1. e4 vs 1. d4

shotokun16 wrote:
aadaam wrote:

For rubbishy amateur players like myself 1.d4 has a tendency to produce tame, boring games; bits develop onto better squares, bits get swapped off with no harm done, nothing happens. 1.e4 gives you more chance of an exciting game; you're drawn into a 'situation' which only one player will survive.

Are you kidding me 1.d4? Is one of a kind. Ever see Magnus Carlsen's games and his novelty openenings? Queen pawn openings are amazing.  I've played queen openings for a year or so, i avoided e4 due to the majority.  But i managed to defeat some strong player rated in the 1600s USCF with queen pawn.  Defeated a 1200 on USCF quick by using the queen opening.  The queen (1.d4) opening can be deadly.

 well a tend to agree that e4 is better for beginners as their tends to be more obvious basic strategies. i do however now play d4 as it seems more defensively sound as well as providing many attacking options - though some which i would have not seen in my early playing days. when i originally played d4 for instance it would be boring as i wouldn't have immediate ideas for mounting an attack. so e4 for beginners always... and if you feel the need to move onto playing d4 as i have; best to check out some basic opening strategies first.

... and in response to these two posts i am agreeing with the first considering it states that it is better for trashy players as otherwise it can get boring. While the second post mentions that Magnus Carlsen shows it would not be boring. OK well I don't no who this Magnus Carlsen guy is, but I'm sure he's no trashy player.
So in all seriousness as quoted from shotokun16 'Are you kidding me'???


I take advantage of this topic to expose my problem :D:

I played a lot with 1. f4, then i moved to 1. c4 because I thought f4 lies to inferior position. Now I don't like 1. c4 because I think it gives to the black too much freedom and the game may result a bit too slow.

I'm just going to choose one from 1.e4 and 1. d4 to become Candidate Master before the next december (or I hope to :P).

I never played both, and I'm a bit scared about 1. e4 because the black can choose the systems and I have not experience.

I think 1. d4 has not so much theory but i think that too close games bore me.

I like semi-open games, I usually play Kan or Scheveningen Sicilian against 1. e4 and Benko gambit against 1. d4

So.. what should I choose?


I think there is a popular misconception about 1 e4 and 1 d4 . The misconception is that e4 leads more to tactical games and d4 leads more to positional games. One of the most popular 1e4 openings is the Ruy Lopez ( Spanish ) and it is very positional in nature with its long maneuvers and vast amounts of theory in several lines. I believe either opening can lead to positional struggles or tactical slug fests , depending on the lines chosen and the choices of the players involved. Some choose 1d4 in the belief that there is less theory to learn than when playing 1 d4. I am not sure this is valid either. There may be more theory in the various sicilians than any other opening but with 1d4 you will face a larger number of openings I believe given the popularity of the sicilian. You may face queens gambits declined and accepted, or slav and semi-slav , then there are tha various "indian" defences as well as the gruenfeld. If you dont like playing against sicilians or dont score well against them then the choice is much simpler as you shouldnt play 1e4 . Smile


1.e4 vs 1.d4?

If you want an expert answer to the question of which is objectively better, take a note from IM John Watson, who's short answer is "... it depends upon the preferences of the individual player." As to what the best players play, he reminds us that the data will drift with the fashion: e4 in some eras, d4 in others. When a particular Black defense stymies White's e4 assertions, fashion will drift to d4 - and vice versa. Watson suggests that the average player - and the 'ordinary' master - shouldn't worry about this fashion and that plenty opportunity will abound in either direction.

I'll add my own note here. If one is playing in a local club with a limited number of players, openings can become an interesting issue. If 15 of the 20 players in the club play the Sicilian Defense to White's 1.e4 and YOU can't stand running into that, selection of one's opening choice may be paramount. Still, if you want to get better at the game, you can't run away from every Black defense that intimidates you. Heck, I dread ANY Black defense in the hands of an expert in THAT defense.

