Battling With The Birds

May 29, 2009, 12:00 AM |
9 | Opening Theory

Most players shun the awkward-looking move 1. f4. "How rediculous!" they cry. "You are revealing your king to a deadly attack by the queen! You shall be crushed to a pulp for your insolence! You shall bow down to my superior knowledge of the opening phase!" You get the picture. However, these people couldn't be more wrong. Black can do little more than grab equality from 1. f4. Today, we will look at the mainline of the Bird's Opening, and observe some masters at work.

NOTE: Yes, there is analysis in this game. It starts at black's sixth move.
















The Bird's Opening is an excellent opening, for three reasons. Firstly, with accurate play black can only reach a drawn position- a key factor for deciding if an opening is any good. Secondly, slight inaccuracies by black (and there will be many!) lead to pressing positional advantages, as was seen in this game, which can hopefully be converted into a win.

The final reason is that if you play f4, there is very, very little theory. It's not like e4, where your opponent can throw you into a French, Sicilian, Caro-Kann etc. - the same goes for d4. All you need is a little studying and you'll be much more clued up than your opponents.

As there is little theory on the Bird's, you won't find many books on it. The best book out there for this opening is Bird's Opening- Detailed Coverage Of An Underrated And Dynamic Opening For White. Credit to this book for providing much of the analysis used in this article. I hope, through this article and perhaps trying out one or two games for yourself, you see the light, purchase the book and get out there to win some tournament games!