Chess Openings

General Coverage

Note: Links to game collections are under Archives.

Adam Bozon’s Chess Openings – Some home-brewed amateur analysis, mostly of unusual openings. Also includes some interesting statistics on how different openings score at the GM level.

Bucknell Openings Library – A quick introduction to the most popular openings.

Charting Chess Openings – Shows you what opening you are playing by following the moves through a flowchart-like diagram. Useful for beginners.

Chess City – Cardoza’s site has lots of opening analysis, mostly from Eric Schiller (much of which is linked directly below).

Chess Informant Home Page – The publisher of Chess Informant also offers the exhaustive 5 volume set The Encyclopedia of Chess Openings and a series of monographs on individual openings.

Chess is Fun: Openings – U.S. Correspondence Champion Jon Edwards’ take on the opening. Currently only the king’s pawn openings are discussed, along with general strategy.

Chess Kamikaze Gambit Pages – Here you will find an introduction to several gambits, along with some analysis.

ChessOps – 350 or so (!) pages of interactive HTML navigating you through dozens of openings with explanations of each move!

ChessPublishing – Project from the London Chess Centre offering major opening analysis with monthly updates.

ECO Codes (short) - ECO codes index.

ECO Codes (long) – ECO codes, expanded listing (including moves).

ECO Codes (HTML) – Browse through the openings with a graphical display.

Exeter Chess Club Coaching Pages: Opening – These materials on the opening from this comprehensive site are just part of a complete guide to improving your chess from a “D” player to an “A” player.

GambitChess – Focused on gambits. Newsletter, organized thematics, game collections.

GM Laboratory – Opening theory and annotated games from the Russian Chess site.

Hard Chess – Mark Morss’ (former) column has some things to say on the opening.

How To Improve Your Chess: Openings – Ignacio Marin offers advice on the opening for beginners and some in-depth analysis for masters.

How To Master An Opening – NM Randy Bauer’s advice.

Interesting Byways in the Classic Open Games – Tim Harding looks into the current state of 1. e4 e5.

Keith’s Krap – Whole bunch of splendid analysis from FM Keith Hayward on several openings. Among others are the Balogh Counter Gambit, Bird’s Opening, and the Dutch.

Leonid’s Megapage – New ideas in opening theory, along with news of current events.

Network of Chess Openings – Tour through the openings with your browser.

Opening Lanes – Gary Lane’s monthly column at the ChessCafe site explores the opening. This links to the latest column, so also check the archives or just download this zip file with all columns.

Opening Systems – An evolving opening repertoire from the Barnet Chess Club. Good!

A Pot-Pourri of d4 Openings – MCO letting you down if you play 1.d4?

Power Play in the Correspondence Chess Opening
Article 1 – Tim Harding discusses how to play the opening in a correspondence game.
Article 2 – A revisiting of the Power Play, thanks in part (apparently) to Chessopolis.

Roman’s Opening Theory – Home-brewed theory on some interesting openings, including the Traxler Variation of the Two Knights, the Scandinavian, the Latvian, and the Pirc.

Unorthodox Openings – A book’s worth of material (literally) from Eric Schiller on tons of lesser-used openings.


Theory of Individual Openings

Alekhine Defense – Theory and “game of the week”.
(1e4. Nf6)

Bishop’s Opening – Treatsie on this very old but now rare opening by Tim Harding at the Chess Cafe. (also see Urusov Gambit links below under “U”.)
(1.e4 e5 2.Bc4)

Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Pages – Everything you ever wanted to know about this gambit, and more. Home of BDG World, a [now defunct] magazine on the subject. Excellent!
(1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3)

Diemer Memorial Club (Blackmar-Diemer Gambit) – Thematic tournaments, BDG games, and theory.
(1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3)

Budapest Defense, Faj Variation – Tim Harding’s take on the state of the Fajarowicz Variation of the Budapest Defense.
(1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4)

Clarendon Court (a.k.a. Benograd Defense) – Defense to 1.d4 is named after the block of flats where GM Jon Levitt lives.
(1.d4 c5 2.d5 f5)

Diemer-Duhm Gambit – Exhaustive analysis of this gambit, with a section on each variation and a collection of games.
(1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. c4)

Dunst – Kibitzer article from Tim Harding on this flexible opening.

