Ready to shake up your chess game with some unconventional openings? In our latest episode, we make a case for occasionally adding complexity to your game. By getting higher-rated opponents out of their comfort zone early on, you can create an unbalanced, non-theoretical position that might just give you the upper hand.
We also bring attention to the "piece polishers" - those players who love sticking to conventional theory. This episode explores how you can disrupt them. We delve into the effectiveness of off-book openings, such as 1. e3. Please note that this isn't an exhaustive guide to every unconventional opening, but a general overview.
Finally, we explore some exciting opening ideas that can lead to tactically rich positions. These can disorient a classical player who is not prepared for the unexpected. We discuss the Grob, otherwise known as the Spike, and the Scandinavian Defense. We also delve into the Evans Gambit, and the Orangutan Opening. These might seem a bit out there, but with a basic theoretical study, you could gain a significant advantage by occasionally springing these surprises on your opponent. So, let's get ready to catch your opponent off guard!
00:00 - Intro
09:15 - 1. e3
10:43 - Fianchetto Structures
16:00 - Early h4 and ...h5 Ideas
19:05 - 1. d4 e6
22:08 - The Grob (1. g4)
24:35 - Scandinavian Defense
26:43 - Alekhine's Defense
28:54 - Orangutan Opening (1. b4)
32:52 - Benoni Defense
36:20 - Evans Gambit
39:01 - Outro
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This week is all about unconventional and off-book openings to trick your opponent Opening weapons, so to speak, so you can surprise your opponent and catch him or her. Off-guard Should be very interesting. Stick around.Speaker 2:
Welcome to the Chess Angle. This is not your typical chess podcast. If you're an amateur or club-level player, the Chess Angle is for you. Our content is aimed at busy adults who are serious about the game but have limited study time. Featured guests include both amateur and title players alike. And now here's your host, director of the Long Island Chess Club, .Neal:
This week's episode was inspired by an email from Chris from the UK, and it has to do with off-book openings. Chris is a friend of the pod. Shout out to you, chris. Now, a precursor to this week's discussion is episode 32, where I spoke with USCF expert Jared Tavares, who's a member of the Long Island Chess Club, and we spoke about Jared's success utilizing an unconventional anti-book style. You may want to check that out, if you haven't already, if this is a topic of particular interest to you. So let's go to Chris's email.Speaker 2:
You've got mail.Neal:
All right. So Chris writes Hi again. We all have been told when we are playing someone lower rated, play solidly and keep in book as long as possible and wait for their error. However, when playing someone high rated, get them out of book early so they need to think for themselves. I play the London or Kali with white and the Nimzo Queens Indian or Karo Khan with black. If I'm looking for a solid game, do you have any recommendations for openings to get people out of book early? I've tried one E3 with white and had some success, and I'm looking at one G6 with black against a player who likes to get an early Kingside fiend Keto. Thanks again for all the tips, effort and enthusiasm of your pod. So, chris, thanks for your email. I've been meaning to do an episode about off book openings as a follow up to my conversation with Jared, where I actually talk about the openings themselves. My conversation with Jared was more about mindset and chess psychology. So this week we're actually going to break open the chessboard and look at some of these off book ideas to throw off or surprise your opponent. Before we do that, I need to mention a few things up front, some prefacing remarks, if you will. Chris is correct in that. Yes, the rule the quote unquote rule is that for lower rated opponents you want to play regular chess, so to speak. There's no need to get fancy or force things, just play solidly and eventually they will crack and make a mistake. Basically, you weigh them out with higher rated players. Again, the rule quote unquote rule is that you need to mix it up and create an unbalanced, non theoretical position where neither player is sure what to do, because the idea is that if you go into book lines or common theoretical positions, the higher rated player will presumably know these positions better than you and it's going to be tough to win unless you get lucky. So some of the openings we look at today may be good for that. While all this is generally true, it's not necessarily required, but just something to keep in mind. You can be lower rated players by creating complications and beat higher rated opponents by playing solidly. So we don't have to be captain literal with this. It's just kind of an idea to think about. These unconventional openings work great against people I call peace polishers. I'll explain what I mean by that. Everything I'm going to talk about works best against theoretical almost goody, two shoes types of players who enjoy book lines. I don't mean that mockingly, I'm kind of just, you know, saying