White's 1st Move
The best first moves for white are 1. c4, 1. d4, 1. g3 and 1. Nf3. They all have very similar success rates for white. 1. e4 is not quite so successful because of the popularity of black's equally most successful opening, the Sicilian Defence.
Replies to White's 1st Move
Against 1. a3 (Anderssen's Opening), play 1...g6, don't play 1...e5.
Against 1. b3 (Larsen's Defence), play 1...d5 (Classical Variation).
Against 1. b4 (Polish Defence), 1...Nf6 is slightly more successful than 1...d5 and 1...e5.
Against 1. c3 (Saragossa Opening), play 1...d5.
Against 1. c4 (English Opening), play 1...c5 (Symmetrical Variation).
Against 1. d3 (Mieses Opening), play 1...e5.
Against 1. d4 (Queen's Pawn Opening), 1...Nf6 is black's best reply. 1...g6 and 1...d6 are also quite good for black. 1...d5 is a very common reply but not as successful for black. 1...f5 (Dutch Defence) and 1...b5 (Polish Opening) are both bad for black.
Against 1. e3 (Van't Kruijs Attack), play 1...d5, don't play 1...e5.
Against 1. e4 (King's Pawn Opening), 1...c5 (Sicilian Defence) is black's best reply. Although not too commonly played, 1...g6 (Robatsch Defence), 1...Nf6 (Alekhine's Defence) and 1...Nc6 (Nimzowitsch Defence) are also quite good for black while other replies like 1...c6 (Caro-Kann), 1...d6 (Pirc Defence) and 1...e6 (French Defence) are also a little bit more successful than the more common 1...e5.
Against 1. f4 (Bird's Opening), play 1...d5 (Dutch Variation).
Against 1. g3 (Benko Opening), play either 1...d5 or 1...e5, don't play 1...h5 (Lasker Simul Special).
Against 1. g4 (Grob Opening), play 1...e5.
Against 1. Nc3 (Dunst Opening), play 1...d5, don't play 1...e5 or 1...Nf6.
Against 1. Nf3 (Reti Opening), play 1...g6, don't play 1...Nc6.
Against any other first move, play either 1...d5 or 1...e5.
Queen's Pawn Openings
After 1. d4 d5
If black replies to 1. d4 with 1...d5 then white's most successful openings are 2. c4 (Queen's Gambit) and 2. e4 (Blackmar Diemer Gambit). Other fairly common continuations like 2. Nf3 are not as successful.
Against 2. c4 (Queen's Gambit), the best continuations for black are the Queen's Gambit Accepted and the Semi Slav. If black plays the Semi Slav then its better for white to play 5. Bg5 rather than 5. e3 because that can easily lead into the Meran Variation which is black's most successful continuation from the Queen's Gambit.
After 1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 is more successful than 2. Nf3 for white but black can try for the Nimzo Indian after 2. c4 and that is black's equally most successful opening overall, however white can avoid that by playing a different third move. Another alternative that occasionally gets played is 2. Bg5 (Trompowsky Attack), black's most successful reply to that is 2...d5.
After 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4
There are two common continuations for black in this position which are 2...e6 (normally leading to a Nimzo Indian or Queen's Indian) or 2...g6 (normally leading to a King's Indian or Grunfeld Defence). Out of those two continuations 2...e6 is more successful for black.
Benko Gambit - White should fully accept the gambit and try to keep to the main line. Playing the Nescafe Frappe Attack instead of fully accepting the gambit is bad for white.
Benoni Defence - White should play the Modern Variation against this opening.
Grunfeld Defence - All of the main lines are good for white but the Russian System is a little bit more successful.
King's Indian - This is an extremely popular opening for black but its nowhere near as successful for black as the Nimzo Indian. White's most successful continuation is the Averbakh Variation, also note that if black makes the mistake in that variation of playing 6...e5 then 7. dxe5 dxe5 8. Qxd8 Rxd8 9. Nd5 is very good for white.
Nimzo Indian - This is black's equally most successful opening along with the Sicilian Defence. The best continuations for white are 4. Qb3 (Spielmann's Variation), 4. e3 (Main Line) and the 4. f3 variation. If the 4.e3 c5 Main Line is played, white should play 5. Ne2 (Rubenstein's Variation) as this is white's most successful reply overall to the Nimzo Indian. White should avoid playing 4. a3 (Samisch Variation) and 4. Bg5 (Leningrad Variation).
Queen's Indian - This is less successful than the Nimzo Indian but more successful than the King's Indian. All the main variations have very similar success rates for white but the 4. a3 (Petrosian System) and 4. Nf3 Variation are slightly better. The Queen's Indian can be reached if white plays 3. Nf3 to avoid the Nimzo Indian. Also note that 3...Bb4+ would lead to a Bogo-Indian Defence which is bad for black as white can play 4. Nbd2 to avoid the risk of getting doubled pawns on the c-file and an isolated pawn on the a-file.
King's Pawn Openings
After 1. e4 e5
Against 2. d4 (Centre Game), play 2...exd4. After that, the Danish Gambit is a bit more successful for white. In that continuation, black shouldn't fully accept the gambit by taking the pawn on b2.
Against 2. f4 (King's Gambit), play either 2...d5 (Falkbeer Counter Gambit) or 2...exf4 (Accepted), definitely don't play 2...d6 (Declined). Black's best continuation is the Abbazia Defence, closely followed by the Cunningham Defence. The Allgaier Gambit isn't so good for black.
