black will then play g7-g6 followed by Bf8-g7 and attack on the DARK SQUARES, often playing either c7-c5 or e7-e5 at some point.

White has a wide choice of set-ups here.

A solid plan is to play Ng1-f3, Bf1-e2, 0-0 and Bc1-e3 - simple development without creating any targets for Black.

A more ambitious approach is to play f2-f4, then Ng1-f3 and 0-0, maybe hoping to play e4-e5 at some point.

This is the MODERN DEFENSE, a very close relation of the PIRC.

We start with 1. e2-e4 g7-g6 2. d2-d4 Bf8-g7.

Now both sides have a very wide choice. White could bring out a Knight - when the game might turn into a PIRC.

Alternatively, he could play c2-c4, when it might turn into a KING'S INDIAN DEFENSE (see later in the lesson).

This is ALEKHINE'S DEFENSE (you met Alekhine in the last lesson) - a very provocative opening.

White's pawn immediately comes under attack.

What should he do about it?

Again White has a choice - defend or advance.

Nb1-c3 is OK - but Black can play e7-e5 with a VIENNA GAME, or attack the pawn again with d7-d5.

More challenging is to play e4-e5, THREATENING the Knight. (You should be used to this idea by now!)

Black should then play Nf6-d5, when White can drive the Knight back again with c2-c4 (Nd5-b6 is the reply to this).

Or White can play more cautiously with d2-d4, when Black will play d7-d6.

Other replies to 1. e2-e4 are less popular because they give White a free hand in the center. Remember - if your opponent lets yo put two pawns in the middle of the board you should do so.

Briefly: Nb8-c6 is the NIMZOWITSCH DEFENSE - Black can play either d7-d5 or e7-e5 next move.

b7-b6 is OWEN'S DEFENSE - Black plans to FIANCHETTO his Queen's Bishop and put pressure on the e-pawn.

a7-a6 is the ST GEORGE'S DEFENSE - Black plays b7-b5 and Bc8-b7 with a similar idea.

Now a quick look at openings starting 1. d2-d4 d7-d5 where White does something other than d2-d4.

Don't forget that Queen's Pawn openings are not just left-handed King's Pawn openings.

If you try to play them like that you'll get very little from the opening.

White CAN play 2. Nb1-c3 Ng8-f6 3. Bf1-b5 (the RICHER-VERESOV ATTACK) but it's not dangerous for Black: a good reply is Nb8-d7 to avoid DOUBLED PAWNS.

More popular for White is to play 2. Ng1-f3 followed by e2-e3, c2-c3, Bf1-d3, Nb1-d2 and 0-0 followed by playing for e3-e4.

This is called the COLLE SYSTEM - it's an easy opening to learn and will usually give you a good position.

If White goes for a similar setup but with his Queen's Bishop on g5 it's the TORRE ATTACK, and if he plays his Queen's Bishop to f4 instead it's the LONDON SYSTEM.

This comes from, for example, 1. d2-d4 d7-d5 2. c2-c4 e7-e6 3. Ng1-f3 Ng8-f6 4. g2-g3.

It's a sort of QUEEN'S GAMBIT where White FIANCHETTOES his King's Bishop.

This is called the CATALAN OPENING - a sophisticated opening quite popular with stronger players.

Briefly, two other moves for Black after 1. d2-d4 d7-d5 2. c2-c4. Firstly, Nb8-c6 is the CHIGORIN DEFENSE to the Queen's Gambit - tricky but not easy to play. Secondly, e7-e5, planning to meet d4xe5 with d5-d4 (gaining space and taking c3 away from the White Knight) is the ALBIN COUNTER-GAMBIT - well worth playing if you like GAMBITS.

Now for a very important group of openings.

Instead of d7-d5 Black can equally well reply to d2-d4 with Ng8-f6 (in fact at higher levels it's a lot more popular), which also prevents e2-e4.

White will then usually play c2-c4.

Openings starting like this are known as INDIAN DEFENSES.

Let's have a look at some of them.

