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Uncommon Opening (A00)
1 g4, a3, h3, etc.

Number of games in database: 13614
Years covered: 0 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 38.2%
   Black wins 33.4%
   Draws 28.5%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Tomasz Markowski  222 games
Zvonimir Mestrovic  119 games
Peter D Lalic  93 games
Tony Miles  28 games
Bernd Feustel  24 games
Borislav Ivkov  24 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Larsen vs Geller, 1960
Botvinnik vs G Szilagyi, 1966
Anderssen vs Morphy, 1858
Reti vs Alekhine, 1925
B Fleissig vs Schlechter, 1893
Rybka vs Nakamura, 2008
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 page 1 of 545; games 1-25 of 13,614 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. NN vs Lucena 0-1261497SalamancaA00 Uncommon Opening
2. Lucena vs Quintana 1-0321515HuescaA00 Uncommon Opening
3. Kieseritzky vs H H Boncourt 0-1301839Match?A00 Uncommon Opening
4. Kieseritzky vs Saint-Amant ½-½501840ParisA00 Uncommon Opening
5. Staunton vs H Hanbury-Tracy 1-0751845Pion coiffé odds gameA00 Uncommon Opening
6. Enschede vs Zutphen ½-½581850corrA00 Uncommon Opening
7. E Williams vs M Wyvill 0-1501851LondonA00 Uncommon Opening
8. E Williams vs Harrwitz ½-½251852Harrwitz - WilliamsA00 Uncommon Opening
9. Mohishunder vs Cochrane 1-0461853CalcuttaA00 Uncommon Opening
10. Mohishunder vs Cochrane ½-½621853CalcuttaA00 Uncommon Opening
11. Somacarana vs Cochrane  0-1451856CalcuttaA00 Uncommon Opening
12. Somacarana vs Cochrane  ½-½521856CalcuttaA00 Uncommon Opening
13. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0531856CalcuttaA00 Uncommon Opening
14. S Boden vs J Owen 0-1381856LondonA00 Uncommon Opening
15. Somacarana vs Cochrane 0-1271856CalcuttaA00 Uncommon Opening
16. Cochrane vs Somacarana  0-1321856CalcuttaA00 Uncommon Opening
17. C Mead vs Morphy 0-1261857Casual gameA00 Uncommon Opening
18. Anderssen / Horwitz / Kling vs Staunton / Boden / Kipping 0-1531857Consultation gameA00 Uncommon Opening
19. J Owen vs S Boden 0-1331858MatchA00 Uncommon Opening
20. Anderssen vs Morphy 0-1421858Anderssen - MorphyA00 Uncommon Opening
21. Anderssen vs Morphy ½-½511858Anderssen - MorphyA00 Uncommon Opening
22. Anderssen vs Morphy 1-0771858Anderssen - MorphyA00 Uncommon Opening
23. T Barnes vs Harrwitz  1-0441859Casual seriesA00 Uncommon Opening
24. T Barnes vs Harrwitz 1-0511859Casual seriesA00 Uncommon Opening
25. T Barnes vs Harrwitz 1-0601859Casual seriesA00 Uncommon Opening
 page 1 of 545; games 1-25 of 13,614 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 16 OF 16 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-26-11  timhortons: I once saw moro playing this way at icc, not only that, he got all of those crazy lines which is off the book and he move very fast, to bad i only got a chance to observe him for few months, after 2008 if i remember it right, he stop playing, or if he is playing only in incognito account.

morozevich is a very sicked blitz player.

i never beatin anybody having a rating as high as this my whole chess life.LOL, just now.

[Event "rated lightning match"]
[Site "Free Internet Chess Server"]
[Date "2011.06.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "timhortonsknight"]
[Black "killhatz"]
[Result "*"]
[WhiteElo "1257"]
[BlackElo "2041"]
[ECO "A00"]
[TimeControl "60"]

1. h4 c5 2. d3 Nc6 3. f3 g6 4. h5 Bg7 5. h6 Bf8 6. Nc3 d6 7. e4 e5 8. Be3 Be7 9. Qd2 Nf6 10. Nh3 O-O 11. O-O-O Nd4 12. Be2 Be6 13. f4 b5 14. Ng5 Qd7 15. Nxe6 Qxe6 16. Nd5 Nxd5 17. exd5 Qxd5 18. Kb1 a5 19. Bxd4 cxd4 20. Bf3 Qe6 21. Bxa8 Rxa8 22. fxe5 dxe5 23. Rhe1 b4 24. Qe2 Bf6 25. Qf3 Bh8 26. Qxa8+ *

click for larger view

Oct-13-11  rapidcitychess: Uncommon openings are annoying for a "normal" player; They can trap the death out of you in rapid/blitz. And really there's no antidote other than taking your time, which can be deadly in a blitz game. -.-
Oct-15-11  rapidcitychess: <Opening of the day>


click for larger view

The Van Geek opening. Um, I mean Van Geet!