Against 2. Bc4 (Bishop's Opening), 2...Nf6 (Berlin Defence) is a bit more successful than 2...Nc6 (Classical Variation). After 2...Nf6 is played, 3. d3 is better for white than 3. Nc3.
Against 2. Nc3 (Vienna Game), black's most successful reply is 2...Nf6 (Falkbeer Variation). If white plays 3. f4 (Vienna Gambit) after that then 3...d5 (Modern Variation) is good for black. Black shouldn't play 3...exf4 to accept the gambit as that has a very low success rate for black.
Against 2. Nf3 f5 (Latvian Gambit), play 3. Nxe5.
Against 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 (Ponziani's Opening), 3...d5 is better than 3...Nf6 for black.
Against 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 (Scotch Game), black should play 3...exd4. Overall the best continuation for white is 4. c3 (Goring Gambit) but that is risky because the 4...d5 (Declined) reply is good for black. If black accepts the Goring Gambit then they shouldn't fully accept it by taking the pawn on b2 as well as this is very good for white. The main line of 4. Nxd4 is nearly as successful for white overall and doesn't have the problem of one of the main replies being more successful for black. Black's two main continuations after 4. Nxd4 are 4...Bc5 and 4...Nf6 (Schmidt Variation) and they both have similar success rates for black.
Against 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 (Ruy Lopez), the best replies are 3...a6 (Morphy Defence), 3...f5 (Schliemann Gambit) and 3...Nf6 (Berlin Gambit). The least successful replies are 3...d6 (Steinitz Defence), 3...Nd4 (Bird's Defence) and 3...Bc5 (Classical Defence). If black plays 3...a6 (Morphy Defence), 4. Ba5 is better than 4. Bxc6 (Exchange Variation). If a closed variation is played, the Centre Attack and Worrall Attack are almost as good as the main line. If the main line of a Closed Variation is played up until black's 9th move then black's most successful continuation at that point is 9...Nb8 (Breyer's Variation). Overall, black's best variation is the Marshall Counter-Gambit however trying to play for that is a bit risky as 8. a4 is very successful for white. Also good for black is the Rio de Janiero Variation.
Against 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 (Giuoco Piano), 3...Nf6 (Two Knight's Defence) is slightly more successful than 3...Bc5 (Main Line). In the 3...Bc5 Main Line, white should play 4. c3 to prepare d4 but if black plays 4...Nf6 then 5. d3 is a more successful continuation for white than 5. d4. In the main line, white should avoid playing the Moller Attack as that is good for black. The Evans Gambit, Giuoco Pianissimo and 3...Bc5 4. Nc3 line are not too good for white either.
Against 2. Nf3 Nf6 (Petroff's Defence), 3. d4 (Steinitz Variation) is white's best reply. If white plays 3. Nxe5, then black should play 3...d6 (Paulsen Variation). The 3. Nxe5 Qe7 Variation and 3. Nxe5 Nxe4 (Damiano Variation) are bad for black.
Other 1. e4 Replies
Against 1...b6 (Queenside Fianchetto), play 2. d4.
Against 1...c5 (Sicilian Defence), the two most successful replies are 2. Nf3 and then 2. c3 (Alapin Variation). Other continuations like 2. Nc3 (Closed Variation), 2. f4 (Grand Prix Attack) and 2. b4 (Wing Gambit) aren't so good. After 2. Nf3 is played, the most successful reply to that is 2...e6. The other common replies of 2...d6 and 2...Nc6 aren't quite so successful but still good. 2...Nf6 (Nimzowitsch Variation) isn't so good. In the main line of the 2...d6 Variation, 5...a6 (Najdorf Variation) is much more successful for black than 5...e6 (Schveningen Variation) and 5...g6 (Dragon Variation). In the 2...e6 Variation, black should try for the Kan Variation as that has black's best success rate out of all the most common 2. Nf3 lines. In the 2...Nc6 Variation, white should try for the Maroczy Bind as that has white's best success rate out of all the most common 2. Nf3 lines.
Against 1...c6 (Caro-Kann), all the most common variations give a similar success rate for white but the Advance Variation is a slightly more successful.
Against 1...d5 (Center-Counter), 2...Nf6 is slightly better than 2. Qxd8 if white takes the pawn on move two. In the 2...Qxd5 3. Nc3 Variation, 3...Qa5 is a little better than 3...Qd8.
Against 1...d6 (Pirc Defence), if you are white then play the Austrian Attack if black carries on with a normal continuation like 2...Nf6 and 3...g6. That variation is easily white's most successful.
Against 1...e6 (French Defence), carry on as normal with 2. d4 d5, then for white the Tarrasch Variation is the most successful followed by the Main Line. White should avoid the Exchange Variation and the Advance Variation as they are statistically the worst of the main variations for white. In the main line of 3. Nc3, the reply 3...Nf6 is slightly more successful than 3...Bb4 (Winawer Variation) for black.
Against 1...g6 (Robatsch Defence), 2. Nf3 is a little bit more successful for white than 2. d4.
Against 1...Nc6 (Nimzowitsch Defence), 2. Nf3 is more successful than 2. d4.
Against 1...Nf6 (Alekhine Defence), play the Modern Variation, don't play the Four Pawns Attack.
enjoy! :sm32: :sm32: :sm48: :sm32: :sm32:
Last edited by flash_disk on Fri 5 Nov - 22:31; edited 1 time in total