Attacking Repertoire for White
The main assumption is that an attacking White player will play “e4” as the main opening move. This is probably a little unfair to “d4”, which can also have numerous great attacking lines.
White Plays 1.e4: the main parts of the repertoire are therefore against the various different Black defences to e4.
Problems for a White Repertoire
Some of the more problematic aspects for “e4 openings” are:
- Sicilian Defence is over-booked and too diverse.
- King Pawn Openings are somewhat over-booked (and numerous).
- Petrov Defence is too drawish, and even the “d4” line is over-analyzed and equal.
- Two Knights Defence with Ng5 is a good gambit for Black rather than White (White is not the one who is attacking); and the older Two Knights Defence line with e4 Nxe4 (or the Max Lange Attack) is far too well analysed to dull equality.
- Center Counter Qd6 line
- Center Counter gambit lines (Nf6 and Bg4) (Portuguese variation)
- Philidor Defence-like trendy line offering early Queen exchange (1. e4 d6, 2. d4 e5!?)
- The Lion Opening System (a reasonably new trendy setup)
King Pawn Openings: e4 e5
Main King Pawn Openings attacking variations under consideration for the White repertoire include:
- Bishop’s Opening (perhaps too slowish, but can play “3.d4” to get to the Urusov Gambit or to the Perreux variation of the Two Knight’s Defence: 1. e4 e5, 2. Bc4 Nf6, 3.d4!? exd4, 4. Nf3 Nc6, 5. Ng5!? (may also lead to the Urusov Gambit if black avoids Nc6, and also to the Lolli Attack if Black plays d5 and Nxd5 instead).
- Evan’s Gambit (rather than Giuoco Piano)
- Two Knights Defence: e5 line; or Perreux variation with delayed Ng5 sideline (d4 and then Ng5)
- Danish Gambit (in Center Game)
- Goring Gambit (in Scotch Game)
- Center Game with Qa4!? and Reverse Center Counter
- Center Game with delayed recapture on d4 (avoids some Black lines?)
- Belgrade Gambit (d4 and Nd5!? in the Four Knights Game)
Traditional King Pawn Lines with 2.Nf3
If White plays “2.Nf3” then also required are responses to these King Pawn Opening lines:
- Petrov Defence (1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 Nf6): Options include uncommon variations of the Petrov or transposing to the Four Knights Game (Three Knights Game; Belgrade Gambit). Qe2 Petrov with a semi-ending exchange variation in main line (drawish equality); Nc4 Petrov sideline (active unclear play). See: Anti-Petrov.
- Latvian Gambit (1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 f5!?)
- Queen Pawn Counter Gambit (1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 d5!?) and Elephant Gambit (main tricky move to remember is Nfd2)
- Hungarian Defence (with 3..Be7) (1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 Nc6, 3. Bc4 Be7)
- Philidor Defence (1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 d6)
Anti-Sicilian Lines for White
Anti-Sicilian variations: White repertoire against Sicilian Defence variations to consider that avoid most of the reams of theory include:
- c3 Sicilian. But this has now become very well-known with lots of theory. Not really a surprise line any more.
- f4 Sicilian. But Black’s move “2..d5” is considered good for Black. White usually plays the Grand Prix Attack (2.Nc3 and 3.f4) instead to avoid this Black line. (Needs more analysis.)
- Grand Prix attack (2.Nc3 and 3.f4). Similarly has become a common opening with lots of theory.
- Smith-Morra Gambit (but Black can decline or avoid the gambit by transposing to the c3 Sicilian)
- Wing gambit. Regarded as unsound if White declines the b4xa3 capture? (Like a Reverse Benko Gambit.)
- Bb5 Sicilian Systems (against either “d6 Sicilian” or “Nc6 Sicilian” lines)
- Qxd4 Sicilian variation (Checkhover Sicilian). But works only against “d6 Sicilian” lines.
- Closed Sicilian (with Kingside fianchetto)
- d3 Sicilian. Transposing into a King’s Indian Attack, Closed Sicilian, or a Grand Prix Attack.
- c4 Sicilian (2.c4!?)
- Bc4 Sicilian (2.Bc4!?)
- Maroczy Bind Lines (an early c4 against the Sicilian)
Unusual Anti-Sicilian Lines Needing More Analysis
Anti-Sicilian lines needing some more analysis include:
- Delayed c3 Sicilian. Play “3.c3” not “2.c3”? (Needs more analysis.)
- f4 Sicilian non-greedy lines (2..d5): White declines the Black gambit and avoids Bb5+ or c4 lines against the 2..d5 lines, instead allowing the recapture Nxd5. For example, White plays Bc4 and Qf3. See: f4 Sicilian. (Needs more analysis.)
