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Uncommon King's Pawn Opening (B00)
1 e4

Number of games in database: 7269
Years covered: 1620 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 44.0%
   Black wins 32.9%
   Draws 23.1%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Nigel Short  19 games
Mark Hebden  16 games
Dusko Pavasovic  14 games
Tony Miles  107 games
Branko Filipovic  69 games
Michael Basman  60 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Greco vs NN, 1623
K Spraggett vs F South, 1976
Burn vs J Owen, 1898
Karpov vs Miles, 1980
L Forgacs vs Maroczy, 1902
Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch, 1920
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 page 1 of 291; games 1-25 of 7,269 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Greco vs NN 1-0171620Miscellaneous gameB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
2. Greco vs NN 1-081620EuropeB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
3. Greco vs NN 1-081623LondonB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
4. J J Rousseau vs D Hume 1-0151765CasualB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
5. J Bruehl vs Verdoni 0-1521795LondonB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
6. A Zerega vs J Thompson  1-0371845New York Chess Club MatchB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
7. J Withers vs E Williams 0-1331845BristolB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
8. E Williams vs H Kennedy 0-1161848Casual gameB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
9. Brunner vs C W Vitzthum von Eckstaedt  1-0451849DresdenB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
10. Harrwitz vs E Cronhelm / Allen  1-0401849Blindfold simul, 2bB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
11. Cochrane vs Mohishunder 1-0341850CalcuttaB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
12. Cochrane vs Mohishunder 1-0251850CalcuttaB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
13. K de Heer vs H Kloos 1-0581851AmsterdamB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
14. M M Coopman vs M van 't Kruijs 0-1521851AmsterdamB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
15. E Williams vs Loewenthal 0-1121851Loewenthal - WilliamsB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
16. Staunton vs Horwitz  1-0291851Casual gameB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
17. Staunton vs Horwitz 0-1251851Casual gameB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
18. E Williams vs Horwitz  ½-½431852Horwitz - Williams mB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
19. Loewenthal vs H Kennedy 0-1371853Casual gameB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
20. Cochrane vs Mohishunder 0-1481854CalcuttaB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
21. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0241854CalcuttaB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
22. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0301854CalcuttaB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
23. de Riviere vs G Schwabe  1-0301854Casual gameB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
24. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0221855CalcuttaB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
25. Staunton vs NN 1-0201856Casual gameB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
 page 1 of 291; games 1-25 of 7,269 
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day:
Borg Defense
1.e4 g5
Sep-03-11  druknight: Hey everybody I am back from a long vacation and I am fully rested. Hey it’s good to see everyone. By the way I spent most of my time in the hospital showing my friend how to win from the following. But you guys are smarter than me so set your chess clock for 5 min and try to find the winning move!

click for larger view

I know you want to know how it started, I told the guy not play 1...a3 but he told me some guy beat Karpov with it which is cazy:

1 e4 a6
2. c3 e5
3. Nf3 Nc6
4. Bc4 h6
5. d4 exd4
6. b4 dxc3
7. Nxc3 Nxb4
8. Bxf7+ Kxf7

Nov-03-11  rapidcitychess: <drukenknight>

Indeed, someone did beat Karpov with 1.e4 a6?!

Karpov vs Miles, 1980

Jan-14-12  the eel: In the Nimzovich Defence to 1 e4 after Nc6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 f6 4 Bd3 the books say that Nxd4 is refuted by 5 Qh5ch. But after g6 6 Bxg6ch hxg6 then 7 Qxh8 can be answered by the strange looking Qd7! with all sorts of tactical threats. For instance 8 Qxg8 is answered by Nxc2ch 9 Kd1 Qg4ch! and 8 Na3 is well met by Qg4. Is this a viable line for black?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

St. George Defense
1.e4 a6

click for larger view

May-12-12  parisattack: <the eel: In the Nimzovich Defence to 1 e4 after Nc6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 f6 4 Bd3 the books say that Nxd4 is refuted by 5 Qh5ch. But after g6 6 Bxg6ch hxg6 then 7 Qxh8 can be answered by the strange looking Qd7! with all sorts of tactical threats. For instance 8 Qxg8 is answered by Nxc2ch 9 Kd1 Qg4ch! and 8 Na3 is well met by Qg4. Is this a viable line for black?>

Sure looks like it. Anyone with an engine to check?

My problem with the Nimzovitch - I could never get anyone to play e5.

May-13-12  mrbasso: <the books say that Nxd4 is refuted by 5 Qh5ch> Must be very old book..
4.Bd3? is weak.
You know what's the best place for old opening books? The garbage can!
May-13-12  King Death: < mrbasso: ...You know what's the best place for old opening books? The garbage can!>

Some ideas come out of variations that were "refuted" beause chess is always changing if in a different way than in my early days (the 60s). This statement is a little too simplistic. Besides for folks like <parisattack> and me it's fun to read old stuff.

May-13-12  parisattack: Openings develop historically. The best way of learning them is to start with <old opening books>. I typically begin an investigation with MCOs, Schwarz and Euwe, move on to Keres and 'bis' then Schiller's monographs and the Batsford/Chess Digest 'White' series - sprinkling in the Informants along the way.

What's a 'database' I hear people talking about lately? ;)

May-20-12  the eel: I'm not saying that 4 Bd3 is a strong move just that the reply Nxd4 is an alternative to g6 a fact which is not mentioned in my books. You are right though Parisattack most games I have played go 3 PxP and not e5 unfortunately.
Sep-07-12  rapidcitychess: Chessgames Challenge: Team White vs Team Black, 2006

St. George is the OOTD, figure this could be good for it.

