Bird´s Opening[ edit ]
ECO: A02
theme No: 1985
title: Bird´s Opening
notation: 1. f4
board: show
Bird´s Opening is a chess opening characterised by the move 1.f4 (in algebraic notation). It is named after the 19th century English master, Henry Bird.

According to ChessBase, in master level chess, out of the twenty possible opening moves, 1.f4 ranks seventh in popularity. It is less popular than 1.c4 (the English Opening) mainly because 1.f4 weakens the king´s position slightly.

The usual response from Black is 1...d5, when the game can take on the character of a reversed Dutch Defence (1.d4 f5). White will then often either fianchetto his queen´s bishop to increase his hold on the e5 square or adopt a stonewall formation with pawns on d4, e3, and f4 and attempt a kingside attack.

Black may also try the reply 1...e5 which is called From´s Gambit.
White can then transpose into the King´s Gambit with 2.e4.
If White wants to stay in the Bird´s Opening play can continue 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6.
Now White should play 4.Nf3 and must avoid 4.Nc3?? Qh5+ 5.g3 Qxg3+ 5.hxg3 Bxg3 checkmate.
White can also return the gambit pawn by diverging on move 3, playing 3.e4 dxe5 4.Nf3.
After 2.fxe5, instead of 2...d6 Black can play 2...Nc6 which often is followed by 3...d6.

If Black chooses the symmetrical reply 1..f5, an unusual try for White is the Swiss Gambit, which continues 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g4.
This gambit was named by Aleksander Wagner (1868–1942), a Polish/Ukrainian chess player and openings analyst who introduced it in the Swiss correspondence game Wagner–Kostin, 1910–1911.

  • Hooper, David and Kenneth Whyld (1996). The Oxford Companion To Chess. Oxford University. ISBN 0-19-280049-3.

categories: theme library | Bird´s Opening
article No 1009 / last change on 2005-07-05, 09:18pm

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