Again, if you're getting killed by missing obscure tactical shots in the first 15 moves of a wide-open King's pawn game, opting for 1.d4 has its allure. However, if you want to improve your tactical savvy unencumbered by too many positional implications, take out your 1.e4 weapon and have at it. Don't look at the scores and outcomes but at the measure of your decision-making. At least one school of chess teaching suggests that you approach learning the game in the roughly the same order as the Western world developed the openings. That would be an emphasis on 1.e4 first.

I don't take my own advice very often, so I've swapped from 1.e4 to 1.d4 and back again so many times my head swims. Currently, I'm taking my lumps playing 1.e4. (Dang, all those Sicilians!)

--- DrawMaster


I've been a c4 player for quite awhile now but the positions are really starting to bore me. As such I am formulating a d4 repertoire as we speak, with much more aggressive and theoretical variation choices!

Go d4!


I think the misconception behind 1d4 being boring is that the games take longer. I've played the Ruy Lopez and realized that I was in a losing position after 13 moves.

In e4 openings, you worry about about tactics first ending with a decent position. In d4 openings you worry about position first ending with good tactical opportunities. In d4 a mistake won't lead to an immediate loss of a piece, but it could lead to a knight invasion giving the other player a strong attack.


Winning and losing positions, or just losing positions after 13 moves?


[Fischer] also gives his opinions on openings, mentioning that he "never opened with the queen's pawn - on principle" and that moving the king's pawn was "best by test". -- Wikipedia


American Champions Bobby Fischer, Steinitz and Morphy all liked 1. e4! I believe it promotes The most rapid development possible. In just 1 move White Occupys the Center with a pawn and releases the Queen and King's Bishop for Development! No other move does as much! If e4 is not played at move 1 it may require preparation to be played, as it isn't supported like the Queen's Pawn.

If you like an Open Game, with Tactical Combinations, then you should play e4!

If on the other hand you like a Quiet Positional Game, with Closed Positions then !.d4 is better suited for you!

For me I like Hand to Hand Combat! Most of my games are over at move 25. I do not care much for subtle positional movements behind Closed Pawn Chains. I would say e4forme!!


e4 or d4? Of course e4 is better! d4 is boring and closed.e4 is much more exciting and open. Masters play e4 more than d4.

Saccadic wrote:

[Fischer] also gives his opinions on openings, mentioning that he "never opened with the queen's pawn - on principle" and that moving the king's pawn was "best by test". -- Wikipedia

Fischer liked 1.e4 but he has played 1.d4 once along with many games where he played 1.b3, 1.f4 and even 1.b4.


Maybe grandmasters play e4 not because it is objectively superior move for everyone else but because they know their stuff and can handle the scores of e4 openings. Experts love to do what everyone else can't.

I'm a chess newb so the last thing I want to do is have to memorize scores of openings and tons of variations just on the sicilian just to play a decent e4 game.

I also like the idea of boring slow games because everyone else seems to hate them so much. :)


"1.d4 is the only move which controls three central squares. No other move controls more than two. For instance, 1.e4 controls 'd5' and 'f5' but 'e4' is occupied by white's pawn but the square itself is not protected. 1.d4 controls 'c5', 'e5', and the queen protects the pawn on 'd4'. Dr. Hans Berliner, in his book The System, used this logic to determine that 1.d4 is the correct first move for white."

Ref: Open Encyclopedia of Chess Openings - topic 1.12

But "If there are no forced wins in chess but numerous openings lead to forced draws, who can say one draw is better than another? Therefore there may well be multiple lines of 'perfect play.'"

Ref: OECO - topic 1.13


Losing an e4 game is like being shot in the head.

Losing a d4 game is contracting a terminal disease and dying a slow, painful death.


I play 1. e4 exclusively, but unfortunately this move suffers in matches. When you have to win with white nobody wants to face the Berlin Wall or Petroff.


Please save me reading this topic once again!


That reasoning is very superficial, and I don't think it can be taken seriously.

Although that could go for nearly all of the comments actually trying to figure out which one is the best move.


I have heard from a GM that you should only play d4 w/ a 2000+ rating


For those who think d4 is boring, PLAY MERAN


1.d4 seems more positional than tactical in its nature. 

1.e4 is vice versa