Dec-30-11  Phony Benoni: From an account in the Sedalia Weekly Bazoo, Feb. 5, 1884, of a blindfold exhibition in Louisville by Zukertort:

<"When Mr. Lovenhart opened 1.PKKt4 the doctor waited a full minute before he made his reply. A bystander suggested that Zukertort was not thinking of the game but merely trying to form a mental image of the man who would open a game in that manner.">

Zukertort won the game.

Dec-30-11  TheFocus: <Phony Benoni> I got a case of the giggles when I saw the name <Bazoo> at Chessarch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Anderssen's Opening
1. a3

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Grob's Attack

click for larger view

Jan-17-13  ozmikey: An odd thing happened to me on FICS tonight. My mouse has been acting up lately and when I tried to open with 1. d4 it came out as 1. d3. Making the best of it, I ended up with quite a decent KIA-style position out of the opening and won quickly!
Jan-17-13  Kikoman: <Opening of the Day>

Anderssen's Opening

1. a3

click for larger view

Aug-21-13  nescio: I couldn't find any games that started quite the same way, and after only three moves the two players have created a unique position, a rarity in a master game.

A little further into the game it becomes clear that we are in well-known territory after all, but with colours reversed (1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.f4 d5 5.e5 h5 6.Nf3 Nh6 7.Bd3 Bf5 etc. has been seen many times).

Bosboom can play marvellously but here L'Ami shows much better strategic judgement and unfortunately the last stage of the game isn't worth much.

[Event "bdo"]
[Site "Haarlem"]
[Date "2013.08.20"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Bosboom, Manuel"]
[Black "L'Ami, Erwin"]
[Result "0-1"]
[LiveChessVersion "1.4.2"]
[BlackElo "2626"]
[WhiteElo "2396"]
[ECO "A00"]

1. g3 e5 2. Bg2 Nc6 3. c3 f5 4. d4 e4 5. h4 d5 6. Nh3 Bd6 7. Bf4 Nf6 8. e3 O-O 9. Bf1 Ne7 10. c4 c5 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. Nc3 Kh8 13. a3 a5 14. h5 h6 15. Rc1 b6 16. Na4 d4 17. exd4 Bxd4 18. Rc2 Ra7 19. Rd2 Rd7 20. Be2 Ng4 21. Qc1 Bb7 22. Rxd4 Rxd4 23. Nc3 Nc6 24. Nd5 Rxd5 25. cxd5 Nd4 26. d6 Nxe2 27. Kxe2 Ba6+ 28. Kd2 Qa8 29. Kd1 0-1

Aug-21-13  parisattack: Gurgenidze Robatsch Reversed. The tempo doesn't mean too much in such a blocked position. But 7. Bf4 and 10. c4 is where I would look for White alternatives.

The finesse in this line is Norwood's idea of not even playing Bg2/7 as it goes back almost always. g3/6 simply becomes a 'high class waiting move.'

Aug-21-13  nescio: <parisattack> I see that he was even happy to lose a tempo in the opening: 1.e4 g6 2.d4 d6 3.Nc3 c6 4.f4 d5 5.e5 h5 etc. The bishop is still on f8, where it should be in this position.

To play it against Michael Adams however may be a little too much. On the other hand, he would probably lose to Adams with any set-up...

Adams vs D Norwood, 1991

Aug-21-13  parisattack: Yes, seen that game. I think there's close to 200 ELO difference there? Norwood discusses the variation in the Foxy Modern-Modern CD.

But in a few move orders black can even get away with d5 in a single move, saving two tempi.