that playfully. Do not use these openings against players who enjoy these types of unclear and sharp positions or players who excel at those, because it's probably not going to work. So what do I mean by a peace polisher? Basically, the types of players you know. They show up 45 minutes before the round starts and they have the beautiful board and they set it up. Every piece is placed perfectly on the squares, like right in the center. They'll polish them with a polishing cloth, right, they have their score sheet filled out perfectly. I mean you know what I mean. Again, I'm saying this in good fun, I'm not saying this like mockingly, okay, just having a little fun. But you get the idea. Against these sort of players who just want to play regular chess, they just want to develop their pieces castle, these types of openings work very, very well against those types of players who are booked up. For example, one of the openings I'm going to discuss is the grob of the spike, where white plays one G4. And if you have an opponent such as the one I described, let's say he or she has the black pieces, one of these peace polishers and you have white. If you open with something like one G4, you're going to drive them bonkers. Trust me, I'm not saying you should play G4 as your main opening I'll talk more about that in a minute but it's something to keep in mind. These sort of unconventional or sort of uncommon or non-mainstream openings however you want to describe them they work best against theoretical book players. Okay, that's who you want to use them against. You can use them against anybody. But again, if you know your opponent enjoys very sharp, tactical, unclear positions and they're very skilled at playing those, probably not a good idea to use these openings. Also very important. A bit of a disclaimer this episode is an overview of some non-conventional openings you can use or that you'll find yourself defending against. It's a snapshot, it's snippets, and I'm not going deep with the moves, maybe just three to five moves in, and if a particular opening seems interesting as kind of an extra club in your bag, you can research it on your own. There's plenty of content out there. It's for free. You don't need to spend money. You can find all of this stuff on YouTube at no cost. Just put it in the search bar and there will be more videos on this stuff than you know what to do with. This is not an exhaustive, deep dive into every possible off book opening out there, and I'll tell you a lot of the ones that white plays after 1E4, like the Max Landge attack or the Frankenstein Dracula variation I won't discuss just because I'm not really familiar with them. I don't play 1E4 as white and I'm not crazy about replying to 1E4 with E5. That's just me. I think the symmetrical openings get a lot of club players into trouble, especially beginners and intermediate players. So again, this is just a quick overview. This is not a chessable course. This is not a 60 minute in depth YouTube video. This is kind of a reader's digest. Look at some of these off book ideas. So I just wanted to make that clear up front. Another thing the astute listener of the chest angle may say wait a minute, wait a minute. Neil, you're always shouting from the rooftops about using solid openings and sticking with the same repertoire and not mixing it up. Yes, but I'm presenting these openings because, despite that, I know some listeners are interested in these and Want to mix it up for their online games or speed games or, despite having a consistent repertoire, they still get the itch to mix it up in their classical OTB games occasionally, kind of like Chris described in his email, and that's fine. However, I'm also presenting these for defensive reasons. That is, at some point your opponents are going to try these against you, so you need to be aware of them. That being said, let's go to the openings. So let's start by discussing some opening Structures or thematic ideas. These aren't necessarily actual openings, but opening ideas and opening structures that are a little unconventional From white's typical first move. Now Chris mentioned this first one, the idea of one e3. I've seen this a number of times, both online and at the club. I mean it's a little tame because you're not moving upon to the fourth rank, you're just going e3, but it's very flexible. You could maybe follow up with something like b3 and then fiend Keta with Bishop b2 and you're controlling d4. It could lead to a Stonewall type structure with f4 and then d4. Just be careful with the stone wall because then e4 becomes very weak for white. But that's an idea. You go into the stone wall. You could play something like knight f3 to follow up, just very, very safe Bishop e2. A lot of different directions you can go in, but the reason I like one e3. Okay, you play e3 as white, the play with the black pieces May not know what to do, because the fact is it's just not a typical move, right? If you played e4, whoever has black would know exactly what to do. They're gonna follow up with either e5 or c5. Whatever they play e6, the French, but when you play e3, they're gonna have to scratch their head a little bit and immediately it Will likely cause a position that they're not used to and again, especially if they're a booked up person, this can be really effective. So e3 is Is a sneaky little opening for white. I like it. Now, chris also mentioned the idea of playing one G6 as black, presumably against anything that white plays for his first move. I like this idea also. So if you play g6 as black, you're likely gonna follow up with Bishop g7, fiend Kedding. That can lead to a King's Indian type of structure it's set or it's set, or it could lead to a lot of other structures. Usually a King's Indian type thing because you have that dark, squared Bishop on the diagonal. And let me just say something about fiend Keddoed Bishops in general. I find with a lot of club players, especially those under, say, 1600 or so. They freak out whenever they see a fiend Keddoed Bishop. I'm amazed whenever I play a move like that, for example, is black Against a lot of d4 openings, I'll do like a Queens or a Nimzo type thing. You know that if I do something like knight f6 and then b6 and Bishop b7, my opponents freak out. There's something about having a Bishop on the long diagonal that really causes a lot of players to crack. So if you can add these type of fiend Keddo structures to your game, a lot of players fall apart because they get really nervous. They don't know how to handle it. Now. Traditionally the rule is right. This is like an old chess saying the best way to deal with a fiend Keddoed Bishop is to fiend Keddo your own Bishop on the same diagonal. A Lot of players don't know that, but you don't even need to. You could also just kind of look at Blocking the center with pawns or just making sure there's no tactics on the diagonal. There's a lot of different ways to handle it. You don't necessarily have to fiend Keddo your bishop on the same diagonal, although that generally is a good idea. You just got to watch out for some tactics because if he or she fiend Keddoed. First you don't want to move your B or G pawn and then your rook hangs because remember, before you fiend Keddo, when you move that B pawn or G pawn, your rook is hanging in the corner. So you just got to look out for tactics. But I like the idea of an early fiend Keddo because, again, a lot of players freak out. There's one player at the club I can remember he hasn't been here in a while when every time I fiend Keddoed His entire plan was just on trying to trade that Bishop but as a result, he would neglect development. He would neglect what else was going on on the board. He wasn't playing the position correctly and I would end up winning, even if he accomplished trading it, because he really wasn't focusing on the position and was just focusing on trading the Bishop because it freaked him out. I would end up winning because when everything came out in the wash, I would have an overwhelming position. So yeah, anything like G6 or B6 that's sort of hyper modern idea. Attacking from the wings with the fiend Keddo, that's all good stuff, even as white. Like opening with B3, that's a great plan. Or opening with G3 these are all ideas that work really well to sort of throw your opponent off book because he's expecting Something like D4 or E4, maybe C4. Right, those are probably your most popular Opening moves and when you play something like B3 or G3, you know right away it can change the structure. Now, sure, those moves can transpose Into a buck line, just like if you play let's say you play C4, the English opening, that can transpose into a lot of different things that could transpose into a lot of typical D4 openings. So these things can transpose, can transpose. Excuse me, but you can also Play something a little unconventional. But this is all very solid. Everything I've discussed so far is quote-unquote, unconventional. Can throw your opponent, can get him off book, can maybe trick him into making a mistake, but nothing is on sound right. So to review the idea of playing one E3 Perfectly sound. There's nothing crazy or wild or quote-unquote wrong about it. Perfectly fine. Opening with B3 or G3, perfectly fine. Playing G6, as your first move is black, perfectly fine. And again, if you're comfortable playing those fiend Keddo positions, you're gonna find a lot of your opponents. They can't handle it. That's why the catalan as white, where you're playing D4 and then you follow up with a quick G3 and Bishop G2. A lot of players Freak out with that like they don't know how to handle it. Micah Keatman was a guest on the podcast and she had mentioned that. Okay, she's a WFM, I believe, and she even said she goes for club players as white. She goes, just play the catalan and you'll see how well you do. And it's really true. Usually it's after D, that's like D4, c4, then you get in G3 and then Bishop G2. I mean, I don't really play the catalan, but the idea is that you're getting in that early kingside fiend Keddo in combination with D4 and usually C4, and a lot of times black doesn't know how to handle it, especially if they've never seen it before. Something else as far as structure and as far as just an idea, not necessarily an actual opening, are the early H. Pawn moves Can be very, very effective, such as an early H4 with white