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View Full Version : Whats better e4 or d4? (as a starting move for white)



chesstash
02-06-2009, 07:31 PM
Can't decide if i should learn how to play e4 or improve in d4.......

aroniyang
02-06-2009, 08:33 PM
well none of them is better it depends on ur playing style...if you like positional games go for d4 and if want more open, tactical brawls go for e4.

or better still, learn and play both!

it seems though that many players start out with e4 and switch to d4 or c4 once they get better...

chesstash
02-06-2009, 10:04 PM
well none of them is better it depends on ur playing style...if you like positional games go for d4 and if want more open, tactical brawls go for e4.

or better still, learn and play both!

it seems though that many players start out with e4 and switch to d4 or c4 once they get better...


I guess........

Saragossa
03-06-2009, 12:18 AM
1. d4 is in ways easier to learn because quite a few systems work, however positional/strategic chess plays a bigger role because the games are often closed. I personally find positional chess concepts harder to understand compared to tactical, so there is quite a few things to weigh up.

My opinion that a strong tactical ability goes above everything else, but you will get this experience in 1.d4 games just not as violently as in 1.e4 games. Another importent thing is that usually a positionally better game leads to more tactical oppurtunities. So I reccomend that you learn 1.d4 it'll seem a little more boring at first but there are heaps of exciting variations (slav,KID, benoni etc).

If you wanted to get good at Queens pawn games I seriously think you should study the games of Akiba Rubinstein he pretty much always played the queens gambit and has some really clear cut positional wins from them.

But as stated before whichever feels more natural is always a good indicator of your style.

Hobbes
03-06-2009, 12:46 AM
1. d4 is of course the best first move.

There, now that we have sorted that out to everyone's satisfaction, perhaps I should enter the 'Does God exist' thread and straighten everyone out there too!

:owned:

Desmond
03-06-2009, 11:00 AM
I think e4 is the more aggressive choice, and d4 is if you prefer to be a bit safer. From the outset e4 opens diagonals for your queen and bishop but the pawn is not protected on e4. Whereas d4 opens a diagonal for the bishop only but the pawn is guarded by the queen. Depending on your temperament and playing style I would base your choice on that. :)

Igor_Goldenberg
03-06-2009, 03:14 PM
Start with 1.e4

chesstash
03-06-2009, 03:28 PM
I've learned d4 for 6 years and still i am not giving it up....
Might learn e4 though......

Capablanca-Fan
03-06-2009, 04:18 PM
I've learned d4 for 6 years and still i am not giving it up....
Might learn e4 though......
That's fine. Concentrate on one, then gradually learn about the other.

chesstash
03-06-2009, 10:37 PM
That's fine. Concentrate on one, then gradually learn about the other.

a good answer
but everybody tells me that:hmm:

Nicholas D-C
04-06-2009, 06:09 PM
I believe e4 is better and leads to greater chances to win, as the positions are tactical. It is also probably easier to lean than d4 or c4. Many d4 players tend to learn one system to avoid theoretical lines, but these systems are not that great. However, d4 is not without its positive sides, if you like long positional struggles and are satisfied with equal positions.

CameronD
04-06-2009, 06:15 PM
I think e4 gives a greater short term advantage whereas d4 gives a smaller advantage that is long term.

Capablanca-Fan
04-06-2009, 07:26 PM
a good answer
but everybody tells me that:hmm:
Maybe they're right :hand:

So why are you asking? So that eventually someone might give you the answer you want? ;)

Capablanca-Fan
04-06-2009, 07:28 PM
I believe e4 is better and leads to greater chances to win, as the positions are tactical. It is also probably easier to lean than d4 or c4. Many d4 players tend to learn one system to avoid theoretical lines, but these systems are not that great. However, d4 is not without its positive sides, if you like long positional struggles and are satisfied with equal positions.
That's rather simplistic. Throughout his reign as World Champ, the supreme strategist Karpov played 1.e4. Dashing attacker and World Champ Challenger Frank Marshall was mainly a 1.d4 player.

that Caesar guy
04-06-2009, 08:11 PM
Bobby Fischer nearly always played 1.e4 on the first move and he is considered as (one of) the best player(s) of all time, so that can't be toooo bad...
Still, I think 1. Nf3 is the most flexible move that can enter lines from both 1. e4 and 1. d4.
It all depends on your style.

JM

Denis_Jessop
04-06-2009, 08:17 PM
I think e4 gives a greater short term advantage whereas d4 gives a smaller advantage that is long term.

