What is the most played opening among grandmasters?


Hello! I would like to know the most common opening played by grandmasters. Please tell me if you know.


This is basically unaswerable question because the term opening is very vague. For example some people might call the Sicilian defence (1. e4 c5) an opening. We might also call the Rossolimo Sicilian (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5) an opening. Obviously the first one will be more common than the latter. In general the earlier the said opening is reached the more common it will be.

Question like what is the most popular first move in GM practice during last 5 years can sensibly be answered by studying a chess database. Question 'what is the most popular opening' cannot unless we first agree on exact definition about what constitutes an opening.


It's not really that deep, it's a simple question.  

OP the answer is the queen's gambit and the Ruy lopez as white. the Nimzo-Indian and Morphy defence as black. 

If you go to and click on the moves you can see the frequency of each move/opening. 


Also Indian openings, like BId, QID and KID no?




Thank you to all of you, everyone will get a trophy for their help!happy.png


Ruy Lopez Berlin

probably the sicilian. it also seems like the grunfeld is really popular with gms

Today popular among Super GMs are

  • Berlin
  • Sicilian (Najdorf, Sveshnikov, Rossolimo)
  • Catalan
  • Nimzo/QGD
  • Grunfeld
FizzyBand wrote:

Today popular among Super GMs are

  • Berlin
  • Sicilian (Najdorf, Sveshnikov, Rossolimo)
  • Catalan
  • Nimzo/QGD
  • Grunfeld

Italian opening has also gained a lot of attention lately. Also Petroff because of Caruana I guess.




According to the lichess masters database the most common openings are the indian game and the sicilian. Granted, both openings (or families of openings) are reached on the first move giving them an unfair advantage over something like the italian which takes 3 moves to be reached however the most popular responses to e4 and d4 on the database are c5 and Nf6. If you want to get more specific I believe the most popular sicilian is the najdorf and the most popular indian is the nimzo. The ruy lopez/spanish probably takes third place with the morphy and berlin defenses being popular variations but there are many more openings that are popular among grandmasters.


Queen's gambit




sicilain queen gambit and ruy lopez


At Yekaterinburg Candidates:
10 Ruy Lopez
8 Sicilian
6 French
6 English
5 Grünfeld
4 Italian

I’m please to see the English is on the list, my fave opening.

Not surprising that the Sicilian is on the list.

Thanks for the post @tygxc