# Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5

(Redirected from Chess/Open Game)
Open Game
 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation (FEN)
Moves: 1. e4 e5
ECO code: C20–C99
Parent: King's Pawn Game
Responses:

## 1...e5 · Open Game

1...e5, the Open Game (or Double King's Pawn Game), is Black's classical response to 1. e4. By mirroring White's move, Black grabs an equal share of the centre and scope to develop some pieces. 1...e5 is one of the few moves that directly interferes with White's ideal plan of playing d4.

But, the move's merit is also a drawback: the longer the position remains symmetrical, the longer White will have an advantage by moving first. Also, the pawn on e5 is undefended, and it is easy for White to develop in a way that restricts Black's possible responses, by simply threatening to capture it.

Though the move is still common at every level, it saw a modest decline in popularity during the 20th century.

### White's responses

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. Nf3   (King's Knight)

The overwhelmingly popular move here – about 10 times more common than everything else combined – is 2. Nf3.

This threatens Black's undefended pawn while developing a piece in preparation for castling on the kingside. The developed knight also defends the d4 square preparing for a future d2-d4 pawn push.

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. Bc4   (Bishop)

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. Nc3   (Vienna)

2. Bc4, the Bishop's Opening, and 2. Nc3, the Vienna Game, are simple alternative ways of developing a piece.

They don't give Black a particular problem to deal with, but they aren't bad moves either, and they keep open the option of either d4 or f4.

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. f4   (King's Gambit)

Another plan is to try and lever open the f-file for an attack on Black's weak f7 point with 2. f4, the King's Gambit.

This was popular in Victorian times and earlier, but Black has now found a few reliable ways of grabbing the proffered pawn and keeping it.

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. d4   (Centre)

Or, White can smash the centre open with 2. d4 in order to develop pieces with great speed, sacrificing a pawn or two if necessary.

#### Less common responses

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2. d3   (Indian)

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. Qh5   (Parham)

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. Qf3   (Napoleon)

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. c3   (Centre Pawn)

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. Bb5   (Portuguese)

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. Ne2   (Alapin)

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. g4   (Fernando Torres)

 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
2. Ke2   (Bongcloud Attack)

Other less common moves:

## Statistics

Approximate chances
White win 51%, Draw ??%, Black win 45%.
Estimated next move popularity
Nf3 82%, Bc4 5%, Nc3 4%, f4 4%, d4 2%, all others less than 1%
move average 365Chess.com (big) Chess Tempo (all) chessgames.com Lichess (masters) Lichess (database)
2. Nf3 82.1% 86.0 87.3 84.7 91.7 61.1
2. Bc4 4.8 3.8 3.7 2.9 3.2 10.4
2. Nc3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.8 2.7 6.2
2. f4 4.1 3.7 3.0 6.1 1.7 6.1
2. d4 2.3 1.7 1.5 1.1 0.6 6.4
2. d3 0.6 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 2.9
2. Qh5 0.6 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.9
2. Qf3 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3
2. c3 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6
2. c4 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.4
2. f3 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4
2. g3 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3
2. Bb5 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2
2. Ne2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.1
2. g4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2. Ke2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
everything else 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.8

## Theory table

1. e4 e5

2 3 4 5 6 7 Evaluation
Ruy Lopez Nf3
Nc6
Bb5
a6
Ba4
Nf6
O-O
Be7
Re1
b5
Bb3
d6
=
Bishop's Opening Bc4
Nf6
d4
exd4
Nf3
Bb4+
c3
dxc3
bxc3
Bc5
e5
d5
=
Vienna Game Nc3
Nf6
f4
d5
fxe5
Nxe4
Nf3
Be7
d4
Bb4
Bd2
Bg4
=
King's Gambit f4
exf4
Nf3
g5
h4
g4
Ne5
Nf6
Bc4
d5
exd5
Bd6
=
Center Game d4
exd4
Qxd4
Nc6
Qe3
Nf6
Nc3
Bb4
Bd2
O-O
O-O-O
Re8
=
Indian Opening d3
Nc6
f4

exf4

Bxf4

d5

exd5

Qxd5

Nc3

Qa5

Qd2

Bf5

=
Parham Attack Qh5
Nc6
Bc4
g6
Qf3
Nf6
Ne2
Bg7
Nbc3
d6
O-O

O-O

=
Napoleon Opening Qf3
Nf6
Bc4

Nc6

Ne2

d6

Nbc3

Bg4

Qe3

Nb4

Bb3

Be6

=
Centre Pawn Opening c3
d5
exd5

Qxd5

d4

Nc6

Nf3

Nf6

Nxe5

Nxe5

Qe2

Be6

=
Portuguese Opening Bb5
c6
Ba4

Nf6

Nc3

Bc5

Nf3

d6

d3

a5

Bb3

Nbd7

=
Alapin's Opening Ne2
Nf6
d4

Nxe4

f3

Ng5

dxe5

Nc6

f4

Ne6

Nbc3

d6

=
Tortoise Opening Bd3?! =
Fernando Torres Opening g4?
d5!
exd5

Qxd5

Qf3

Qe6

h3

Nc6

Bb5

Bd7

Ne2

O-O-O

=/+
Bongcloud Attack Ke2?!
Nf6
Nc3

Bc5

Nf3

d5

d3

Ng4

Bg5

f6

Bh4

d4

-/+

For explanation of theory tables, see theory table and for notation, see algebraic notation.

## References

Bibliography

• Nunn's Chess Openings. 1999. John Nunn (Editor), Graham Burgess, John Emms, Joe Gallagher. ISBN 1-8574-4221-0.