Ranking The Best To The Worst Chess Opening Moves To Play Against e4

Your opponent just played their FIRST move against you and it’s 1.e4. What is the best way to counter it? James Canty is back and he’s put together a tier list of the BEST to WORST opening chess moves to play vs. e4 so that you never get caught unprepared again!

0:00 – Intro
0:27 – O’Neill Gambit
0:39 – Duras Gambit
1:16 – Barnes Defense
2:07 – Ware Defense
3:02 – Goldsmith Defense
4:07 – Carr Defense
4:48 – Adams Defense
6:08 – Lemming Defense
6:41 – Borg Defense
7:44 – St. George Defense
8:54 – Owen’s Defense
10:39 – Nimzowitsch Defense
11:59 – Alekhine’s Defense
13:24 – Scandinavian Defense
13:39 – Modern Defense
14:59 – Pirc Defense
16:34 – French Defense
17:59 – Caro-Kann Defense
19:44 – King’s Gambit
20:39 – Sicilian Defense
23:14 – Full List
23:19 – Outro

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  1. Please make one for d4!! This is such a great video format!!!

  2. I'm a e6 b6 dude. I love this type of slightly passive but ultra solid structures, especially when it can lead to a close position.

  3. 3:05 Goldsmith is a great guy (who played 1…h5 against Spassky in a simul and against Benko in a blitz game) and a great opening. It's main idea is basically just a weird delayed Scandi with 3…c6. It is embarrasing that it has classified as a bottom tier opening.

  4. Ware defense crab variation is the new meta😇

  5. Me. Ah, this response has a name. So it must be good <3

  6. You forgot about the chat GPT defense which is to take whites Queen on move one

  7. The Duras gambit is actually highly playable in blitz because almost no one knows how to play against it with white.

    After exf5, black plays Nf6 to prevent Qh5+. Then white is completely winning if they play g4 to support the pawn, but most of the time white will play moves like Nf3 or d4, which means black can play d5, threatening to take back the pawn and actually have an advantage with some sort of weird reverse kings gambit type of position.

    To be clear, playing d4 is completely fine for white, it's just much easier to play against for black than the g4 move.

    Nf3 is also fine according to the engine but after d5 from black you have to either play Bd3 putting your bishop in front of your d pawn, or you have to allow black to recapture the pawn by playing d4. Given that people do not know this opening, they will obviously feel that when black recaptures the pawn, black has an advantage because the idea of the gambit has been completed. Black got what they wanted out of the opening, and white is in very unfamiliar territory because they got baited into moving the e4 so early and are looking at some unfamiliar structures.

    If white declines the gambit with e5 instead of exf5, then white doesn't have as much advantage according to the engine, but in my experience playing this with black it's quite slow, cramped and unpleasant to play.

  8. this is really great video for e4 players, very informative for both colours

  9. I will stick to the Barnes defense I like the concept of it

  10. Black plays f5
    "Don't play f6 or f3, as Finegold says"

    He didnt tho

  11. it really doesn't matter what you play just be hikaru

  12. 16:35 perc defense is my go2 i love that shit get me geëky FR NAHH but srs i always play pirc

  13. Can you show us how the theory behind the weird openings like goldsmith defence or something like that

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