Elephant Gambit – Another exploration of this shocker; this one from Tim Harding at Chess Cafe.
(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5)

Franco-Benoni – More from Tim Harding.
(1.e4 e6 2.d4 c5)

Goring Gambit – Gary Good looks at this Romantic gambit.
(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3)

The Grob – Is the Grob really any good?.

Halasz Gambit – Chess Cafe’s Glenn Budzinski has created what is apparently the world’s first systematic treatment of this wacky gambit.
(1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.f4)

Halasz Gambit – Tim Harding chimes in on this gambit also, suggesting a new name among other things.
(1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.f4)

Halloween Attack – a.k.a. the Müller-Schulze Gambit. Stun your opponents with this aggressive opening.
(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5)

Hennig-Schara Gambit
Article 1
Article 2 – Tim Harding on this Queen’s Gambit counter-gambit.
(1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4)

King’s Gambit – Good page from Thomas Johansson, who has analyzed the King’s Gambit so much he wrote a book on it.
(1.e4 e5 2.f4)

Nimzowitsch Defence – Introduction to this seldom-used defense to 1.e4.
(1.e4 Nc6)

Orangutan (a.k.a. Sokolsky or Polish) – Marek Trokenheim’s site dedicated to 1.b4, with theory, games, and thematic tournaments.

Petrov Defense, Cochrane Gambit – 35-page monograph in PostScript format.
(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7)

Petrov Defense, Cochrane Gambit – Online book exploring this gambit.
(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7)

The Classical Defense to the Spanish (Ruy Lopez)
Part One
Part Two – A complete monograph of this defense by USCF Senior Master Mark Morss (part of his Hard Chess column).
(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Bc5)

Murder on the Long Diagonal (Ruy Lopez) – GM Ron Henley discusses an agressive variation of the Ruy Lopez.
(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5)

Marshall Attack Busted? (Ruy Lopez) – Has the Marshall been refuted by an amateur posting his analysis on the Internet?
(Too long)

The Queen’s Gambit Point Machine – What’s so great about the Queen’s Gambit? Mark Morss explains.
(1.d4 d5 2.c4)

Queen’s Gambit: Noteboom Variation – Teun van der Vorm updates some of the analysis from his book “Play the Noteboom”. Hasn’t been updated in years.
(1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 dxc4)

St. George (a.k.a. Baker’s) Defense – Treatise on this unusual all-purpose defense for black.
(1. e4 a6)

Scandinavian Defense (Center Counter) – A bit of theory and some sample games.
(1.e4 d5)

Scandinavian Defense (Center Counter), Tennison Gambit – Shaky but surprising gambit for White. In PDF format.
(1.Nf3 d5 2.e4) or (1.e4 d5 2.Nf3)

Sicilian, Smith-Morra Gambit – Turn the tables on the Sicilian.
(1. e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3. c3)

Two Knights Defense, the Amazing Counter-Attack – Win with 4…Nxe4!
(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Nxe4)

Two Knights Defense, Max Lange Attack
Article 1
Article 2
Mark Morss hacks through some of the complications of the wild and woolly Max Lange in two of his “Hard Chess” columns.
(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.O-O Bc5)

Urusov Gambit
Article 1
Article 2 – Two of Tim Harding’s Kibitzer columns.
(1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3)

Urusov Gambit – A bunch of analysis to munch on for you gambiteers.
(1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3)

Vienna Game (Frankenstein-Dracula Variation)
Article 1
Article 2
Article 3 – Tim Harding explains the variation he named in three articles.
(1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4)