The Ono Gambit

I am getting older.

And the older I get, the more happy and optimistic I seem to become. So as I sat outside on my terrace last year, sipping cold beer, and feeling the first heat of the spring sun on my face - I found myself wondering how long I had left until I was dead.

I pondered questions like: what will I leave my children behind? But soon, I started considering more important things like: what will my peak rating be? Will it be carved into my gravestone? And how will I be remembered in the chess world?

Will the ashes of my own chess existence be blown across time through the winds of this blog? And whilst I go by many names in the chess world, will some people know me as hope? Will they know me as the voice that they hear with enemy pieces wrapped around their throat?

Then I realised that rhymed and I started to write a song. But I gave up pretty quickly. I’ve never heard any chess songs. None that I remembered anyway, and that was the point.

As the prospect of being forgotten began to overwhelm me, I had an idea. Perhaps I could be immortalised in opening theory? After all, Ruy Lopez will live forever in the minds of millions of chess players who voluntarily open with the positionally inaccurate 1.e4.

I sat up, realising I had found a way to cheat death, to live forever.

I would create an opening.

My attention turned towards how I wanted to be immortalised. My opening choices tend to be dry and boring, but the last thing I wanted to be remembered by was something limp.

If there were to be statues erected in my name, I didn’t want that erection to fade into obscurity like the Semi-Tarrasch.


I wanted to create something strong and bold. Something energetic. Even if it ran against my style. I wanted something fun and surprising. The last thing I wanted was to create the semi-Ono. I needed a full-blown Ono.

I needed a gambit.

And that’s when it hit me. What if there was a way to surprise my opponents as early as move one? If I had a marketing line like that at the top of my Chessable course it would practically sell itself. Not only would I be remembered forever in the world of chess, the royalties would mean I had something tangible to leave my family.

Surprise your opponents as early as move 1 with The Ono Gambit.

This was it.

The only problem was that every first legal move was spoken for. Or were they? I did some research and incredibly, I found something new. Something that had never been played before. I checked and double checked the annals of chess history. But there was nothing. I had found something truly unique. Something to be remembered for.

It needed refinement though. I wanted everyone to be able to play it. I wanted it to be simple. I wanted it to be a repertoire for both black and white, maximising the playability and marketability, doubling both my fame and the royalties I would leave my children.

With all this in mind, I set to work.

It took me a year to finish, but spring has come around again. And I find myself finishing off this blog post sitting once more on my sunny terrace with all thoughts of death replaced by musings over just how rich and famous I’m going to be next year.

And so I present exclusively to you, the loyal readers of this blog:

Buy The Ono Gambit Lifetime Repertoire on my website today for just €299

Have a great April 1st everyone,


Looking for some serious chess coaching? Look no further. A lesson with me is never boring, and your first lesson is free.

For more resources to support your adult chess improvement, go to my website Here you’ll find a free template to make your very own Chess Study Plan. You can also download my Wordy Book List with chess books for Adult Improvers who aren’t fluent in chess lingo just yet (and need actual words to understand what’s going on).

Many thanks to Patrons of TheOnoZone for their support: Rob Willans + Benjamin Portheault + Rick Choplan + Tim Everett + MatthewKCanada + Brett + Nate + Laura + Marcus Buffett + Dan Bock + Dawn Lawson + Glen G + Mikey Wells + Michael Shpizner + Karen W + Gregory C + BowiE + Yara V + Stefan K + Ché Martin + Ben Johnson.