Tuesday, March 29, 2005


What Do People Play These Days?

Remember the days when everyone played 1. e4 e5. ? No more, I say. Since I started playing chess again, I’ve played as white 47 times, enough to collate some statistics. 46 of these times I’ve played 1. e4. Knowing what people play can help to determine what openings to concentrate on. However, watching the grandmasters can be deceiving as they will play vastly different openings than club players.

As white, I’ve played against:
Sicilian (35%)
French (18%)
1…e5 (17%)
Pirc (14%)
Center Counter/Scandinavian (12%)
Caro Kann (7%)
Alekhine (2%)

The most interesting statistics is that I’ve played against 1…e5 only twice by a player rated over 1400, which means 2 in 35 times. The other 6 times were against low rated junior players. Grandmasters frequently play e5. At the recent Linares tournament, e5 was play in 10 of 27 e4 openings (all 17 others were Siclian.) Is there too many opening variations to learn or is it black just constantly battles for equality? I’m also a bit surprised to see how little people play the Caro-Kann.

As Black, I’ve faced
1. e4 (60%)
Queen’s Gambit (30%)
Queen’s Pawn (8%)
English (2%)

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