Why is it 1.f4?! not 1.f4!?

| 3 | Opening Theory

There are many things I don't understand in this world. One of them is why some people makes such a big fuss out of Paris Hilton (sorry Paris fans, but that is my truth). Another is why most people disregard 1.f4 so quickly, without even a glance.

I don't play 1.f4 that often now, but I had some experience with it, playing it in my local club in and out occasionally. And once you try it, it is actually stronger than the popularity suggests.

Even begginers will look at moving your king's bishop pawn two squares forward disapprovingly. "I get it, you are trying to lose," you'll sometimes hear them say. When you ask them the question why they think so, they'll only stare at you, as though there is are two noses on your head instead of one. Yet, I know that deep inside, they are actually secretly searching for an answer to a question which have no good one.

"Unless you want to lose, then you should do well to avoid that hideous move," chess coaches well tell you, but have they forgotten that the King's Gambit, Vienna Gambit, Grand Prix Attack, Dutch Defence and so many others which also push the king's bishop pawn two squares forward as well? Yet do you ever hear your coach ever be so rude about them? Furthermore, if Dutch have a good reputation, then surely playing it with an extra tempo should deserve a good one too?

Sure there are some disgrace to the name of Bird's in the past, but that's how we learn. Looking at the game in the right, surely, no one blunders like white in that game now do they? 

I know that is the sort of thing every beginner hope that their opponent will do, pushing the h pawn and then checkmating the white king, allowing them an easy game. Sorry to get your hopes up, but I doubt that's ever going to happen.

The game which Greco played as white was played in 1620! I will use it in order to conclude this argument.

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