That's a bit over-simplified. As a devoted Sicilian player I'd say that after 1. e4 c5 White is already in difficulty. And don't forget Breyer's dictum "After 1. e4 White's game is in the last throes". :D :rolleyes:

DJ

antichrist
04-06-2009, 08:36 PM
Bobby Fischer nearly always played 1.e4 on the first move and he is considered as (one of) the best player(s) of all time, so that can't be toooo bad...
Still, I think 1. Nf3 is the most flexible move that can enter lines from both 1. e4 and 1. d4.
It all depends on your style.

JM
He may have but for the game that won him the crown he played the queens gambit if I remember correctly. Or at least it was d4 and c4, just as I have played against you and going like a house on fire - ha ha. I am waiting for your move as well.

Kevin Bonham
04-06-2009, 10:20 PM
He may have but for the game that won him the crown he played the queens gambit if I remember correctly.

He took the lead against Spassky in game 6 of their match by starting 1.c4 which transposed into a QGD.

He played 1.c4 again in game 8 (which he won) and games 12 and 14 (which were drawn).; the latter two were also QGDs.

Capablanca-Fan
05-06-2009, 01:43 AM
Still, I think 1. Nf3 is the most flexible move that can enter lines from both 1. e4 and 1. d4.
Even that has a certain inflexibility: i.e. if it transposes into a d4 opening, it rules out the most effective lines in the QGD exchange, as well as the Sämisch KID, the Taimanov Benoni, the sharpest exchange Grünfeld.
It all depends on your style.

Igor_Goldenberg
05-06-2009, 04:06 PM
The thread started as a question from a relative beginner whether to play 1.e4 or 1.d4. At that stage 1.e4 must be an obvious choice.

Oepty
05-06-2009, 07:03 PM
The thread started as a question from a relative beginner whether to play 1.e4 or 1.d4. At that stage 1.e4 must be an obvious choice.

You say that even though this player is improving quickly, regularly beating players much higher rated and improved her rating over 200 points on the latest rating list, is currently the Australian Girls under 14 champion and has played and studied 1. d4 for years. I don't know what is the right answer is and being a quite weak player not really qualified to answer, but I am surprised at such a clear cut answer.
Have you looked at Natasha's games?
Scott

Igor_Goldenberg
05-06-2009, 08:11 PM
You say that even though this player is improving quickly, regularly beating players much higher rated and improved her rating over 200 points on the latest rating list, is currently the Australian Girls under 14 champion and has played and studied 1. d4 for years. I don't know what is the right answer is and being a quite weak player not really qualified to answer, but I am surprised at such a clear cut answer.
Have you looked at Natasha's games?
Scott
She is also a young junior. Playing 1.e4 is very beneficial for a young player (irrespectively of whether they improve quickly or not).
Mature (in terms of development and experience) player of considerable strength might think about locking opening repertoire. 11 yo must start majority of their games with 1.e4

pappubahry
05-06-2009, 09:28 PM
She is also a young junior. Playing 1.e4 is very beneficial for a young player (irrespectively of whether they improve quickly or not).
Mature (in terms of development and experience) player of considerable strength might think about locking opening repertoire. 11 yo must start majority of their games with 1.e4

:hmm: This might be an impossible question, but how much difference would you say it makes to the player's development?

More concretely, suppose someone did an experiment where they took a bunch of talented 11-year-olds and split them into a d4 group and an e4 group. A couple of years later, how much stronger would the e4 players be?

Igor_Goldenberg
05-06-2009, 10:21 PM
:hmm: This might be an impossible question, but how much difference would you say it makes to the player's development?

More concretely, suppose someone did an experiment where they took a bunch of talented 11-year-olds and split them into a d4 group and an e4 group. A couple of years later, how much stronger would the e4 players be?
It's a hypothetical question. 1.e4 on average leads to a more sharp and open position which is very important for a player's development (especially at young age).

Oepty
05-06-2009, 10:35 PM
It's a hypothetical question. 1.e4 on average leads to a more sharp and open position which is very important for a player's development (especially at young age).

Igor, why is it more important to learn sharp open positions than the perhaps more positional lessons that might be learnt from 1.d4? I would have thought, perhaps totally wrongly, that talented juniors, broadly not just Natasha, would have a more natural tactical vision than a positional understanding that comes with time.
Scott

MichaelBaron
06-06-2009, 11:16 AM
How can someone seriously discuss whether 1.e4 is better than 1.d4 or not. The only GM who is seriously discussing such matters is Sveshnikov (well he is a very special person).

