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andy94 58 ( +1 | -1 )
1.e4= Best by test. 1.e4 is the most used first-move in chess. But someone (like me) plays other openings like 1.c4 or 1.d4 or even 1.e3. But if they say e4 is the best move, why so much people uses other openings? Maybe 'cause a player feels better with c4 or d4....(like for me), but I'd like to compare me with you, Gameknot users! What do think?
My idol, Bobby Fischer said 1.e4 was best by test and other famous Grandmasters think the same thing. So, I repeat, I would like to know what do you think about it and what move do you play. Thanks for reading.
throneseeker 53 ( +1 | -1 )
Why I like it. I find that I can get into more tactical type games by starting with e4 than d4 or c4. There is nothing wrong with going with them but it seems they lead to games (at least for me) more dependent on strategical positions than tactical thrusts. However, I am blessed with poor opening knowledge and typically consider myself lucky to get to move 15 or 20. I am sure someone with far superior knowledge than myself will answer your question for the benefit of both of us.
blake78613 26 ( +1 | -1 )
I like 1 e4 in correspondence play because it leads to sharp positions and I can research the opening. Over the board I play d4 because it's not so necessary to memorize the latest theory and you can usually get a playable game no matter what your opponent tries to throw at you.
ionadowman 88 ( +1 | -1 )
To some extent... ... one might tend to play other things in order to avoid theory. That's why I adopted the English - something less well-trodden that 1.e4. But a glance at my game record on GK will show I play 1.e4 more often than anything else (1.c4 a distant second). The reason: I feel more "at home" in 1.e4 lines than 1.d4 lines, and the theory is more accessible these days than 20 years ago.

These days I very rarely play the more eccentric first moves, sticking with 1.e4, 1.c4, 1.Nf3 and 1.d4 in roughly descending order of frequency.

But is 1.e4 "best by test"? In terms of White's success rate in actual play, this is probably true. What other evidence is available? But there may be other, objective or subjective, criteria measured against which some other debut might prove the better.

Cheers,
Ion
schnarre 42 ( +1 | -1 )
Playing Style seems a factor in what I've seen in most games.

For me, however, 1. e4 has failed me virtually every time--I've usually only won if my opponent was clearly weaker, or if they played the French Defense. I have therefore shunned that opening move, but I'm an exception to a long-standing school of thought. I have, at times, essayed 1. d4 (intending a Torre Attack), but not frequently.

My starting move is usually Anderssen's 1. a3
wulebgr 20 ( +1 | -1 )
1.e4 c5 and White is already in trouble. Bobby Fischer claimed that 1.e4 is best by test. New in Chess showed that 1.d4 scores better, principally because 1...c5 dramatically cuts White's percentage.
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ccmcacollister 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Then again ... Fischer, Tal and I all played e4 ...and everyone has kidney disease?! hmmm. Something to think about there. Even young Kramnick is getting a weak bladder according to the Topalov camp. Is that from sitting on the edge of the seat?
ccmcacollister 4 ( +1 | -1 )
No no no ... At the BOARD, silly~! ...Not in the break room
naamloos 99 ( +1 | -1 )
Lately I have been preferring d4 over e4. I have the feeling that to gain an advantage against a decent player with e4 is tougher for me and seems to need more memorization. With d4 I can gain an advantage ( admittedly a slight one ) without knowing much theory but mainly using strategic and positional feeling.

In OTB-chess I play c4 quite often too, usually when my opponent is strong or/and gives a strong preference to open tactical play. I have managed to frustrate quite a few gambit-players with the ultra-solid approach, they always feel the need to do something aggressive and unsound. I can usually count on getting a very solid middle-game with the English, even though I know nothing about it. Downside is that many times I don't get an actual advantage with the English, just a comfortable, solid game.

I have tried Nf3 a few times, but in the end I decided that c4 was better for solid, positional play.
spurtus 50 ( +1 | -1 )
My personal style is I avoid playing e4 myself and usually meet it with Nf6 Alekhine.

I actually quite like playing e4 but in general at my playing level I find I get 'out booked' with e4 and get myself into trouble fast.

d4 is a better choice if you want a slower semi-open game.

c4 is a d4 player's transpose weapon.

