Chess Opening Theory/1. h4

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Desprez 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. h4
ECO code: A00
Parent: Starting position

1. h4 · Desprez Opening[edit | edit source]

The Desprez Opening (or Kádas Opening) is a closed opening on the far king side which attacks the square g5 but does not assist the important central squares and that control the main diagonals. No top masters have ever[citation needed] used it in professional play, although some, most notably Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura, play it during blitz. Magnus Carlsen played it in the November 2023 "Titled Tuesday" online tournament where he successfully defeated strong grandmasters, including Alireza Firouzja. It could be said that White has made his position worse, as castling Kingside is now less attractive. As a result, this move is rarely seen among serious chess players. However, if you want to throw off your opponent this could be a good starting move.

Black's responses[edit | edit source]

Black has many decent replies.

  • 1...d5, staking a claim to the centre and simultaneously making 2. Rh3?? impossible.
  • 1... e5, also staking a claim in the center and helping develop Black's Kingside pieces
  • 1... g6 is rarely played, as it makes 1. h4 seem logical as to undermining Black's fianchetto.

Statistics[edit | edit source]

No statistics as 1. h4 is rarely played.

References[edit | edit source]

  • Eric Schiller (2002). Unorthodox Chess Openings (Second Edition ed.). Cardoza. ISBN 1-58042-072-9. {{cite book}}: |edition= has extra text (help)

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