Long ago I printed all the Shakmatnyi Byulletin articles on the Gurg and if memory serves the tempo-saving Bf8 was mentioned in one of those, well before Norwood's time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Grob's Attack

Apr-02-14  Karpova: Game between Mr K and Mr D:

[Event "Schachheim"]
[Site "Hamburg"]
[Date "1909.01.27"]
[Round "-"]
[White "N.N."]
[Black "N.N."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A00"]

1.a3 e5 2.b3 d5 3.c3 Nf6 4.d3 c5 5.e3 Nc6 6.f3 Bd6 7.g3 O-O 8.Ra2 e4 9.dxe4 dxe4 10.f4 Bg4 11.Be2 Bxe2 12.Rxe2 Qc7 13.Rg2 Rad8 14.Qe2 Ne7 15.g4 g6 16.h4 Nfd5 17.Nh3 f5 18.Ng5 Qd7 19.c4 Nf6 20.h5 Nxg4 21.hxg6 Nxg6 22.Rxh7 Qe8 23.Bb2 Rd7 24.Rxg4 Rxh7 25.Nxh7 fxg4 26.Nxf8 Kxf8 27.Qxg4 Qf7 28.Nd2 Be7 29.Qc8+ Qe8 30.Qxb7 Bh4+ 31.Kd1 Be7 32.Qxe4 1-0

Source: 'Wiener Schachzeitung', July-August 1910, pp. 221-222 (originally from the 'Hamburger Nachrichten', 1909.02.14)

Jun-06-14  parisattack: Orangutan/Polish/Sokolsky Opening of the Day.

I've had good success with it. Black equalizes (duh!) but White can drive the type of position he wants. Against 1. ...e5 this has worked well for me: 2. Bb2, Bb4:; 3. Be5:, Nf6; 4. Nc6?!

Off 1. b4, c5 going to a Sicilian Wing Gambit seems best. 1. ...Qd6 often praised as a near refutation but that hasn't been my experience.

Actually quite a few books on it:

Bickford - Sokolsky Gambit
Bickford - Polish with 1. ...e5
Elwert - Gewinnt mit 1. b4! *
Gillian - Sokolsky Opening *
Grund - Sokolski-Eroffnung *
Harding - Dynamic Chess Openings *
Hildebrand - 1. b2-b4 (German) *
Ivanov - Orangutan 1. b4
Koniwosky -Theory and Practice of the Sokolsky *
Lapshun -Play 1. b2-b4 *
Levy - Sokolsky’s *
Lonsdale - Sokolsky Opening: Birmingham Gambit *
Lonsdale: Sokolsky Opening: Symmetrical Variation *
Pallister - Beating Unusual Chess Openings *
Santesiere - The Futuristic Chess Opening *
Schiffler - Orang-Utan *
Sokolsky - 1. b2-b4 *
Soltis - 1. P-QN4 *
Soltjar / Kadratjew - Sokolski-Eroffnung *
Tangborn - Beating the Flank Openings
The Moravian Series (1-4)
Wall - Orangutan
Yakovyev- Debyut Sokolskova (Kiev 1958)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I think chessgames is in error today. It is my belief that 1.b4 is the Orangutan and 1.d4 b5 is the Polish.

I don't think the names are interchangeable.

Jun-06-14  parisattack: 1. b4 has been called Polish, Orangutan and Sokolsky by various authors. 'Sokolsky' is the most popular, as you can see from the list above.

1. d4, b5 to my knowledge is only called the Polish Defense. There are a couple books on the latter, I'll look at the introductions, see what they say.


Harding - Dynamic Black Defenses
Kapianiak - The Polish Defense
Lonsdale: The Polish Defence: Spassky Gambit Accepted Zimmer - Die Polnische Verteidigung

Premium Chessgames Member
  Octavia: 1 c3
nobody is discussing this opening which my last opponent played :(
Jan-10-17  parisattack: <Octavia> There is not much discussion of chess openings period on

Here is a link for magazines covering unorthodox chess openings:

The Unorthodox Openings Newsletters can be downloaded. I found them very interesting, thought-provoking. member <wwall> was a frequent contributor.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: I've contributed a lot of off-the-wall openings to UON, as well as lots of Jerome Gambits (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7) at Rick Kennedy's site, and a collection of Grobs, Larsen, Orangutan, etc in my books years ago, and updated with latest uncommon openings in pgn format on my chess page at
Jun-28-19  pajaste: Carlsen's Lichess Bullet Grobs are probably not going to be added, so here's a link
Jun-29-19  pajaste: Carlsen's performances in these speedchess events are such that he might for fun go to a not top-rated rapid chess tournament and use only Saragossa and transpositions thereof.
Jul-08-20  ILoveHammerschlag: I just used the 'barnes opening fools mate" as my opening as black
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Terrible opening!
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