Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 28 Feb '14 16:37 / 1 edit
    The 1.b4 thread got me to thinking why not 1.b4 for 1.b3 players. I can see several advantages for 1.b4 over 1.b3 and not a single reason why 1.b3 is better.

    The most obvious advantage to 1.b4 is that it actually puts some sort of pressure on black by taking away c5. Attacking one of the less important central squares is better than attacking no central square. Another obvious advantage is that white is claiming more space.

    The other advantage has to do with white's white bishop which is usually played to b5 after black plays his knight to c6. After white plays Bb5 black can logically play a6. If you play 1.b3 then you either need to retreat your white bishop and lose tempo or trade your bishop for the knight and give up the bishop pair. If you play 1.b4 then you can simply retreat your bishop to a4 since the b pawn is no longer trapping your bishop since it is on b4 and not b3.

    Of course b4 throws out the obvious bait that if someone is being totally ignorant would give you black's rook.

    Quick bait, more flexibility for the white bishop, additional space and actual pressure on central squares all seem to make 1.b4 a better move than 1.b3.

    Your thoughts other than don't play either at all 😀
  2. 28 Feb '14 19:15 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Eladar
    The 1.b4 thread got me to thinking why not 1.b4 for 1.b3 players. I can see several advantages for 1.b4 over 1.b3 and not a single reason why 1.b3 is better.

    The most obvious advantage to 1.b4 is that it actually puts some sort of pressure on black by taking away c5. Attacking one of the less important central squares is better than attacking no central ...[text shortened]... to make 1.b4 a better move than 1.b3.

    Your thoughts other than don't play either at all 😀
    Why play 1.b3 in the first place if you are worried about contesting the center immediately? The point of 1.b3 is to let black occupy the center with pawns and then attack them.

    Also, getting your bishop kicked in said position by ...a6 isn't bad as I would assume black will want to play a5-a4 later so you aren't really losing a tempo.

    So I would say an advantage to b3, other than a more solid pawn structure, is that you can still play b4 later if you want to contest the center that way.

    Edit: In short they are two different moves that lead to two different types of games for white and you can make an argument for either as I have never seen someone lose because of the first move
  3. 28 Feb '14 19:42
    I play 1.b3 so that I can put my bishop on b2 and hopefully get good attacking chances. 😀
  4. 01 Mar '14 13:23
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I play 1.b3 so that I can put my bishop on b2 and hopefully get good attacking chances. 😀
    With 1 b4 you can also play Bb2 and attack.
  5. 01 Mar '14 16:42
    Originally posted by Linden Lyons
    With 1 b4 you can also play Bb2 and attack.
    Yes I know. From what I can see b4 fixes some of the problems I've experienced with 1.b3.
  6. 01 Mar '14 16:47 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by MISTER CHESS
    Why play 1.b3 in the first place if you are worried about contesting the center immediately? The point of 1.b3 is to let black occupy the center with pawns and then attack them.

    Also, getting your bishop kicked in said position by ...a6 isn't bad as I would assume black will want to play a5-a4 later so you aren't really losing a tempo.

    So I would ...[text shortened]... you can make an argument for either as I have never seen someone lose because of the first move
    I'm not so sure about b3 giving you a more solid pawn structure. After playing a3 white now uses pawns to control the a3 diagonal on the queen side and bishop to control the a1 diagonal. The bishop supports the a3 pawn freeing up the a1 rook to move to more central file.

    I do agree that the first move really isn't that important in the outcome of the game. I'm just trying to discuss the inherent strengths and weaknesses of playing the two moves.
  7. 08 Mar '14 01:14
    b4 puts pressure on c5 but its really hard to put a knight on c6, because of b5.

    In this game white goes for a dark square strategy right away and the b pawn push to b5 further promotes that idea.

    B3 is a bit has a bit more flex to it. And does not force ones hand on either side keeping with the hyper modern strategy.
  8. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    08 Mar '14 02:35
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I'm not so sure about b3 giving you a more solid pawn structure. After playing a3 white now uses pawns to control the a3 diagonal on the queen side and bishop to control the a1 diagonal. The bishop supports the a3 pawn freeing up the a1 rook to move to more central file.

    I do agree that the first move really isn't that important in the outcome of the game. I'm just trying to discuss the inherent strengths and weaknesses of playing the two moves.
    After 1. b4 e5 2 Bb2 black cannot both defend e5 and attack b4 (2. ... d6 blocks the bishop and 2. ... Nc6 fails to 3. b5), so is an early a3 needed? It may be better to give black some hope of taking it in the hope it acts as a distraction.