After the moves 1. d2-d4 Ng8-f6 2. c2-c4 e7-e6 3. Nb1-c3 Bf8-b4 we reach this position.

This is known as the NIMZO-INDIAN DEFENSE.

Black prevents e2-e4 again by PINNING the White Knight.

White has a lot of moves to choose from here.

The two most popular are e2-e3 and Qd1-c2.

It seems strange to block in the Bishop with e2-e3 (the RUBINSTEIN VARIATION) but, believe me, it's a good move. White will continue with moves like Bf1-d3, Ng1-f3 and 0-0 to complete his King-side development quickly.

The main alternative, Qd1-c2, is played to prevent DOUBLED PAWNS should Black choose to take on c3 at some point. He will usually only do this if White provokes him with a2-a3.

The NIMZO-INDIAN is a popular and strong defense for Black.

If White doesn't want his Knight PINNED he can play Ng1-f3 on move 3 instead.

Here Black has two main choices (of course he can go back into a QUEEN'S GAMBIT with d7-d5 if he chooses.

He can still play Bf8-b4+, which is the BOGO-INDIAN DEFENSE.

Or he can prepare to FIANCHETTO his Queen's Bishop with b7-b6 - the QUEEN'S INDIAN DEFENSE.

Again both strong and safe choices for Black.

Another important 2nd move for Black is g7-g6, planning a FIANCHETTO.

White will now develop a Knight, probably playing Nb1-c3.

Why that one? Simply because it threatens to play e2-e4 with three pawns in the middle.

This move will give Black a choice.

On his third move Black can complete his FIANCHETTO with Bf8-g7, giving White the opportunity (which he usually takes) to grab a lot of space in the center with e2-e4.

A very interesting and aggressive choice for Black.

He will play d7-d6, 0-0 and then attack the White center with either e7-e5 or c7-c5, depending on where White puts his pieces.

Black's other choice on move 3 is to play d7-d5, the GRÜNFELD DEFENSE.

Another provocative opening: White can set up a strong center with the sequence 4. c4xd5 Nf6xd5 5. e2-e4 Nd5xc3 6. b2xc3.

This looks pretty scary but Black can attack it with Bf8-g7 and c7-c5.

If White doesn't want to risk this he can just develop - Ng1-f3 - instead.

Another important second move for Black is c7-c5, challenging White's center at once.

Now d4xc5 isn't dangerous - e7-e6 is fine for Black. So White can defend with Ng1-f3 or, more interestingly, push on with d4-d5.

Here Black has a choice of two openings - both very complicated.

He can play e7-e6 (the MODERN BENONI) - play usually continues 4. Nb1-c3 e6xd5 5. c4xd5 d7-d6 followed by g7-g6 and Bf8-g7.

He can also SACRIFICE a pawn with b7-b5 (the BENKO GAMBIT), meeting c4xb5 with a7-a6 and again usually following up with a King-side FIANCHETTO. Black gets open lines on the Queen side and a strong King's Bishop for the pawn.

In this position Black has two other choices: d7-d6 is the OLD INDIAN DEFENSE - Black plans Nb8-d7, e7-e5 and Bf8-e7.

Or if you like GAMBITS you could try e7-e5 (the BUDAPEST GAMBIT), meeting d4xe5 with Nf6-g4.

A rather strange move for White after 1. d2-d4 Ng8-f6 is 2. Bc1-g5, the TROMPOWSKY OPENING. Black might play any of Nf6-e5, e7-e6, d7-d5 or c7-c5 in reply. This opening often leads to unusual positions.

1. d2-d4 d7-d5 2. Bc1-g5 is also sometimes played.

Finally in our survey of Queen's Pawn openings we come to 1. d2-d4 f7-f5 - the DUTCH DEFENSE.

This is a good choice for players who like attacking on the King-side.

White usually FIANCHETTOES his King's Bishop early on in this opening, but many other ideas are also possible.

Black has several set-ups here.

