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  1. Forum
  2. General Chess Discussion
  3. Tactical opening as white?

Hi- for a while, I've been looking for a good opening as white. I pretty much always open with 1. e4, and have tried others (Such as c4- d4, Nf3 etc.) but never enjoyed the positions from those first moves. I've played the Italian for a while but have recently gotten bored of it and the lines that I enjoyed playing (such as the Evans gambit) seem to favor black with correct play. So I'm looking for something that's somewhat sharp and tactical, but not overly sharp such as the King's gambit. I've tried out the Ruy Lopez a bit but the opening always seems to be really positional- maybe I'm just playing the wrong lines?

I've pretty much got something I enjoy playing against the Sicilian, Scandinavian etc. but just trying to find something comfortable against e5. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance

If you like tactical play and dislike positional play, then 1 e4 is clearly the right choice. The Ruy Lopez is positional and slow, like milking a cow. Evans Gambit, Italian game (with c3 and d4) King's Gambit, Scotch Gambit, Danish Gambit all seem to fit your need. I disagree with "seem to favour black". In engine against engine play it leads to a draw. Of course you cannot break iron with bare hands. If black plays well, then you cannot expect any tangible advantage. If you do not play accurately, then black may well get a favourable position. That is chess.

Okay thanks. I'll look into the Scotch gambit since I've never really tried it out. My problem with the Evans gambit was that I don't really like to give away two pawns right from the start- same problem as with the Danish. I'll give the Scotch a try, thanks

@Water_Flame #1
You want a tactical opening but don't want to gambit too much.
Why not test drive some other openings ?
GM Lev Aronian is a tactical player, and likes to play ... 1.c4
A 2200+ chess club team mate of mine years ago, also a tactical player, likes 1.c4
It can also be refreshing to play something else than just 1.e4
Openings like 1.b3, 1.b4, 1.g4 might very well suit tactical players, as well as King's Indian Attack.

I like to use blitz to experiment with openings and ideas (Don't hang on to your blitz rating too much! :) ), and I try to be more solid in rapid and classical.

hth, gl, hf!

Open games are evident, all those romantic gambits, not without drawbacks of course.

But there are some sharp approaches outside the main lines in the realms of closed games. Say Blackmar-Diemer or Veresov (2.Nc3) to name a few of them.

I would refrain from playing really sick stuff like 1.g4. Ok, there‘s the hope that Black cannot decide between all the refutations and steps over the time...

@achja I've tried out 1. c4 and 1. d4, as well as g3, b4, f4, even b4. I honestly just didn't like the positions that came from these openings. They positions were just very closed up and personally, boring. As for g4... I don't really want to lose on move 1.

@Sarg0n Blackmar-Diemer looks interesting and something I like playing against as black, but if black responds with Nf6 after d4 instead of d5, then what?

2. Nc3 as mentioned and 3.e4. Then 3. ... Nxe4 is probably a bit better for Black than BDG, but Hübsch gambit is playable though.

Fun fact: „Hübsch“ means „beautiful“! :D

@Water_Flame #6
If you ended up with only closed positions then maybe you did something wrong. You will need to open up the position, and get your pieces active. Did you study games by Aronian, and the great tactical wizard Tal (Tal also played much more than only 1.e4) And in my opinion you need to make the positions interesting yourself by taking some risks or playing unusual moves. Maybe you have adjusted to playing too fast, trading too many pieces, or playing superficial moves. Do some research on your own chess. I can tell you that it helped me to play better and with more variety.
Also, 1.g4 is playable, certainly at amateur chess level. It is not losing at move 1.
Regarding 1.d4 Nf6, you can still play 2.Nc3 and Bg5 or Bf4.
Also, with Torre attack and Colle system you can play real nice flashy attacking games. I speak from experience.

@achja I'm sure I was doing something wrong of some sort, I'm just not really sure what. When I played c4 I just couldn't get the game to open up and eventually gave up on it. As for the Torre/Colle, possibly, Torre looks interesting and something different.

try out 1.Nc3

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