or an early H5 with black. It's kind of an alpha-zero, computer-type move. But if your opponent already castled kingside, that can be very, very frustrating for them and very confusing. So they're castled. Let's say black is castled and as white, if you can get in an early H4, assuming you didn't castle yet and your rook is still on the H file, it can really throw your opponent off and the truth is, many times playing H4, h5 early can actually be very sound. Okay, you just have to be careful, of course, as with everything of tactics, and that the center can't come smashing open. If your king is in the middle, you know you have to check it. But if the center is somewhat closed or unclear and your opponent castled and you didn't, the idea of playing H4 can be very effective. I've been doing this with the London a lot. I usually play the London more positionally and more of a grinder type of way, like as a grinder kind of like, slowly wear your opponent down, which the London works very well for. But lately, if the center is closed, if I can get that knight on E5, maybe lock it in with F4, I've been leaving my king in the middle and playing H4 a lot and man my opponents, they think, for a long time, because especially if their king is castled, if they're not careful, you know you have your bishop on D3, you can get some really nasty attacks. Or even if it doesn't lead to mate, you'll end up just getting a better game in general and you'll have an initiative. In some cases, if it trades down, you might even get the better end game. But these sort of H pawn ideas earlier in the game or in the early middle game can be very effective. Now, of course, it depends on your opening and how you play. If you castle early, it may not work. Usually these types of moves work better when the pawn is still on the H file, because it supports the pawn, and if the file opens, the rook is on the open file for an attack. There are some instances where you can still move the H pawn even if you castle. Usually, though, it's if the king is still in the middle, or in some cases you may castle queen side, and then you can try for an attack on the H file with both rooks. Again, I'm speaking in just kind of very, very general thematic terms. All right, but the idea of those H pawn moves, when appropriate, can be very, very effective against a castle king. So one more little thing as far as a thematic idea before we get into some actual openings, actual named openings, right, not just sort of moves and ideas. After d4, right, ds and d4, I like very often to play e6 as black. Very, very sneaky move in a way, because if white sort of goes on autopilot or doesn't think it can really throw him off, now why do I play e6? What's the point of playing e6? Because after d4, if you play e6, your opponent might be like oh, he's letting me get the classic pawn center in, right, I'm supposed to quote, unquote, supposed to now play e4. But what happens is after d4, e6, e4, d5, you've just tricked your opponent into playing the French defense, and that may be a structure he or she doesn't want to play. All right, and I've done this to a number of opponents in the past and I could tell they were uncomfortable with it. So that's kind of a sneaky little thing. And then if they don't want to go into a French, they kind of have to think here. Now, this isn't like a winning move. It's not like you played e6 and you're like already turning the tables. No, but it forces white to think. And if he's a Trampaschi player, he can't go bishop g5 right away, obviously, because the queen will take it. So it's an interesting move. Now, usually after d4, e6, it will, as with a lot of these, very often transpose. It could transpose into a Nimzo or a Queens Indian, it could transpose into a French if he gets in an early e4. But I like e6 just because it's very, very flexible and it doesn't really announce your intentions and it kind of puts a little bit of pressure on white to kind of say okay, how do you want to play this? And again, after d4, e6, if white then plays c4, it can lead to a lot of typical Queen pawn openings. Like I said a lot of times, these transpose. But the benefit of playing these openings is that if it does transpose into a conventional opening, fine, that's how it goes. If it doesn't, if your opponent tries something else or thinks maybe he has to do something else, it can unbalance the position and throw your opponent off. And again, if it's someone who really just likes theoretical book lines and is that type of player, it can be really effective. So d4, e6, it's just kind of a sneaky little thing you can do against d4 instead of the typical d5 or knight f6. So now let's talk about some actual openings. What we first discussed was more thematic ideas that can be applied across a broad spectrum of openings. But now let's talk about some actual book openings that are considered unconventional or a little bit off, a little bit different, but they can be very effective surprises when used judiciously. Now the first one I'm going to discuss is the grob, or the spike, and that is where white opens with one g4. Now, again, I'm not recommending that this is your regular opening for white, but I did