Mar-16-13  Amarande: St. George. Hmmm.

For the most part this seems a virtual certainty to become a transpositional Sicilian, with few unique lines. Black needs to make that ... a6 move count, and as it doesn't directly help development at all (as, say, ... b6 does, allowing for the Queen's side fianchetto), the only really significant aspect of it can be openings in which Black would have played ... a6 anyway. In terms of e-pawn openings, the only ones that really come to mind are the Giuoco Piano (in which case Black sometimes plays it to avoid conceding the two Bishops to White, as after ... d6 and Nc3 White threatens to force a N for B swap with Na4), the Ruy Lopez Morphy main lines, and many variations of the Sicilian.

However, as White is likely to play d4 or Nf3 soon if not immediately, Black is unlikely to play an early ... e5 and therefore the Giuoco and Ruy variations are of only passing thought. This leaves only the Sicilian variations to be considered (and thus makes this an opening I'm not very likely to play personally - I find the Sicilian to be rather dry due to how analysed it is, with so many lines forcing you to play 15-20 or even up to 30 moves from more or less rote memorisation with little or no opportunity to vary without disadvantage), and in particular whether Black can enforce a Sicilian transposition.

Against any move but 2 d4 or b4, Black can play c5 at once, at which point we have our Sicilian already. Therefore, the only "unique" lines can come of those two moves.

After 2 b4, e6 follows and White can hardly avoid transposing into some form of Sic, as his b-pawn is threatened and the only move to defend it that also holds back ... c5 is 3 Ba3. But then Black has interesting options, especially 3 ... b5, making way to develop the DSB on the wing, taking control of c4, and at the same time firmly stamping 3 Ba3 as a lost move, for the Bishop will now have to move at least once more to really get into play. To add insult to injury, after that further Bishop move, Black will still play ... c5 and still have his Sicilian formation, and ... a6 can hardly be stamped as a lost move as it is virtually never the case that Black can play ... b5 (a bread-and-butter move in the Sicilian due to its tie-in with Black's play on the c-file) without preparing it with ... a6.

After 2 d4 e6 again. 3 b4 is not sound due to 3 ... Bxb4+, and against almost any other reasonable move by White, Black continues 3 ... c5, and the Sicilian transposition is again essentially complete.

This leaves as the only really uniquely "St George" line perhaps this: 1 e4 a6 2 d4 e6 3 Be3 (preventing ... c5 for the moment). I am not quite sure of the relative prospects here; has extremely few examples of this line, which seems to officially ECO as a generic French (C00). Of the three games that the variation has been essayed in, White has won once (although Black's resignation at least looks premature - I wonder if he overstepped the time limit?), Black has won once, and the third game was drawn. It's perhaps worth exploring.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

St. George Defense
1.e4 a6

Sep-16-13  parisattack: Nice review <Amarande>. I think the only book on are Basman's (St George and New St George)? Very often Sicilian or French formations out of it, sometimes favoring Black if White isn't cognizant of the possibilities.

It is similar to the Polish Defense 1. d4, b5 where Black doesn't have all the defensive options for the b5 pawn (he's effectively already chosen to defend it with ...a6 spent move/tempo. Still, both the Polish Defense books make good supplemental material - Kapitaniak's Polish Defence and Zimmer's Die Polnische Verteidigung

Nov-03-13  Kikoman: <Opening of the Day>

Borg Defense
1. e4 g5

click for larger view

Opening Explorer

Feb-08-14  pajaste: no Borg has played the Borg defense
Feb-08-14  SChesshevsky: < no Borg has played the Borg defense >

It's not on the site but one might've to win the French Open.

Dec-18-14  parisattack: Owen's/1. ...b6 Opening of the Day

1. ...b6/Owen's BOOKS

Bauer - Play 1.... b6

Kapitaniak - 1.... b6!

Keene / Plaskett / Tisdall - The English Defense

King - English Defence

Lakdawala 1. ...b6 Move-By-Move (Jan 2015)

Soltis - The Defense 1. ...P-QN3

Soltis - Winning with the English Defense

Wall - Owen's Defense

It can also transpose into a Hippo - sometimes a fine idea if White commits to Bd3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: ♔ Opening of the Day ♔

St. George Defense
1.e4 a6

I wonder if this has ever been the OOTD on Apr/23.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Okay, I give up. What is significant about April 23?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: A: Anthony Miles

Karpov vs Miles, 1980

Jul-26-19  Chesgambit: Owen defense is not uncommon opening
Mar-05-20  parisattack: I've played the Owen some lately. Perhaps not 100% 'correct' but a lot of unexplored territory.

The lines where black delays ...Nf6 seem best. An idea I found in the appendix to Basman's St.George book. Also allows for a transposition to a Hippo.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: Stumbled across this old remark above:
< no Borg has played the Borg defense >

Is "Borg Defense" not just letter play on being the opposite of "Grob Defense" 1.g4?

About Owen's Defense, I am not a fan, but surely I cannot "refute" it. I met it once in a serious game and won easily but the opposition was rather weak. I went Nc3, Bd3, Qe2 and as Black casted Q-side I commenced the attack with Ba6 at some point. I feel that Black tries to entice White to reckless measures as his play seems rather limited otherwise.

Nov-14-22  Ninas Husband: Would the Bongcloud Opening go here? :)
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