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I'm considereing plaing 1.a3 because I'm finding that I enjoy my openings that I use with Black, but don't enjoy openings as White. I'm considering playing 1.a3 so that if Black plays 1...e5, then I can play the Reversed French Defense with 2.e3 (that's my favorite response, very few people at the club level know how to play against the French properly), and if I...d5, then I can play my Reversed Benko Gambit with 2.Nf3.
Does this sound like a bad idea or a good idea.
White against 1...e5:
White against 1...d5:
Not a bad idea, if you feel more comfortable with your black openings than with the white ones.
But it would be better to have a good arsenal of white openings, because with 1.a3 you gave away the advantage of doing the first move.
When I've experimented with 1.a3 much of the time my opponent will make an equally obnoxious move like 1... h3. I never get into the reversed openings I was hoping for. I like the concept, but in practice it never seems to work how I want.
1. a3 a6 2. h3 h6 3. White resigns!
Why should Black response with 1...h6?
Maybe someone is doing this, but most players respond with e5,d5,c5 or maybe Nf6 or Nc6, but not h6!
They shouldn't play 1. ..h6, but that's the kind of garbage that happens to me when I play 1. a3.
So what I'm asking is that is it a good idea, or is it dubious and not a good idea?
It's all fine, but most players are much stronger with white and tries to draw when black, you're kinda giving them the chance to equalise early.
But it's playable. A passing move + making sure that bishop doesn't pin your knight. Many lines involve such moves, anyway.
While 1.a3 is pretty certainly better than 95% of the crappy gambits some white players are employing, you'd better try something more ambitious.
I have tried to make sense of what the first move of white should be.
I arrived at the conclusion that objectively apart from e4 and d4 no other move make sense. There is nothing that the other moves achieve which can't be achieved by e4 or d4 but they have drawbacks compared to e4 and d4.
I think the only decision you have to make is whether to play e4 (open game) or d4 (closed game) on the first move.
What's wrong with 1.a3?
Thats bad luck for you, but it happens :-)
I would then continue to play "normal" moves...when 1...h6 doesnt make any sense.
The move a3 simply gives black a chance to develop at will. Pressure on black is released. The fact that black can't any longer put a bishop on b4 is not enough compensation for this since there are several other good ways for black to develop.
My favourite example is c4. What does c4 achieve? It allows the b-knight to be developed behind a pawn. Good! But it also allows black to play e5 right away without the difficulties apparent in Ruy Lopez or the Italian game for example. Which side is better off here? I think clearly black.
What is wrong with playing the white pieces as black. That is what a3 does. It basically makes white, black. What is wrong with that? I like pkaying black more. I have a better repertoire like the french and the benko. I do not see anything wrong with playing white as black. Even a computer engine says that white only loses by a little more than a third of a pawn as far as scoring goes. It says about 0.35 uf i play a normal ruy lopez and about 0 if i play a3. Not bad.
c4 takes the center... it is the opening in which white attack the center from the flanks; the purpose is not that the knight can be developed behind a pawn :)
I'm not being unabitious. Ambitious means willing to succeed. The French Defense usually assures Black at least equality, unless White plays a pawn sacrifice variation in the Tarrasch with Nf3. Many times, since people are so bad at playing the French, Black will get at an advantage. So, by playing 1...a3, I'm going into an opening in which I know there's pretty much a certain chance of equality and more likely an advantage. This means I'm willing to succeed. Which means I'm being ambitious by playing 1.a3.
If Black plays 1...d5, not a problem either. I'll just play the Benko Gambit Reversed +1 tempo. In the Benko Gambit Reversed, White has clear compensation. The Benko Gambit is a fighting opening on the queen side. Sounds pretty abitious to me.
Don't judge the first move and make assumptions. And I know you're supposed to take control of the center, and in both the French and Benko Reversed, White starts doing that the next move...
I know you're supposed to play in the center until the center closes off. Then wing activity begins. So both openings are fighting for the center and are ambitious.
I don't see the problem here with 1.a3.
c4 is my 2nd opening repetoire for white
there is alot of information on it here should you be interested http://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-openings/need-help-with-1a3-repertoire
well i have played the french from time to time and most people play the exchange variation which can be quite dull. are you sure you want to use your white games playing the "black" side of the exchangevariation? because a3 its just a loss of tempo
It's not a bad move in the sense that Black is suddenly better. It's still just an even game, but White has hurt his chances to push for an advantage in the opening by spending his first turn on an inconsequential move. It doesn't occupy the center, develop a piece or make development of another piece possible, or pressure Black at all.
White isn't such a big head start in the game. If you mess around, Black is right there with you - and maybe passing if you dawdle.
both sides aren't arguing it right:
a3 is not a complete waste of tempo, but on the other hand a3 is clearly inferior to d4/c4/nf3/e4.
the position is equal since a3 is a half-useful move.
the only way to prove a3 is a(n?) useless move is to play g6, which tries to show white's q-side weakness.
i agree that 1.a3 isnt completely wasted and i sometimes play 1.a3 myself as you see in the link i posted to my big thread on 1.a3 but the OP said that he played 1.a3 to make black play 1...e5 and then he wants to go 2.e3 and play the french defence reversed. in that case i think 1.a3 is pretty much a lost tempo