|The Desprez Opening is a chess opening characterized by the opening move (in algebraic notation) 1.h4. The opening is named after the French player Marcel Desprez. Like a number of other rare openings, 1.h4 has some alternate names such as "Kadas Opening" and "Reagan Attack". Gabor Kadas is a Hungarian player. According to Eric Schiller´s Unorthodox Chess Openings, the latter name is because 1.h4 is "thoroughly unmotivated and creates weaknesses with only vague promises of future potential", a political gibe against Ronald Reagan.|
Like 1.a4, the Ware Opening, 1.h4 is an irrelevant pawn move which does nothing in the fight over central space, and does very little for development. The only piece released is the rook, and this piece is usually not developed by moving it to h3. In addition 1.h4 creates a weakening of the kingside. Because of all this 1.h4 is among the rarest of the twenty possible opening moves from White on the first move.
Black usually responds by making a vigorous grab of the center, by 1...d5 or 1...e5, and simple and sound development by 1...Nf6 is also possible. However, 1...g6 is rare because the position with a fianchettoed bishop on g7 can be undermined by means of a White h4-h5 pawn advance.
Since 1.h4 is very rare, it is classified as A00 by the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings.
- Schiller, Eric (2003). Unorthodox Chess Openings. Cardoza. ISBN 1-5804-2072-9.