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2. f4

  • #1

    A couple months ago, I switched back to using 1. e4. Against 1... e5, I normally play Ruy Lopez and I win most of my games with it. Every once in a while I'll play King's Gambit (2. f4) and I also win most of my games with this. 

    However, I am fairly weak against other black responses. I have for some time now been looking for variations in many openings that will hopefully lead me to victory at least half of the time. However, I don't have the time to study every single variation of every single opening to see which one is the best. That's why I've come up with a solution that I hope will work.

    My solution is to play 1. e4 1... ANY 2. f4. This is an aggressive move that takes control of the center and is very helpful for future kingside attacks. So far I have only used this move against computers (with more success than playing what I normally do), but I'd like to try it against real people. If you are skilled at one of the following openings, please challenge me to a game in that opening (I'm white. You can choose whether it's rated or unrated. Time Control 3 Days/Move). I will use 2. f4 against the opening.

    Sicilian Defense (1... c5)

    French Defense (1... e6)

    Pirc Defense (1... d6)

    Caro-Kann (1... c6)

    Owen's Defense (1... b6)

    Modern Defense (1... g6)

    Nimzowitsch Defense (1... Nc6)

    EDIT: King Pawn Game (1... e5)

  • #2

    2 f4 is not considered at accurate against 1.....c5 because of 2....d5 and Black is OK

  • #3

    But you won't play f4 against e5?  Cmon! :P

  • #4

    aansel: Black can become OK no matter what white does. If you're so sure of your 2... d5 why don't you play me a game 1. e4 c5 2. f4 d5?

    KillaBeez: Sorry, but I already have enough experience with 1. e4 e5 2. f4 and I don't need a practice game to learn if it's a decent move. However, I would enjoy a game of 1. e4 e5 2. f4 so challenge me if you wish to play.

    EDIT: I have edited the first post so that people may challenge me with 1... e5.

  • #5

    More specifically...

    1 e4 c5 2 f4 is characteristic of the Grand Prix Attack (GPA) against the Sicilian. Aansel, above, is correct in noting that there are challenges associated with the move order 2 f4 d5, specifically if white ventures to take the pawn. The gambit line 3 exd5 Nf6 scores well for black, as it is very difficult for white to defend the pawn in any elegant way.

    As a consequence, players wishing to play f4 as part of the GPA often use the move order 1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 (which prevents an immediate ...d5) and then, after what's often ...d6 or ...Nc6, you may proceed with f4.

    On a side note, there are many lines of the Ruy Lopez that involve a white f4 in the early middlegame.

  • #6

    DimKnight's has expanded upon thoughts. 2 Nc3 is the correct move order. It can be following by f4, Nc3 and either Bc4 or Bb5. Another line I use is with g3 and Bg2 in this line as White.

    I am not playing any new games until my existing tournaments end. I only playing Chess960 for now. Besides which my playing 2...d5 against you will not prove a whole lot.

  • #7

    I am not trying to prove anything. I am simply trying to see if 2. f4 will give me good results and if I am comfortable with the positions that come from it.

    BTW I play 3. e5 against 2... d5. Let me know if there is something wrong with this.

  • #8

    I don't know, but I would like to try it.

  • #9

    Your closed Sicilian needs some patching up, I'd say aansel :p

  • #10

    Thanks marvellositySmile. I will be more prepared next time--but unless i am playing 2400 strength players I am happy with itCool

  • #11
    RainbowRising wrote:

    who plays 2. f4 Vs the Caro Kann?????

    Nigel Short, on one occasion:

  • #12

    Will everyone please stop criticizing this move and challenge me to a game with it? Saying that something is bad doesn't make it so. I want proof about whether it's good or bad. Who is going to challenge me to a rated (or unrated if you're scared to lose to my bad "move") game so that I can have at least some proof of whether this is truly a bad opening move.

  • #13
    RainbowRising wrote:

    What was that, a blitz game? e4 c6 f4 isn't even book as far as I am aware


  • #14
    RainbowRising wrote:

    What was that, a blitz game? e4 c6 f4 isn't even book as far as I am aware

    Based on what I was able to find about similar tournaments (such as http://www.chess.com/event/view/2007-isle-of-man-international ), it appears it's a long time control: 40/2 20/1 SD/1.

    But just because something isn't "book" doesn't mean it's not playable. I have 680 instances of 1 e4 c6 2 f4 in my database (286+ 264- 130=), including essays by such players as Short, Akopian, Ehlvest, and McShane. "Experimental" is probably the right word.

  • #15

    Why does one need to play ANY games to determine the soundness of a move choice at move 2? There are myriad games in databases between players far stronger than 99.5% of the players here. Two pieces of data give you all you need to know about soundness: a) the number of games played, and b) the ratings-adjusted scoring percentage for the side you're taking (ChessBase calculates this automatically for you). Limit the games examined to those between masters or better. Better yet, limit them to 2400+ players.

    Now, an entirely different question would be: would I enjoy playing it after I spent the time learning an opening? This is a personal experience which does not show up in a quantitative way from an examination of games. But you can get a feel for it by looking at the middlegames and endgames that arise from that opening and gauging you comfort with what you see there. Of course, at 1200-1600 ratings level, any such evaluation would be highly subjective.

  • #16


    I'll play you 1 e4 d6 2. f4 in Pirc, but it's likely to transpose back into regular Pirc lines with f4, mainly the Austrian attack 1 e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc6 g6 4 f4 Bg7

  • #17
    dsachs wrote:


    I'll play you 1 e4 d6 2. f4 in Pirc, but it's likely to transpose back into regular Pirc lines with f4, mainly the Austrian attack 1 e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc6 g6 4 f4 Bg7

    Black also has the better option imo of 1.e4 d6 2.f4 d5!?. After 3.exd5 Nf6, White's f2-f4 looks like a wasted move. Also, after 1.e4 Nf6 you can't play 2.f4 either.
  • #18

    Let's face it: you want to play f4 everytime because it looks cool and because you can get "kingside attacks". And against slow fianchetto systems it will work, but you'll probably end up playing d4 as well if your opponent allows you to. And in the sicilian 2 f4 is rather illogical because of the strong 2...d5 and black is much better than ok.

  • #19

    I want to play 2. f4 not because it's cool, but because I have had several successfull games against computers (even in Sicilian with 2... d5).

  • #20

    I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier, but I meet 2 f4 against the French fairly frequently (in blitz, at any rate). I suspect it's used as a kind of anti-French, but with a little work you can often find yourself in very familiar positions. An example line:

    I was somewhat gratified to see a master-level player I know using the same approach against 1 e4 e6 2 f4, though this is not really evidence of any kind.

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