want to mix it up a little bit. Do something different this week. So with the grob, yes, one g4 violates pretty much every opening principle. Right, you're not controlling the center, you're not moving a center pawn, you're weakening your king side, because the king usually castles king side and you moved upon in front. See, king is going to be weak, et cetera, et cetera. But it can really lead to some crazy tactical offbeat positions. And again, if your opponent is very straight laced or just really likes a lot of theoretical book lines and they're sort of classically trained, this can drive them crazy. Now we had a regular at the Long Island chess club who passed away recently, recently. Rest his soul, ivan Kaplan. He played the grob at a lot of the local clubs on a regular basis. He would drive his opponents crazy with this. I mean, he knew it well, he handled it well, he had some good results. He had played it against me once I'm trying to remember, I'm going to say I won that game, but it was down to the wire. We might have drawn. It was a long time ago, but when he played it against me it was a tough game. I'll tell you right now, there's no ego here. It was a tough game and it worked very well against me. I tried to play very solidly against it. Usually if you're facing G4, you want to try to avoid a lot of the tactical lines. I mean, sometimes it's tricky, but he would play G4 and drive a lot of his opponents crazy because it's just so different. Everyone's expecting D4, e4. I'm not going to get into specific lines, but the grob can be a very, very sneaky opening and it's something that can really catch black off guard. Obviously, if that's something you're interested in playing, you do need to study it and be aware of some of the basics. But the grob is an opening that you should be familiar with because, again, if you're not going to use it yourself, people are going to try it against you. So you should be aware of it. Very, very provocative opening. Now the next opening is called the center counter defense and that's where white plays E4. And, as black, you would play d5 and then, after e takes d5, black plays knight f6, which is the Scandinavian defense. Now, technically right, it starts out as a center counter. What makes it the Scandinavian defense is that knight f6 moved by black on move 2. So e4, d5, e takes d5, knight f6 that's the Scandinavian defense. Very, very interesting opening as black, something different, and the idea is that you are sacrificing a pawn and then gaining development right, because you play knight f6. You can look at some of the ideas. Like I said, I'm not going to get into specific lines now. This is just kind of an intro and if any of these seem interesting, I encourage you to check them out on your own and maybe add them to your repertoire. As a surprise, none of these openings I'm recommending as your main repertoire, unless you really like that kind of style and you really excel at it, like for someone like Jared Tavares. He could play any of these openings on a regular basis and do well, because he has those kind of chops and he has that love for those types of position. But if you're sort of a solid positional safety first player like me, I wouldn't play the Scandinavian. I mean, it depends on my move, but I doubt that I would play it. The Scandinavian defense, but it's something to look into. So again e4 and then you go d5. I mean first of all the fact that blacks going d5 after e4, that's unconventional, right there, all right. But then when he takes you develop with knight f6 very, very interesting dynamic. That happens, very sharp game. So again, that's the Scandinavian defense. Another interesting one against e4 is Alakine's defense, because after e4 most players are going to expect e5 or e6 or c5, maybe c6, the caro con. But after e4, knight f6, right away. That's Alakine's defense. So right away black is attacking the e pawn and then what happens is white generally pushes to e5. So now the knight is to move because it's being attacked and it leads to a very, very wild, unbalanced game. So black generally plays knight d5 at this point, right. So we have e4, knight f6, e5, knight d5, right, alakine's attack, and immediately it leads to kind of an unbalanced position. So if you're really looking for something different against e4, you can check it out. Definitely a lot of theory. Most of what I'm going over today there's a lot of theory, because when you play these types of off book openings that lead to these sort of sharp positions. You kind of have to know what you're doing, because the problem with these openings is that they're very move order dependent, generally right. So there's a lot of times, in other words, where there's only one or two moves that you have to play or you're losing. So with something like Alakine's defense, it is, in my opinion, a very theoretical opening. This isn't an opening that you're going to be able to wing like. You really can't wing it with this opening, maybe against a significant low rated player or if it's a five minute blitz game, you might be able to wing it. I suspect most players at white. They're probably going to be prepped for either the French, the Sicilian, the