According to him 1.e4 c5 2.c3! (excl. belongs to him) is big advantage to white! :)

Capablanca-Fan
06-06-2009, 05:08 PM
How can someone seriously discuss whether 1.e4 is better than 1.d4 or not. The only GM who is seriously discussing such matters is Sveshnikov (well he is a very special person).

According to him 1.e4 c5 2.c3! (excl. belongs to him) is big advantage to white! :)
I heard Sveshnikov in person give his lectures on opening principles in a chess seminar in Sukhumi in 1988, when it was still part of the Soviet Union. He reasons that White must aim for:


Occupation of the centre
Piece development
Security
Disclosure of weaknesses


Black, being a move behind, has a different aim:


Occupation of the centre
Security
Piece development
Avoidance and defence of weaknesses


Thus he argues that 1 d4 d5 is worse for White than 1.e4 e5 since in the former Black has greater security as his Pd5 is protected. He said that 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 and d4 exchange a centre for a wing P, so he preferred 2.c3 to fight for the centre. 1.e4 and Nc3 against either 1... c5 or 1... e5 are unprincipled because they attack the same square instead of fighting for the other two central squares. 1... c5 is the best against 1.e4 because his Pc5 is less of a target, and is exchanged for a central P in the main lines.

But in his article in Kasparov's book Revolution in the 70s (2007), Svesnikov now says:


... after 1 e4 the best is 1... c5! White in accordance with the principles, replies 2. Nf3. 2 f4 is weaker on account of 2... d5 3 exd5 Nf6 (the only way!). And if 2 c3, then 2... Nf6 equalizes — White has problems with his e-pawn.

antichrist
09-06-2009, 02:14 PM
What I like which probably comes under piece development is that with d4 and c4, ones queen's knight fits behind pawn c4 therefore not trapping the c pawn in.

Igor_Goldenberg
09-06-2009, 03:16 PM
Igor, why is it more important to learn sharp open positions than the perhaps more positional lessons that might be learnt from 1.d4? I would have thought, perhaps totally wrongly, that talented juniors, broadly not just Natasha, would have a more natural tactical vision than a positional understanding that comes with time.
Scott
That natural tactical vision has to be developed. Open play helps it.
Positional understanding will come with experience.
Most of the games on all levels are decided by tactics.

Vlad
09-06-2009, 03:52 PM
:hmm: This might be an impossible question, but how much difference would you say it makes to the player's development?

More concretely, suppose someone did an experiment where they took a bunch of talented 11-year-olds and split them into a d4 group and an e4 group. A couple of years later, how much stronger would the e4 players be?

It is true that it is probably advisable for young juniors to play e4 rather than d4. But once they get a bit better/older there is no clear answer to this question.

When young Karpov (he was around 17) got a new coach (of the world championship class), the coach was very unhappy about the previous Karpov's coach, saying something like "Who was this ... who taught Karpov to play e4?" Obviously, Karpov had a strong natural talent for positional chess and playing open positions did not help him to show what he was capable of.

Garvinator
09-06-2009, 04:39 PM
Positional understanding will come with experience.
Most of the games on all levels are decided by tactics.
And also that quite often those positional gains are only secured because the tactics are in your favour.

Desmond
09-06-2009, 07:30 PM
And also that quite often those positional gains are only secured because the tactics are in your favour.Very often the opposite; because you have a positional advantage you get the tactical opportunities.

Tyson
09-06-2009, 11:02 PM
...if you like positional games go for d4 and if want more open, tactical brawls go for e4....

I have to disagree here. I am a tactical player myself, and like my chess hero (Tal, the tactical genius) i play d4

(I acknowledge he played more than just d4, but i beleive he played d4 most. And his most famous and tactical game as white he played d4)

chesstash
09-06-2009, 11:11 PM
I've made up my mind......
GO D4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D

antichrist
10-06-2009, 03:07 PM
Mr Goldenberg, is my post 28 too simple or stupid to comment on. I would appreciate your comment for my game.

shan_siddiqi
10-06-2009, 07:50 PM
Important point to consider - as a beginner, I think it's more helpful to learn the tactical concepts of the game. Sure, positional chess is important... but no matter how good you are at getting a space advantage or securing a sound pawn structure, it's worthless if you can't turn it into a material advantage or a checkmate.

For a relative beginner, I'd suggest learning e4 and practicing with it. Once you get good at playing tactical games, you can go back to d4 and try to play for position.

Saragossa
10-06-2009, 07:58 PM
I reckon playing tactical positions isn't near;y as importent as playing positionally. Because you can learn tactics through books and software, however with positional chess it can't really be taught through anything but experience and personal coaching....so get as much experience as you can! Oh and you can be really dedicated and study your own games but you still have to be pretty cluey to head in the correct positional direction.

