12568 Players currently online!
Man vs. Machine - good luck!
Turn-based games at any time!
Vote for the best move to win!
Do you have what it takes?
Sharpen your tactical vision!
Get advice and game insights!
Learn from top players & pros!
View millions of master games!
Your virtual chess coach!
Perfect your opening moves!
Test your skills vs. computer!
Find the right private coach!
Can you solve it each day?
Bring it all together!
Beginners, start here!
Make friends & play team games!
News from the world of chess!
Search all Chess.com members!
Find local clubs & events!
Who's the best of your friends?
Read what members are saying!
I am studying old chess games and want to be able to select certain openings. Is there any logic behind the ECO codes, or do you simply have to learn them all by heart?
Yes and no. The first letters are assigned based on certain criteria, after that it's pretty much memorizing the range of codes that cover a particular opening.
More logical schemes here Opening Names not ECO-friendly.
The ECO codes were a product of much thought and research. The logic behind them was somewhat based upon the fashions at the time of its design, but generally speaking it works pretty well.
A - includes all openings besides 1 e4 and 1 d4, but also certain openings after 1 d4, like the Benoni, Dutch, Trompowsky, and Budapest.
B - includes all semi-open games except the French, including Scandinavian, Alekhine, Modern/Pirc, Caro-Kann, and mostly the Sicilian.
C - includes the French, and mostly all 1 e4 e5 defenses.
D - includes all 1 d4 d5 openings, mostly Queen's Gambit, and the Grunfeld.
E - includes Catalan, Blumenfeld, Queen's Indian, Nimzoindian, and mostly the King's Indian.
The logic generally is that the further you go in a certain letter, the more specific and 'main line' the opening is.
For example, the Sicilian begins at B20 or 21 and you'd find moves such as
e4-c5a3 or b4 or Na3
in the first chapter and the Najdorf, arguably the absolute main line of the Sicilian, between B90 and B99.
You'd find opening moves such as 1. c3 in A00 (if it is included at all :) ). Of course, it would be somewhat silly to state that 1. d4 is more mainline than 1. e4, or 1. d4-Nf6 is more mainline than 1. d4-d5, so it is best if we don't think about why the five volumes are ordered in the way they are ordered. A is for 'flank openings' B and C for e4, D and E for d4, and that's the way it is.
Of course, what is absolute main line is not set in stone. For example I think Black doesn't like C99 (mainline Chigorin defence to the Ruy Lopez) very much nowadays and instead prefers the Breyer variation (C95?).
There's a book that cross references the ECO codes to the traditional `names'. Sorry I don't have it handy, but it's exactly what you could use. Also, if you can afford them, try to purchase a traditional opening book, such as NCO, Nunns Chess Openings, and also at least the one volume eco book by Informant. The complete set of Encyclopedias are awesome, but a little pricy.
I have downloaded the TWICfiles app, which I find quite useful at the moment. Perhaps I'll look into one of the books later on. Thx.
Grandmaster Ejected From Championship
by unique1234567890 a few minutes ago
Who is your favorite chess player.
by LaVieBelle 2 minutes ago
News Flash!! Sarcasm gets you banned.
by briansladovich 5 minutes ago
8/29/2014 - Rada - Kostal, Prague 1942
by markhunt89 11 minutes ago
Carlsen on Nakamura: "Inept"
by Spiffe 13 minutes ago
HURT/HEAL Opening 1st Moves #1
by soupram 23 minutes ago
My best games
by soheill1378 24 minutes ago
Titled get's rating automatically?
by Irontiger 27 minutes ago
Ashley's Million-dollar chess tourney - but bring your own clocks
by Irontiger 32 minutes ago
keyboard key for boldface
by chrka 33 minutes ago
Why Join | Chess Topics |
Help & Support |
© 2014 Chess.com
• Chess - English
We are working hard to make Chess.com available in over 70 languages. Check back over the year as we develop the technology to add more, and we will try our best to notify you when your language is ready for translating!