The Ultimate Guide to the King’s Pawn Opening


1.e4 is “best by test” – those were the words of Bobby Fischer, one of the greatest chess players of all time. And he was not alone in his assessment. Many of the greatest players in history have preferred to start their chess games by moving their king’s pawn two spaces forward: Mikhail Tal, Viswanathan […]

Lifetime Repertoires: Reversed Sicilian

Reversed Sicilian Setup

Dealing with 1.c4 can be frustrating. Perhaps because it’s not a very common opening, players tend to procrastinate studying it. But when it does come on the board, White seems to develop very comfortably and harmoniously, and the unprepared Black player has to navigate something of a minefield. But 1.c4 becomes a much more frequent […]

Lifetime Repertoires: Queen’s Gambit Janowski Variation

Lifetime Repertoires: Queen’s Gambit Janowski Variation by Grandmaster Max Warmerdam is this week’s release in our flagship series of Chessable courses. This one offers a full and interesting repertoire for Black against 1.d4. The Janowski Variation is a name which may not immediately ring any bells. Indeed, it often goes unmentioned in works offering a 1.d4 […]

Lifetime Repertoires: Benko Gambit

Lifetime Repertoires: Benko Gambit by Grandmaster Swapnil Dhopade offers a full repertoire for Black against 1.d4. The Benko Gambit acts as the repertoire’s backbone, but White’s early deviations (such as the London System – 2.Bf4 for 2.Nf3 and then 3.Bf4 – and Trompowsky Attack (2.Bg5) are analysed too. If White likes the idea of playing 1.d4 and […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Grünfeld Defense

What is the Grünfeld Defense? The Grünfeld Defense is one of Black’s most combative opening lines against 1.d4 2.c4. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 The Grünfeld Defense The defense is named after the Austrian chess player, Ernst Franz Grünfeld (1893 – 1962). Black allows White to build a big centre after: 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 The […]

A Tricky Line in The Symmetrical English

We round off this week’s coverage of 1.c4 c5 with a look at a tricky and interesting line in the Symmetrical English. On Tuesday, when we examined the basics of the opening, I mentioned that Bobby Fischer liked to break the symmetry as Black, which helped him to create winning chances. 1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 […]

Lifetime Repertoires: The Symmetrical English

Yesterday we looked at the basics of 1.c4 c5 and today it is time to delve into the new Chessable course on the subject – Lifetime Repertoires: Symmetrical English. International Master David Vigorito is a noted chess author who specialises in works on the opening phase of the game. Lifetime Repertoires: Symmetrical English is his first course for Chessable […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Symmetrical English

What is the Symmetrical English? The Symmetrical English occurs when Black replies to 1.c4 (the English Opening) with 1…c5. The English Opening The Symmetrical English It should be noted that different move-orders are also available. Black could, for example, start with 1.c4 Nf6 and then play 2…c5 on next move. There is good logic at […]

Battling the Slav Defense and Benko Gambit

We looked at The Catalan on Tuesday and today we are delving into the new Chessable course on the opening to see what Grandmaster Srinath Narayanan recommends against two popular Black defenses. Lifetime Repertoires: The Catalan covers everything a player with the white pieces needs to be able to out together a very strong repertoire based on 1.d4 and […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Catalan

What is the The Catalan? The Catalan is an alternative way for White to play Queen’s Gambit positions. The king’s bishop is developed to g2 (a fianchetto) instead of to the standard Queen’s Gambit squares of c4 or d3. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Bg2 d5 The Catalan The Heroes of The Catalan The opening derives […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Queen’s Gambit Declined

What is the Queen’s Gambit Declined? The Queen’s Gambit Declined is an extremely solid way of meeting the popular Queen’s Gambit. The Queen’s Gambit After 1.d4 d5 2.c4, White temporarily offers a pawn to try and tempt Black to give up the centre with 2…dxc4. There is nothing wrong with the Queen’s Gambit Accepted, but […]