Igor_Goldenberg
11-06-2009, 01:31 PM
Mr Goldenberg, is my post 28 too simple or stupid to comment on. I would appreciate your comment for my game.
It is too smart and too complicated for me to comment. Please accept my apologies for declining your kind offer.

Nicholas D-C
11-06-2009, 05:22 PM
I've made up my mind......
GO D4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D
Why??:hmm:

ElmirGuseinov
13-06-2009, 03:00 AM
for a beginner player under 2200 elo - of course,e4 is preferable.
it leads to more open game full of tactics....while closed positions are hard to understand and playing them on this level wont give much experience or chess skill improvment

Nicholas D-C
13-06-2009, 09:18 AM
It is easier to win games through tactics than strategically...

Saragossa
13-06-2009, 12:25 PM
It is easier to win games through tactics than strategically...

It is but it is also easier for your opponent to win like this. The greater positional knowledge that you apply within your games the better chances you have at coming across one way tactics. This is good because it eliminates counterplay that they might otherwise get in a fully open game.

And 1.d4 isn't completely void of tactics, quite the opposite really we have: The benoni, Benko, Blumenfeld,Budapest, Tarrasch, Slav (Some lines here but this applies to most of the defenses I am naming) KID, The dutch etc. All these have good tactical oppurtunities.

Another thing to note is that far fewer lower level chess players have a good positional understanding thus you can exploit this ahead of your time by beating them to it.

Schu
13-06-2009, 01:12 PM
It is but it is also easier for your opponent to win like this. The greater positional knowledge that you apply within your games the better chances you have at coming across one way tactics. This is good because it eliminates counterplay that they might otherwise get in a fully open game.

And 1.d4 isn't completely void of tactics, quite the opposite really we have: The benoni, Benko, Blumenfeld,Budapest, Tarrasch, Slav (Some lines here but this applies to most of the defenses I am naming) KID, The dutch etc. All these have good tactical oppurtunities.

Another thing to note is that far fewer lower level chess players have a good positional understanding thus you can exploit this ahead of your time by beating them to it.

And just as d4 has many tactical variations, e4 has many positional variations. But most people would agree that it is easier to have e4 lead to a tactical game and d4 to lead to a positional game.

One problem with beginners playing positional games is that you need a very secure tactical base before you can try to gain any positional advantage - not only that, but to turn a positional advantage into a win, you also need very secure tactics or your positional lead could become irrelevant or evaporate. I think it's probably better to teach positional principles and for people to apply these once they've looked over the tactics of the position, and just let the choice of d4 or e4 be on personal preference.

I prefer e4 personally, but play both pretty often.

Saragossa
13-06-2009, 01:30 PM
One problem with beginners playing positional games is that you need a very secure tactical base before you can try to gain any positional advantage.

I don't think that this is true. I can gain a positional advantage quite easily with only basic tactical understanding (This may vary depending on what your definition of tactics is.).


not only that, but to turn a positional advantage into a win, you also need very secure tactics or your positional lead could become irrelevant or evaporate.

This can happen I agree but a positional advantage makes tactics far easier to come by thus you actually need less tactical knowhow to convert a position with greater positional integrity. An example woulb be that it is far easier to win an endgame when you have clear advantages even if you don't have such great endgame technique (Although it can't hurt).

Schu
13-06-2009, 02:01 PM
I don't think that this is true. I can gain a positional advantage quite easily with only basic tactical understanding (This may vary depending on what your definition of tactics is.).

Well my point is that a player attempting to gain a positional advantage without knowing the tactics of a situation can often lose that advantage to a tactical trick, or their positional advantage can become irrelevant if they miss some enemy tactic to gain either their own positional gain, a material gain, initiative or a strong attack. I think once you're sure your position is sound enough to, absolutely go for a positional advantage, expert and beginner alike, but to get to the stage where you're secure enough to do that, make sure you're not missing anything.



This can happen I agree but a positional advantage makes tactics far easier to come by thus you actually need less tactical knowhow to convert a position with greater positional integrity. An example woulb be that it is far easier to win an endgame when you have clear advantages even if you don't have such great endgame technique (Although it can't hurt).

Absolutely. Another important point is that a tactical advantage can often be turned into a positional advantage and vice versa.

I guess what I'm saying here is that in my opinion, someone with great ideas of where to put their pieces strategically but isn't strong on tactics will often lose to a player that doesn't quite know the right way to put place their pieces but has a great tactical sense. A player with balanced tactical and strategic abilities will probably beat them both though :P