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  1. 15 Mar '10 22:28
    It is fact that 1. e4 and 1. d4 are roughly equally popular.
    In the higher level of play, 1. d4 is slightly more popular, and at the club level 1. e4 is slightly more popular.
    No matter how you look at it, and no matter which one you prefer, they are both the 2 most popular opening moves.
    why is it, then, that 1. e4 comes with a lot more opening theory than 1. d4?
    With 1. e4 you have theory for King's Gambits, French Defenses, Caro-Kann Defenses, Ruy Lopezes, and of course the Sicilian Defense (which alone probably has more theory than all 1. d4 openings combined) plus several others (including the Pirc and Petroff Defenses). Why is this? why are 1. d4 openings less theoretical than 1. e4 ones?
  2. Standard member clandarkfire
    Grammar Nazi
    15 Mar '10 22:53
    Because people who play 1.d4 are lazy in general, and aren't willing to spend time analysing different openings.
  3. 16 Mar '10 00:11
    Originally posted by Big Orange Country
    It is fact that 1. e4 and 1. d4 are roughly equally popular.
    In the higher level of play, 1. d4 is slightly more popular, and at the club level 1. e4 is slightly more popular.
    No matter how you look at it, and no matter which one you prefer, they are both the 2 most popular opening moves.
    why is it, then, that 1. e4 comes with a lot more openin ...[text shortened]... c and Petroff Defenses). Why is this? why are 1. d4 openings less theoretical than 1. e4 ones?
    I have also wondered this, hopefully someone shall reply. Is there less theory to 1.d4 than 1.e4?
  4. 16 Mar '10 00:17
    Originally posted by clandarkfire
    Because people who play 1.d4 are lazy in general, and aren't willing to spend time analysing different openings.
    That was insightful, thanks.
  5. 16 Mar '10 00:29
    Originally posted by clandarkfire
    Because people who play 1.d4 are lazy in general, and aren't willing to spend time analysing different openings.
    There is more theory on e4 openings, i'm guessing, because its more tactical and correct positional moves don't take the cake unlike most d4 openings where in top level play positional considerations are more important.
  6. 16 Mar '10 00:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    There is more theory on e4 openings, i'm guessing, because its more tactical and correct positional moves don't take the cake unlike most d4 openings where in top level play positional considerations are more important.
    i dunno, my friend told me that there are about eighteen systems that he needs to know when he plays 1.d4, think of all the Kings Indians and Benonis and Queen Gambits, and Slavs there must be zillions of them.
  7. Standard member peacedog
    Highlander
    16 Mar '10 00:42
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    There is more theory on e4 openings, i'm guessing, because its more tactical and correct positional moves don't take the cake unlike most d4 openings where in top level play positional considerations are more important.
    Yeh, epawn openings are usually more tactical in nature so it helps to know concrete lines to avoid traps. dpawn opening often are quiet so things like move order are less important.

    Also d4 opening only became popular with grandmasters in the 20th century. e4 was by far the most played before then.
  8. 16 Mar '10 06:19 / 1 edit
    There is a boatload of theory for both moves. For one thing, are you ignoring all the d4 systems that don't have a c4? Add to that the QGD, KID, and QI/NI (and so on) trees that are huge. Theory is not just 5 moves that get you to a "named" opening. It is really about kinds of positions. Many e-pawn systems (despite starting differently and having different names) lead to similar positions. How many French positions are there? Many fewer than the KID. I suspect that since e4 was studied first it naturally received more names. But think about the d-pawn possibilities that don't start with d4, the nuances are endless. Transpositions are rampant on the Q-side. My advice is don't be narrow-minded, play everything. You only live once and any understanding is precious.
  9. 16 Mar '10 13:44
    I know I play d4 because it feels like I need to know less theory. I am not sure that the theory is less, but failing to follow a book move tends to give away smaller advantages so there are greater chances to recover.
  10. 16 Mar '10 14:29
    I dont think e4 has more theory than d4, kings indian, grunfeld, nimzo are all very theory heavy openings. I think top players play d4 more often because it leaves more room for complication, while e4 can get very stale very fast. That and of course the Petroff

    And club players play e4 more often because it often leads to open piece play and lots of tactics.
  11. 16 Mar '10 15:14
    HI.

    Quick list of main openings.

    (Because I am at work and am trying to look busy.)

    Not listing side shows like 1.b3 and The Grob etc.

    after you play 1.e4 you may face a choice of 14 dedicated
    Black openings. marked (B).

    That is openings that have a fair amount of theory attached
    to them that the Black player can steer you down.
    Openings that the White player cannot force.

    After 1.d4 Black can invite you into 9 main openings.

    Of course there are grey areas like the French and the Modern.

    Also in the 1.e4 e5 opening The Bishop's 2 & 3 Knights and Italian
    can often mingle together crossing into each other and back out again.

    But I tried to stay with regular openings that do give the game
    a particular flavour or theme.

    Owens Defence (1...b6) and Miles (1...a6) are also felxible
    but I'm classing them as rare based on my experience as a 1.e4 player.

    I'd say theory wise the top 3 most analysed openings are

    The Sicilian
    The Lopez
    The King's Indian.

    The lazy man's opening rep must 1.g3 as White and 1...g6 as Black.

    King's Pawn 1.e4 e5

    Center Game
    Bishop's Opening
    Vienna
    King's Gambit
    Philidor (B)
    Petrov (B)
    Danish Gambit
    Ponziani
    Scotch
    Three Knights (B)
    Four Knights (B)
    Italian (4.c3)
    Two Knights (B)
    Ruy Lopez
    Latvian (B)

    Others Usually associated with 1.e4
    (all Black choice)

    Alekhine
    Pirc
    Caro-Kann
    Sicilian
    Nimzovich (1...Nc6)
    French
    Scandinavian
    Modern

    1.d4

    Stonewall
    Trompowsky
    Colle
    Queen's Gambit
    Grünfeld (B)
    Catalan
    Benoni (B)
    Kings's Indian (B)
    Queen's Indian (B)
    Budapest (B)
    Dutch (B)
    Nimzo Indian (B)
    Chigorin(B)
    Alapin(B)

    Neither 1.e4 or 1.d4

    Bird
    Réti
    English
    1.g3
  12. Subscriber jb70
    State of Confusion
    16 Mar '10 15:46
    Batsford Chess Openings (Kasparov and Keene 1993) devotes 179 pages to d4 openings and 184 pages to e4 openings.
  13. 16 Mar '10 17:29
    I think Peacedog said it best, E4 is just an older opening and more popular historically.
  14. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    17 Mar '10 00:20
    I don't believe the premise is true. In Gligoric's book on the Nimzo-Indian Defense, he names more variations than exist in the French and Caro Kann combined, I think. And don't even get started on the Slav!
  15. 17 Mar '10 00:35
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I don't believe the premise is true. In Gligoric's book on the Nimzo-Indian Defense, he names more variations than exist in the French and Caro Kann combined, I think. And don't even get started on the Slav!
    but surely the slav and nimzo-indian pale in comparison to the volume of theory wrapped up in the Sicilian alone?