Dec 22, 2017, 11:33 AM
Today, I decided to settle once and for all the reasons I play 1. d4 over 1. e4.
Before I begin, I do want to note that my intention is not to make the case why 1. d4 is a better move than 1. e4. I do not believe either move is superior to the other, as they say, the number of possible chess positions outnumbers the atoms of the universe, and the first move is only one move! d4 is simply the move I personally am more comfortable with.
Some cases just can't quite be solved, such as the first move.
As some of you may know, I have played 1. d4 throughout my whole chess career (well... I think I started playing e4, though as I became more competitive, I switched to 1. d4). I think I have only played 1. e4 twice in slow OTB tournament play (and I have a perfect score with it! ).
Without further ado, here are the reasons why I play Queen's pawn opening over King's pawn opening:
D4 LIMITS BLACK'S OPTIONS MORESO THAN E4 DOES
Think about it. When White plays 1. e4, what can Black play? Sicilian? French? Pirc? Scandinavian? Caro Kann? You name it! In the event that White plays 1. d4, Black is simply short of intricate options. In fact, Black only has a couple of customary replies to 1. d4:
Black can also play the Benoni
(1. d4, Nf6 2. c4, c5), though White can continue with normal moves like d5, followed by Nc3 and e4. The Benoni (namely the Benko Gambit) is probably the most complex refutation for Black, and since I am often too lazy to study opening lines, I tend to struggle against the Benoni because I don't know much theory!
But in truth, the Benoni is not characteristically the best reply to 1. d4.
White benefits from keeping it simple with 1. d4.
D4 GENERALLY GIVES WHITE A SPACE EDGE AND FLUID DEVELOPMENT
1. d4 simply has the benefit, unlike e4, that White generally walks away with a space edge and a development lead.
In the above position, I am not trying to persuade you that this opening is bad for Black, or is a win for White, though you do simply see that White has much more control of the board while Black is somewhat meek in the center.
I will also note that 1. d4, d5 may be the hardest reply for White to gain a space edge, though he often has a smoother developing time than Black does.
You can also see in the above position that Black is slightly passive. His light-squared Bishop is locked in, and the Knight does not want to perch on c6 because a c5 break is imminent.
WHILE WHITE GENERALLY ATTACKS ON THE QUEENSIDE, WHITE CAN CALL SHOTS ON THE KINDSIDE AS WELL
That sentence basically sums it up. I will note that generally, 1. d4 has aggressive intentions on the Queenside over Kingside. I would encourage the reader to check out my old blog series of you have not already on aggressive Queenside play:
Though, due to White's spacial edge, he often has opportunities to play aggressively on the Queenside. Here is a recent tournament game of mine. Even though my opponent blundered a piece early and my opponent did not put up the best fight since my attack on the Kingside was vicious:
WHILE BLACK IS LIMITED TO OPTIONS, WHITE HAS MANY WAYS HE CAN PLAY
The most common way to play is playing c4 on move 2 and developing normally. However, White has many options, including the London System.
And many more! If you are White, chose what suits you best!
I hope you enjoyed reading. Feel free to discuss and debate in the comments section!
Until next time, thanks for stopping by, and happy holidays!
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