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I have been looking at this opening for a little while now, and played it a few times with mixed results.
I thinks its surprize value alone, can often given you an advantage, especially if you have studied it thoroughly and your opponent gets obsessed with stop your Q-side expansion, going after the b-pawn etc.
I find it better then f4. (Bird's opening) and feel that is really shouldn't be classified as "Unorthodox" or "Irregular"
1. b4 is much like 1. b3 but a bit looser on the Q-side.
I played it for many years before computors came along, OTB, and used to get good games, however, I found playing against the following line was always difficult and eventually moved on to main line openings.I still play it here for a break but dont have any faith in it now.
I feel now I should have spent more time on main lines really, its a matter of choice I suppose and how serious we want to be about the game;
Good luck in your chess.
In a chess club I've been frequenting there was an elderly gentleman of perhaps 1800 (but he has seen better times) who opened every game with 1.b4. I used to crush him with white, but with black, facing 1.b4, our games were always hard fights.
But one day I adopted the line sirness posted above. The result was that after some games, the gentleman asked me: "Young man, can't you play something different?"
When in doubt play classical chess!
I like the Polish Opening (or known also as Orang-Utan or Solskly (forgot the spelling) Opening). However, i was told not to make it as my main opening but as a secret weapon & use it in the time of distress (keep it as an ace card). A top player told me this.
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