Unusual Openings

White usually plays “d4” or “e4”, so anything else is somewhat “unusual” in a tournament. Black too has a variety of common openings, but many unusual ones are just fine. A lot of chess opening popularity has to do more with chess fashion than that one opening is better than another.

Superb Openings but Unpopular

Great White Openings: Unusual openings for White that are well-regarded and mostly avoided out of fashion, rather than any particular problem with the opening, include:

These openings have made somewhat of a comeback, but you’ll still see the king pawn and queen pawn openings far more often.

Uncommon but Playable

Good Unusual White Moves: Unusual White first moves with a somewhat dubious or out-of-favor reputation that are quite playable:

Somewhat Dubious White Openings

Dubious White Openings: Unusual White first moves with a dubious reputation that is probably mostly deserved include:

Anti-Sicilian Lines for White

Anti-Sicilian Lines: Unusual White lines against the Sicilian Defence:

Unusual Black Defences to e4

Anti-e4 Openings: Unusual Black semi-open defences against “e4”:

White Openings in the Queen Pawn

White Queen Pawn Openings: Unusual White lines in the Queen Pawn Openings that are strong:

Dubious Queen Pawn Gambits for White

Unusual White lines in the Queen Pawn Openings with a dubious reputation (somewhat deserved):

Black Against d4

Anti-d4 Lines: Unusual Black lines against “1.d4”

Old and Unpopular King Pawn Games

White King Pawn Openings: Unusual King Pawn Openings that are quite playable include:

Old and Dubious King Pawn Games

White King Pawn openings with a somewhat dubious reputation include:

Black against e4

Unusual black defences in the King Pawn Openings:

Related Chess Openings Topics

Read more about these related chess openings, strategies, chess puzzles, and other chess topics: