|The Dunst Opening is a chess opening where White opens with the move 1.Nc3. This fairly uncommon opening may have more names than any other chess opening; it is also called the Heinrichsen Opening, Baltic Opening, van Geet´s Opening, Sleipner Opening, Kotrc´s Opening, Meštrović Opening, and the Queen´s Knight Opening. The names Heinrichsen and Baltic derive from Lithuanian chess player Arved Heinrichsen (1876–1900). The opening was also analyzed and played by the New York master Ted A. Dunst (born April 11, 1907 in New York City, died December 18, 1985 in Lambertville, New Jersey), giving the opening its most popular name in the U.S.. The Dutch correspondence grandmaster Dick D. van Geet frequently plays 1.Nc3, so it is often called the van Geet´s Opening in the Netherlands. The appellation Sleipner seems to come from Germany. Sleipner is Odin´s (Wotan in German) magical eight-legged horse, and chess knights are horses with up to eight different possible moves each turn.|
This opening move is not popular. Of the possible 20 opening moves, 1.Nc3 ranks eighth; the third ranking 1.Nf3 is more than fifty times as popular. Some very strong correspondence chess players employ it frequently, and 1.Nc3 is also occasionally seen over-the-board. It is perfectly playable.
The move has constructive points about it: 1.Nc3 develops the knight to a good square where it attacks the centre and the e4 square.
The reason for the lack of popularity is that while 1.Nf3 prevents 1...e5, 1.Nc3 does not prevent 1...d5. Indeed after 1.Nc3 d5, Black is threatening to chase the knight away with 2...d4. White can prevent this with 2.d4 but he obtains a somewhat inflexible position in the Queen´s Pawn Game with his knight blocking the c-pawn. If White allows his knight to be chased away, he cedes a spatial advantage to Black, although he might work to undermine this along the lines of hypermodernism.
The Dunst Opening is classified as "irregular" by the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, and is therefore coded as A00. Transpositions to more common openings are possible. For instance after 1.Nc3 e5 2.e4 we have the Vienna Game and 1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 reaches a position in the Center Counter Defense. The Dunst can also transpose into variations of the Sicilian Defense (closed), Queen´s Pawn Game, and French Defense.
- Wall, Bill (2002). 1. Nc3 Dunst Opening. Chess Enterprises. ISBN 0-9454-7048-7.