Why play 1. b3?

yourChess

b3 is not played in a lot of games.For me analzying it will more difficult.Yes you are correct it developes an automatic attack on the king side.I believe that although this attack is strong, no body puts there queen in the corner without some initiative.Maybe the hopes are to make the king castle king side.This attack would take some practice to set up in order for it to work.

Scottrf

To rush the b pawn to b8 quickly and queen, b4 is too obvious though.

yourChess

e4 d4.In the beginning of the game that does not matter.What matters is putting your pieces in the center.Develop all your minor pieces in less than ten moves etc.Playing b4 is not neccesary because it is weak and will be a huge thingto counter on.If you had a passed pawn you would make it very obvious.You would protect it.Help it to advance.In the beginning of a game trying to get a passed pawn is totally useless.

BirdBrain

YourChess, in the opening phases of a move like 1. b3, White is not trying to squeeze advantage out of the move.  Instead, he is placing his queen bishop on the a1-h8 diagonal where it influences the center of the board, as well as Black's kingside.  From there, he has many approaches, but a popular one is to begin to undermine Black's center (that is, if he has created one).  Another popular approach is to immediately go for the Bird with 2. f4 to avoid From's Gambit lines.  



kwokman

This is one of my 2 main openings as white and black (1.b6) I usually play it to be flexible and develop behind the first three ranks so it's a patient game where I concede initiative and space in a wait n react approach. It's for slow games but there are also some early traps.

DrSpudnik
kwokman wrote:

This is one of my 2 main openings as white and black (1.b6) I usually play it to be flexible and develop behind the first three ranks so it's a patient game where I concede initiative and space in a wait n react approach. It's for slow games but there are also some early traps.

I played this garbage in 1978, it taught me how to defend in hopeless positions.

BirdBrain
DrSpudnik wrote:
kwokman wrote:

This is one of my 2 main openings as white and black (1.b6) I usually play it to be flexible and develop behind the first three ranks so it's a patient game where I concede initiative and space in a wait n react approach. It's for slow games but there are also some early traps.

I played this garbage in 1978, it taught me how to defend in hopeless positions.

Wow, I guess you know something that some strong GMs don't.  Thanks for sharing! 

DrSpudnik

1. b3 is OK but 1...b6 is awful, especially against e4. It does nothing and doesn't get you any more ready to castle at move 3 than you were at move 1.

BirdBrain

I thought that was what hypermodern openings like the Modern were about.  I am not saying it is a great opening, but there are far worse ones.  I would say it is okay - there are some really strong players who have played it against strong opposition.

Mandy711

+1 I would play b3 as white but never b6 as black. 1. b3 is better than 1. Nf3 IMO.

DrSpudnik wrote:

1. b3 is OK but 1...b6 is awful, especially against e4. It does nothing and doesn't get you any more ready to castle at move 3 than you were at move 1.

BirdBrain

Guys, 1...b6 is not a terrible move.  Perhaps you must exercise some patience, but it is by no means a losing move.  

This is a game that definitely demonstrated fighting spirit with the Black pieces.  I understand this thread is about 1. b3, but there are some similarities between the two.  Honestly, how many times do you see the Sicilian get battered quickly?  Just because something is mainstream doesn't mean it still isn't dangerous to handle...



Wantobegm

1.b3 is flexible opening system which can be altered according to ones need. I also play b3 as white g6 or b6 as black

here is some of my games with this opening

AS black now
I feel comfortable while playing this opening. It is very much flexible system. Just we have to try and make fianchetto active and it is done you have ok postion



user0719

BirdBrain, you could not have said things better. Flexiblity is indeed one of the main benefits of playing 1.b3 (Nimzo-Larsen Attack)! But also the trite-but-true concept of "taking the opponent into unfamiliar territory" cannot be discounted. I just had a quick look at my 950+ game Chessbase and found there were only 79 instances of 1.b3, but 77 of them were me! That means only about 2/875 times (less than 0.25% of the time) did someone else other than me play it. So very few players of the black pieces have ever encountered it. But here is the point: my average win rate accross the board in this set of almost 1,000 games was 28%. Make what you will of that stat since I am currently only about a 1000 ELO player at best, but on 1.b3 I won 33/77 games which is 43%! The closest runner-up in terms of my own success is the Accelerated Dragon (Sicilian) at 33%, so for me 1.b3 is, at least for now, where the better action is.

ergonjon

Hello! I wrote a blog on some interesting statistics from amateur players when playing 1.b3 in 'over the board' chess: https://thechessjournalblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/how-amateur-chess-players-respond-to-1-b3-larsens-attack/

Cherub_Enjel

I play b3 because the positions for white resulting are very easy to play. 

Reyth

The Zuketort is considered an "anti-KID" system and with the stonewall modification of d4, there is no problem with 1. ... g6 or g6 at any point.  Granted we don't have the free open diagonal for the instant mate but we do have additional support for the d4 and e5 squares until the diagonal opens up.

 

However we should all be aware of the following possible response from Black to 1. f4:

 

The flexible 1...Nf6 is also possible. Then if White plays 2.b3?! (2.Nf3 is safer), 2...d6! 3.Bb2?! (or 3.Nf3 e5! 4.fxe5 dxe5 5.Nxe5?? Qd4!) e5!, a sort of From's Gambit Deferred introduced by IM Michael Brooks, is dangerous for White, e.g. 4.fxe5 dxe5 5.Bxe5 Ng4! Then 6.Bb2 Bd6 "leaves White in huge trouble down the e1–h4 diagonal", and Black wins an exchange after 7.Nf3 Bxh2! 8.Rxh2 Nxh2. After the alternative 6.Bg3, 6...Qf6! (even better than 6...Bd6) 7.c3 (not 7.Nc3? Ne3! 8.dxe3 Bb4) Bd6 is strong for Black.[

(excerpt from Wikipedia)

 

darkunorthodox88

most 1.b3 players are delighted to see 1.e5 it gives them the fight they want. if they wanted to avoid 1...e5 so badly, he would just play 1.nf3 2.b3

darkunorthodox88
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Smositional

In Kukk - Carlsen, Carlsen played 1. ... a5! lol