My favorite chess openings


Photo: The Evans Gambit on my favorite chessboard, which was made in Poland quite a while ago (it’s been in the family ever since I can remember).

I play chess on Yahoo Games quite a bit. If you play chess on Yahoo, you will probably be interested in, which allows you to bypass Yahoo’s crapola interface–and room limits to boot!

I am what you might call a half-decent player. On Yahoo my rating ranges from mid 1300s to upper 1500s, usually hovering in the mid 1400s. I am an orthodox player, eschewing gimicky openings and generally trying to become a more solid player over time. I study chess books for the openings I favor.


I play e4 (king’s pawn) and c4 (English game) exclusively. I like both open/tactical and closed/positional games, but when it comes to closed games I would much rather play the English because few people study it, and my experience in it tends to give me a pretty good advantage.

When I start off playing someone, I will usually play e4. If the person plays a tricky, unorthodox response or an opening I really don’t like (fianchetto openings), I will usually switch to c4 in subsequent games.

If the reponse is e5, I will play either f4 (King’s Gambit) or Nf3 in the hope of eventually playing the Evan’s Gambit, perhaps my favorite opening of all.

If the response is c4 (Sicilian Defense), I will invariably play NC3 (Closed Sicilian). In fact, I really love playing against the Sicilian, as the Closed often turns into complete and enjoyable chaos.

Against the Two Knights Defense, I play d3.

There are not too many responses that I dread as white. I am comfortable against the Scandinavian, Caro-Kann, etc.


Against e4, I play e5 (most of the time), e6 (French Defense), and NF6 (Alekhine’s Defense). Against the Gioco Piano, I play Two Knights Defense and hope I get a chance to play the Ulvestad Variation.

Against d4, I will quite often play e6 with a view to playing Dutch Defense (although sometimes black will then play e4, turning this into the French Defense, which is usually fine by me). I also play d5 and then Queen’s Gambit Accepted.

Against c4, I will either play Dutch Defense (which works pretty well) or c5 (Symmetrical English).

As black, my chief weakness is when white sits back and waits, never attacking. I especially hate when white does this while playing the Ruy Lopez, an opening that I call the “Pussy Lopez.” Usually if white plays such a passive opening, I will try to open up the f file and put pressure on the king.

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