But there is nothing like playing e4 boldly and relying on your general principles of chess to produce a good game. Its a 'gutsy' first move.

spurtus.
naamloos 50 ( +1 | -1 )
"c4 is a d4 player's transpose weapon. "

Not necessarily. Many times (especially after e5) I continue with: g3, Bg2, d3, e3, Nge2, 0-0, a3, b4 etc. with decent play on the queen side. No chance on transpositions to d4-theory here.
And after [1. c4 c5] I think one is more likely to transpose to e4-theory (Sicilian accelerated fianchetto, Marockzy bind) than to d4-theory if one is going to transpose. Furthermore, the English gives decent independent options when black tries to enter the Gruenfeld, the Nimzo-Indian or the Kings-Indian.
ionadowman 114 ( +1 | -1 )
"c4 - the d4 player's transpose weapon - It is true that as a 'c4' player I was generally comfortable with transpositions. I did decide after one not-very-successful encounter that I didn't want to spend time learning the Grunfeld, so worked out ways to avoid that.

I also steered clear of most QGD lines, though there were some QGD type lines that I learned to avoid even though I was generally successful in them - I generally felt uncomfortable in such positions, and that White ought to have something better. I failed to realise at the time that uncomfortable positions had a tendency to concentrate the mind and I usually did rather well with them. Hence my better success with the Black pieces over the years, I suspect - including a 6-round Easter tournament in which Black won all 6 of my games! I should have stuck to the English in that tournament (I lost the one I played, but I had eschewed a forced draw for a non-existent win - this against the eventual tournament winner. Well - I had played just the one game in the previous 12 months...). The other two losses as White? Oh, yeah. They began with 1.e4... :(

Cheers,
Ion
blake78613 14 ( +1 | -1 )
I think with c4 you have to some knowledge about a lot of openings, if for no other reason, not to transpose into them without knowing it.
ionadowman 54 ( +1 | -1 )
But a lot of that knowledge... ... need only be at a fairly cursory level. I had to know eough about the Grunfeld to be able to avoid it; but that's far from any kind of in-depth knowledge!

A lot of my early Englishes went something like this -
1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.cxd5 exd5 4.d4 c6
Now this position could very easily arise from a QGD. Not that I was especially aware of this, and used to play these games entirely by ear. Seemed to work!
It was only later that I switched to this sort of thing:
1.c4 e6 2.e4!?
with rather indifferent success...
Cheers,
Ion
blake78613 16 ( +1 | -1 )
4 c6 is relatively passive and wouldn't be a problem. I would expect something like 4 ... Nf6 with ideas of ...B-b4 trying for a Nimzo-Indian or ...c5 trying to get into a Benoni
neilskye 38 ( +1 | -1 )
After 1.c4 e6 2.e4?! 2...c5 is surely a good move for black, who then controls d4. Furthermore, the fact that black has not committed to e5 means he can still fight for control of d5. I wonder if there is any theory in that particular line, I think (although I have done absolutely no analysis) that if black could engineer a d5 break then he would have a very comfortable game.
blake78613 19 ( +1 | -1 )
The pawn wedge with pawns at e4, d3, and c4 was used by Nimzowitsch and further developed by Botvinnik. Botvinnik would also use e5, d6, c5 as Black and used it (as Black) to good effect against Smyslov.
ionadowman 28 ( +1 | -1 )
But... ... neilskye is correct in that the control over d4 is not to be sneezed at, and it is something of a dark side to the Nimzovitch/Botvinnik set-up. Of course, that one assset isn't going to be enough on its own...
Cheers,
Ion
ketchuplover 4 ( +1 | -1 )
It's not what you play but how well you understand.
blake78613 35 ( +1 | -1 )
According to Botvinnik the hole created at d4 in the Nimzowitsch/Botvinnik center is immaterial since this square can be adequately covered by the White pieces. The main method for Black to try to control d4 is playing Nge7, g6 and Bg7. This way the c6 knight can go to d4 and the e7-Knight can go to c6. This setup does create a Black weakness at f6. Black can also maintain symmety with d6 and e5.
pavel76 54 ( +1 | -1 )
1e4 or 1d4 is a simply type of choice what kind of game you prefer to play.
e4 - you can expect mainly an open game, sharp if the opponent response with sicilian or with strategic background if caro-can or French. I think a lots of the top players avoid recently 1.e4 when they play for a win , because of Petrov defense which is consider to be a very drawish..
d4 - presume rather slow maneuvering and strategic game but balck also has a choice if he wants to sharpen the game - like Benoni or Volga gambit for example :)
pavel76 54 ( +1 | -1 )
1e4 or 1d4 is a simply type of choice what kind of game you prefer to play.
e4 - you can expect mainly an open game, sharp if the opponent response with sicilian or with strategic background if caro-can or French. I think a lots of the top players avoid recently 1.e4 when they play for a win , because of Petrov defense which is consider to be a very drawish..
d4 - presume rather slow maneuvering and strategic game but balck also has a choice if he wants to sharpen the game - like Benoni or Volga gambit for example :)