He can play e7-e6, Ng8-f6, Bf8-e7 and d7-d6 - the CLASSICAL DUTCH. Black plans to play e6-e5 at some point.

He can play e7-e6, Ng8-f6 and d7-d5 - the DUTCH STONEWALL - popular and gives good attacking chances but has the disadvantage of leaving a hole on e5.

He can play d7-d6, Ng8-f6, g7-g6 and Bf8-g7 - the LENINGRAD (ST PETERSBURG if you prefer) DUTCH Again Black is trying for e7-e5.

Although most games start with either e2-e4 or d2-d4 there are other good first moves as well.

This - 1. c2-c4 - is the ENGLISH OPENING.

White's usual idea is to play Nb1-c3, g2-g3 and Bf1-g2 (another FIANCHETTO) to control the central white squares.

The ENGLISH OPENING is very popular at higher levels of play.

Black has many possible replies.

The most popular is e7-e5, which is a reversed SICILIAN DEFENSE.

He could also play c7-c5, the SYMMETRICAL ENGLISH.

Of course he could also play Ng8-f6, when White could revert to a Queen's Pawn opening with c2-c4.

White also has a choice of what he does with his d- and e-pawns.

He could play d2-d3 and leave his e-pawn unmoved. He could play d2-d3 and e2-e3. He could play d2-d3 and e2-e4. He could play e2-e3 and d2-d4. He could play for a quick d2-d4 without moving his e-pawn.

What he decides to do will partly depend on what Black does.

There's a lot of scope for different ideas in this opening.

The last of the big four first moves for White is Ng1-f3, the RÉTI OPENING.

One word of warning - it's probably NOT a good idea for Black to play Nb8-c6, hoping for e2-e4. White will probably play d2-d4 instead.

White's plan is usually to play g2-g3 and Bf1-g2. If Black replies d7-d5 White will often attack this pawn with c2-c4.

Games starting with this move often turn into an ENGLISH OPENING or some sort of QUEEN'S PAWN OPENING.

1. f2-f4 is BIRD'S OPENING - White's aiming for a reversed DUTCH DEFENSE if Black plays d7-d5. Black could also play e7-e5, the FROM GAMBIT.

1. g2-g3 (BENKO OPENING) - White plans a King-side FIANCHETTO. This may turn into an ENGLISH or RÉTI, or a reversed KING'S INDIAN DEFENSE or PIRC DEFENSE.

1. b2-b3 (NIMZO-LARSEN ATTACK) - White plans a Queen-side FIANCHETTO.

1. b2-b4 (SOKOLSKY OPENING) - Again White plans Bc1-b2, and also to gain space on the Queen side.

1. Nb1-c3 (DUNST OPENING amongst other names) - White may plan to meet d7-d5 with e2-e4 - or could transpose into something else.

Let's see how many of those opening names you remember. No cheating by paging back, now! What's this opening called?

Caro-Kann Defense
Scandinavian Defense
Pirc Defense
Alekhine's Defense

And this one is...?

Caro-Kann Defense
Scandinavian Defense
Pirc Defense
Alekhine's Defense

What about this?

Caro-Kann Defense
Scandinavian Defense
Pirc Defense
Alekhine's Defense

Do you remember this one?

Caro-Kann Defense
Scandinavian Defense
Pirc Defense
Alekhine's Defense

And some Queen's Pawn Openings - this is...?

Nimzo-Indian Defense
King's Indian Defense
Dutch Defense
Grünfeld Defense

What do you call this one?

Nimzo-Indian Defense
King's Indian Defense
Dutch Defense
Grünfeld Defense

How about this one?

Nimzo-Indian Defense
King's Indian Defense
Dutch Defense
Grünfeld Defense

How about this one?

Nimzo-Indian Defense
King's Indian Defense
Dutch Defense
Grünfeld Defense

And a couple of other openings: what's this?

English Opening
Welsh Opening
Scottish Opening
Irish Opening

Finally: what's this?

Béti Opening
Léti Opening
Réti Opening
Yéti Opening


You have now completed the OTHER OPENINGS assignment.