First Move

This is my first serious post for The Caissa Kid.

I want to pose the question, What is White’s best first move? An impossible question to answer, perhaps, so let us pose another one: what first moves are worthy of consideration when playing White? Here is my premiere list:

  • 1.e4 Bobby Fischer’s favourite move, the choice of many world champions, naturally this move is mentioned at the start.
  • 1.d4 Garry Kasparov’s preference, and he played many beautiful games with it. Alekhine preferred this move as well (likewise Rubinstein and Gligoric).
  • 1.c4 There have been plenty of takers for the English Opening as well: Kasparov (again), Karpov, Korchnoi… the list is long.
  • 1.Nf3 A move invariably played by Kramnik, who uses it as a transpositional tool rather than going into a mainline Reti. Very solid and sound and flexible.

In my view, these four moves give White the best chance of getting an advantage out of the opening, and are probably of about equal merit. Of what you might call White’s second best first moves, including Magnus Carlsen’s current pet (the move 1.e3), I will keep silent for the moment. Another, later post will consider their board worthiness.