carol con, and if you break out Alakine's defense, it may catch them off guard. This is something you would have to spend time learning, but I wanted to mention it because I think it is a very, very interesting opening and a good way to mix things up. Now here's one with white, the orangutan opening, which is where you open with one B4. Now this is certainly much more solid and more respectable than something like G for the grab, because with B4 your king is safe. You're not weakening the king side, where your king is generally going to castle and usually when white plays B4, he's going to follow up with Bishop B2 again the fiencato idea and it can lead to some crazy and interesting positions. It could lead to also some more like solid structures as well. But the thing with b4 is that it's something different. It's not d4, it's not e4, and yet it's not really crazy. White just needs to be careful because at some point he's going to need to defend his b4 pawn with a3 or something whatever it is, because, remember, when black moves his e pawn, the dark squared bishop is going to be attacking b4. But it's a nice way to mix things up. I know FM Karsten Hansen who was a guest on this podcast. He enjoys playing the orangutan. He's had a lot of success with it. So one b4, very, very interesting. Again, you're generally going to follow up with bishop b2, fiend Kedowing, and it can lead to all sorts of different things. That's the thing with a lot of these openings. Not all of them have a quote unquote mainline, I mean some of them do. But something like b4 can lead to a lot of different types of structures. But the whole point is that when black sees b4 as the first move, you know he or she is likely going to think it might throw him or her off. And that's the whole point. You want to sort of get them nervous. You want to get them to a point where they're thinking for themselves right away, because most chess players something I should have said in the beginning, but I'll say it now most chess players do expect that they're going to have to think for themselves at some point, meaning they know that sooner or later it's going to go out of book. And in most amateur games it's not like both players are going to be in book for like 15 moves or more. That's pretty rare. But the thing is, what they don't expect is that they're going to have to think for themselves right from the get go. So when you play something like b4, it's like, oh geez, I have to think for myself. Already I was expecting that you know several moves down the road. So when they're scratching their head from move one, that's why these types of openings are often very effective. But again, you got to be careful because when you play these types of unconventional openings, you can also get yourself into trouble. Okay, especially if you're only using them once in a while. Again, the disclaimer for all of these is if you're interested in playing them, you do need to study a bit of the theory first. I'm simply presenting the information. I'm simply presenting these and suggesting these as alternatives, and I know Chris is not the only one. I have heard comments about like sort of unconventional openings to discuss those. And I'm giving you such a cursory and general overview because, as you can probably tell, I generally don't play these myself. I can't sit here and talk about the grob for an hour because I really don't play it. I can't talk about Alakine's defense for an hour because I really don't play it. I'm just giving you the basics and I'm hoping that this might spark something if you're looking for something like this where you can go learn more about it on your own. But one B4, very interesting, very solid it can easily throw black off if he plays too fast or if he gets nervous and he's not sure what to do. Now an opening you can use is the Bononi defense. A lot of players use that against me to try to crack my London. Now, basically, there's two main variations After D4, a lot of players, a lot, have played C5 against me. So D4 and then C5 right away. And if I go D, take C5, which I usually don't they can just develop a piece and they get two center pawns. You know typical gambit, right, the idea of the Bononi is that early C5 against D4 openings. Now the book, the quote unquote book response after D4, c5, theoretically white's supposed to push the pawn to D5, right and gain more space. I usually don't play that way. I'll play either E3 or C3, because I'm a London guy there's more than one way to handle it. But I've seen D4, c5 a lot and when C5 is played immediately, that's the old Bononi defense and the regular Bononi, so to speak. Or I guess the mainline Bononi is usually D4, knight F6, c4, and then C5. So you have D4, knight F6, c4, then C5, that's sort of your regular Bononi. The quote unquote original Bononi or the old Bononi is D4 and then C5 right away. And the whole point between C5 is you're gambiting a pawn for development and you're also hitting D4 right away and you're taking away the two center pawns for white. You're challenging that and also it just throws white off a little bit because it's not typical. Usually right after D4, you're expecting, you know, d5 or knight F6 right away, or you're expecting C5 to come in a bit later, all right, but what makes it the Bononi is that very early C5, okay, usually on move one or two. So that's an idea that you will definitely face. I'll tell you right now if, like me, you're a D4 player, you need to learn those Bononi structures because players are going to use it all the time. It's nothing to worry about, but you need to be aware of it. Now, if you're a London or a Kali person, like me, it's no worry, right, because we're just going to play C3 or E3 right away. But if you're not a London person, you may want to be familiar with some of those structures. But the Bononi, as far as I'm concerned, it's actually a very, very legitimate way of playing. It's not really a crazy response by black, but it's something that you need to be aware of. If you're a D4 player, as white, because a lot of players with the black pieces, they are going to throw that early C5 at you right away. And for my fellow London people, a common thing after that quick C5 is then a quick Queen B6, right hitting the B2 pawn. I talked about that a little bit in my episode on the London system. You can find that I forget what number it is. It was a while back, but I did do a dedicated episode on the London where I went over some basic ideas. Now I'm going to end this with something for you E4 people. So if you play one E4, I didn't forget about you, this one's for you, and normally I do not dine or socialize with those who play one E4. I'm just kidding, it's all love. If you play one E4 as white, you're still my friend. No, but all kidding aside, if I were to play one E4 as white, this is something I would play because I think it's very interesting. It's very solid. It's actually a gambit opening, but I kind of like the structure and the ideas that arise for white, and I'm referring to the Evans Gambit, which is a variation of the Geo-Oko Piano or the Italian game or the Quiet Game. And the Evans Gambit happens after one E4, e5, knight f3, knight c6, bishop c4, bishop c5, typical stuff. That's your Italian game. And then white sacrifices upon with b4. The point is you're basically sacrificed with any game, but you're sacrificing a pawn for a leading development and active pieces. Usually what happens black usually takes with the bishop After bishop takes b4, the idea is that white follows up with c3 and then d4. Hitting in the center, queen b3 will often come next, so you're on the diagonal with the bishop. I really like this idea. If I were to play e4, this is something I would look into. But if you play e4 now and if you do play the Juoko piano, which a lot of people do, it's my understanding that it's seeing a resurgence. I think I mean I don't pay too much attention to e4. I feel a little bit what do they call that? Imposter syndrome Like I don't deserve to be talking about this. Check me out talking about e4 theory. Anyway, after b4, again black generally goes. Bishop takes b4 and then you're following up with c3, d4, and then usually queen b3. Really nice idea. White gets very active pieces and all he's giving up is a pawn. I kind of like this structure for white. Like I said, if I were to look into playing e4, which I probably won't, but this is definitely an opening that I think is worthy of a look. If you are an e4 player and you do play the Italian game, check out the Evans Gambit. To wrap this up, I did want to mix it up a little bit this week and look at some of these unconventional off-book ideas. In the right circumstances, when used sparingly, these can be very, very effective openings. They're definitely great for your five minute games online any type of blitz or bullet game but even in classical OTB time controls they can work really well for you in the right circumstances. But again, I do believe that generally you should stick with solid openings. You should stick with the same repertoire. I think that's going to keep you in good stead for a long time. But I know Chris and others who listen these openings and they're interested in them and they're going to get the itch to kind of mix it up once in a while. So my recommendation would be unless you really excel at these types of positions, use them sparingly, use them judiciously. But they can be very, very effective in tricking your opponent. And again, this was not an exhaustive list. I'm sure many of you are thinking, oh, I can't believe you didn't mention this opening, or I can't believe you didn't mention that. I just kind of wanted to give a brief overview to get you started. And again, if any of these sort of pique your interest, you can just go on YouTube or online and there's plenty of material. There's probably more videos on these openings than you'll ever have time to watch, so you can check those out. Some ideas that you can use alongside your regular repertoire as an occasional surprise weapon, and you may be able to throw your opponent off guard and get a nice win that maybe you normally wouldn't have. So again, my advice to you with these openings use them sparingly and use them judiciously. I wish you the best of luck. I hope you had fun with this episode and, as always, I hope you win your next game. Have a great day, everybody.