Chess Opening Theory/1. f3

Barnes Opening
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. f3
ECO code: A00
Parent: Starting position

1. f3 - Barnes OpeningEdit

Quite a rarely played passive starting move that gives up White's first move advantage. White's position is slightly weakened by the White King exposure to a check on the h4 - e1 diagonal. The Kingside Knight's favourite developing square f3, is also not currently possible. In fact, this is arguably the worst possible first move by White. It controls e4, but e4 could have been played right away.

This move is usually a way for the white player to taunt black, especially if his rating is much higher, basically giving black an edge straight away. In this fashion, white is oftentimes seen playing 2.Kf2.

Black's best move is to take advantage of the potential White King exposure to a check on the h4 - e1 diagonal. So the best move is:

  • 1... e5. This very strong move takes advantage of the newly created weaknesses along the diagonal while controlling the center. Black is already better. It can also lead to the fools mate after 2. g4?? Qh4#.

If Black replies with the slightly inferior 1... d5, play could go into a reverse Dutch defence. Another possibility for White is to transpose into a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit: 1. f3 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Nc3.


No stats as 1. f3 occurs rarely among serious chess players.

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  • Nunn's Chess Openings. 1999. John Nunn (Editor), Graham Burgess, John Emms, Joe Gallagher. ISBN 1-8574-4221-0.