Black's reply to e4

May 20, 2014, 9:00 PM |

How does Black reply to e4?

Looking at statistics from a couple of databases of opening moves, one finds conflicting information. says one thing. says another.

If we go by the statistics of which side won the game, it seems pretty obvious that e5 is not the best reply, however. gives a 6% advantage to White (including ½ point for draws). gives a whopping 15.3% advantage to White when Black plays e5! Based on these 2 databases, I would suggest playing something other than e5.

Another candidate move for Black is, of course, c5.

I would give c5 a very qualified yes. That is, it could be a good move, but only if you know what you are doing. The game never ends on the first move, of course. gives White only a 2% advantage if Black plays c5.

365.chess, on the other hand, gives White a 6.3% advantage. They claim that g6 is slightly better, with only a 6.1% advantage for White. claims that Nc6 is the best move, with a 0% advantage for White. While I'm somewhat inclined to agree, it really depends on the next 20 to 30 or 40 moves (or more).

Still, I'm comfortable saying e5 is obviously not the best move for Black after e4!

I'm also comfortable saying that c5 is a dangerous move for Black that could possibly win the game (eventually).

Nc6 is unproven, in my own humble opinion, but well worth the gamble!

The same goes for g6!

I'm not talking about grandmaster level play, of course. Just the 1500-1600 range or so.

Please bear in mind that my own rating is in the mid 1500s....

There is no substitute for studying chess for yourself!

Tue 20 May 2014 10:45:16 PM CDT