Chess Opening Theory/1. a3

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Anderssen's Opening
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation(FEN)


Moves: 1.a3
ECO code: A00

Anderssen's Opening[edit]

1. a3[edit]

Named after the German chess player Adolf Anderssen, who played this opening a few times against Morphy. This is a waiting move that doesn't do anything useful in itself, although it allows white to play b2-b4 and move the dark-squared bishop to b2. In this sense, it can be viewed as a reverse St. George Defence (1. e4 a6) with an extra move.

There are a variety of ways for black to respond to this move, including:

  • 1...e5 or 1...d5 - The game can transpose into lines similar to the Sokolsky/Orangutan Opening (1. b4) should white eventually play b4.
  • 1...g6 - This can be annoying for white if he was planning to play b4 and Bb2 because the long diagonal is now contested.
  • 1...c5 is a relatively unexplored option.


No stats as 1. a3 occurs rarely among serious chess players.

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