- f4 Sicilian with c3 lines (quieter lines): In the quieter lines other than 2..d5, maybe White can play c3 and d4, instead of Nc3. See: f4 Sicilian. (Needs more analysis.)
- Smith-Morra Gambit Deferred (White delays d4 by one move). (Needs more analysis.)
- Wing gambit deferred. White can delay playing “b4” by a move or two? Can White delay or avoid playing “a3” after “c5xb4”? (Like a Reverse Benko or a Reverse Blumenfeld?) (Needs more analysis.)
- Early Qxd4 Sicilian line (1.e4 c5, 2.d4 cxd4, 3.Qxd4!? Nc6, 4.Qa4!?) (Sicilian Center Game)
White Against Other Semi-Open Defences (Non-Sicilian)
Main White repertoire for Semi-Open games (other than Sicilian Defence) requires a response to all these other Black defences:
- Center Counter defence (1..d5): when played as White see: Anti-Scandinavian
- Alekhine’s Defence (1..Nf6): Two Pawns Attack (e5, c4, c5), or Four Pawns Attack Alekhine’s (see: Anti-Alekhine’s Defence)
- French defence (1..e6): Advance French (3.e5); Milner-Barry Gambit; Exchange French; see: Anti-French.
- Caro Kann defence (1..c6): Advance Caro-Kann (3.e5); Two Knights Caro Kann (3.Nf3); see Anti-Caro Kann.
- Owen’s Defence (1..b6)
- Nimzowich Defence (1…Nc6)
- Philidor’s Defence (1…d6 move ordering avoids the Bishop’s Opening)
- Pirc Defence (1..d6 and 2..Nf6): Saemisch Pirc (f3 and Be3 Pirc); Austrian attack with f4; see: Anti-Pirc
- Modern Defence (1..g6)
- Basman Defence (1..g5 and 2..h6)
- Baker’s Defence (1..a6 and 2..b5)
White Plays d4 (Queen Pawn Repertoire for White)
White Attacking d4 Repertoire: Despite having a slower reputation, there are plenty of attacking lines in the Queen Pawn Games. But it has to be said that Black can try to steer the game to quieter play in some lines of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Nevertheless, some of the attacking “d4 d5” variations include:
- Marshall Gambit (against the Slav)
- Blackmar-Diemer Gambit
- Trompowski BDG-Like Gambit
- Nc3 Attack (avoiding c4 lines)
- Hodgson Attack
- Queen’s Gambit Accepted (although Black usually declines)
White Anti-Indian Lines
Some of the attacking variations after “1.d4 Nf6” are the various anti-Indian systems:
- Anti-King’s Indian
- Anti-Queen’s Indian
- Anti-Old Indian
- Benko Gambit Declined and Anti-Benko Lines
- Blackmar-Diemer Gambit against Nf6 (After “1.d4 Nf6”, White plays “2.Nc3” virtually forcing “2..d5” and then “3.e4!?”)
White Queen Pawn Without c4 Lines
Some of the less common White lines that are attacking after “1.d4” include:
- Trompowski / Hodgson Attack
- Torre Attack
- Veresov Attack
- Nc3 Attack
- Delayed c4 Lines
- Blackmar-Diemer Gambit
Specific Anti-Indian Lines for White
Some of the specific anti-Indian lines to consider for attacking value include:
- Saemisch King’s Indian
- Four Pawns Attack King’s Indian
- Saemisch Queen’s Indian
- Delayed c4 lines
- Mikenas Benoni
- Four Pawns Attack Benoni
White Repertoire against Other Black Defences against d4
If White plays “d4”, then the repertoire needs a response to all these other possible Black defences. White lines against other less common Black “d4 defences” include:
- Dutch Defence (1..f5): Staunton Gambit (against the Dutch Defence)
- Old Indian (1..d6)
- Old Benoni (1..c5): play “2.c4” and transpose to the Four Pawns Attack Benoni and Taimanov Benoni (Mikenas Benoni) with f4 and Bb5+ (an attacking line much feared by Benoni-playing grandmasters).
- Old Benoni (1..c5): alternatively, White avoids playing “c4” using that square for a Knight or the Bishop.
- Queen Pawn French (1.d4 e6): White can transpose to the French Defence (2.e4) or Queen’s Gambit Declined (play 2.c4)
- Queen Pawn Caro (1.d4 c6): White transpose to Caro-Kann Defence (2.e4) or the Slav (2.c4)
- Owen’s Defence (1..b6)
- Basman Defence (1..h6 and 2..g5)
- Baker’s Defence / Polish Defence (1..a6 / 1..b5)
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