Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nh3

Basman Attack
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation (FEN)
Moves: 1. e4 e5 2. Nh3
Parent: Open Game

The Basman Attack edit

The Basman Attack is an unusual chess opening named after the English International Master Michael John Basman who played the strange 2. Nh3 in a game versus John T Fletcher in 2013.

The Basman Attack is offbeat, but slightly playable for White. It is mainly used to avoid highly theoretical lines such as the Ruy Lopez or the Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. White intends to play f2-f4 soon.

The Basman Attack incurs multiple problems for White. First, it develops a piece towards the outer edge of the board. The problem with developing your knight to h3 instead of f3 is that on h3 it doesn't control the pivotal central squares of e5 and d4. On h3, the only square the knight can move to that it couldn't move to if it was on f3 is f4. The other problem with this opening is that it loses initiative. In e4 e5 openings, White typically controls the opening. Moves like Nf3 put immediate pressure on the opponent, forcing them to defend. The move Nh3 puts none of that pressure and therefore is an almost pointless move.

It is relatively easy for Black to equalise in this opening, for example, 2...Nf6, 2...d5, and 2...Nc6 all equalise, although Black should be careful to avoid an eventual f2-f4.

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