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  1. Forum
  2. General Chess Discussion
  3. Fianchettoes as First Moves

What do you think about playing a Knight Pawn move and developing a bishop on the flank as first moves? They have less influence on the center, but are they still useful and give you an advantage? Or is it bad and gives the opponent a chance to attack?

Maybe you think it still has some control over the center, but with a far-range attack (from the bishop). Is the need to control the center so great the fianchetto is weak? Or is it in-between?

I'd like to hear your thoughts - make sure you think about the strategy! Fianchetto openings may decide to influence the center indirectly!

When I play modern type defenses I like to play a knight out first, say 1. Nf3, then 2. g3 and 3. Bg2

@AREA11

You mean as black you like to play the Indian Defenses?

That, but even as white when I play modern openings I won't usually start with g or b3. It's probably technically unsound, but I think it's a little less passive.

@AREA11

So as white you like to make non-fianchetto moves, like 1. e4 instead of 1. g3?

A fianchettoed bishop in control of the "long diagonal" has a great deal of center control. This may not be apparent in the opening, but will come into play later in the game. Always remember that if you exchange your fianchettoed king bishop say for a knight...you will leave your castled king position very weak. If your opponent still has their queen bishop especially . Don't be concerned about trying these openings...play them embrace them...expand your game. You will run into these openings anyway, when black plays the various Indian defenses

Generally speaking fianchettoed bishops are a bit stronger than regular ones and bear a latent dynamism.

Pawns presence in the center is important as you have more space for manoevring your pieces behind the pawns, which hinder the attacks of far-ranging opponent pieces. Fianchettoing a bishop on first moves is perfectly fine, and basically leads to Indian defences stuff with colors reversed, but white having one more tempo. However, this tempo is not that important as the center control, so the resulting position is much more equal than the initial. You can play these openings if you have a good positional understanding of Indian stuff (which is better collected by playing such fiancettoes for black), and want to avoid some opponent opening theory in principal lines. (For example, Nakamura likes to play 1. b3 in blitz for this reason.) But this is definitely not the most ambitious way to play, and I'd not recommend it in long time controls.

A interesting note about these flank openings...They were once considered to be unsound play, by players such Tarrasch and Steinitz. Then anew era of players emerged called "The hyper-moderns" Players such as Reti ,and these openings have become standard play. Anyway its all very old and very well played and part of the game...When you start getting tired of e-4 ,c-4 ,b-4 ...you will gravitate to flank openings. :}

Never give that king bishop away easy.In fact sometimes is god to give a whole rook for that bishop if you still have a queen bishop just because of weakness of castled position. Computers will say its unsound but for human it is not easy to defend. Queens should stay on board.