Explore the Kings Pawn Game
The Kings Pawn Game has a proud history as the leading first move in chess. That is to say that 1.e4 is the most commonly played first move. Four other moves have a slightly higher success rate for White. Two of these at least transpose to 1.e4 openings.
Many of the best known openings in chess come under the 1.e4 umbrella. The two we've already considered at length are joined by the Italian Game, the Scotch Opening, the Caro-Kann Defense, the French Defense to name but a few.
The Spanish Game
, as we saw, sees Black answer with 1...e5. This reply features in many 1.e4 openings.
Chess theory really began with endless studies and analyses of play on the Kingside. The Kings Pawn Game
was regarded as the only logical choice to start the game. So much so as to be self-evident.
Stunning combinations were all players strived for all through the centuries and into the Romantic Era of the 19th Century. This kind of play needed 1.e4.
Wilhelm Steinitz pioneered new ideas based on positional chess
. This new concept promoted defensive solidity lending itself in the long run to greater attacking chances. In other words you had to earn the right to attack.
These ideas met fierce resistance at first. But consistent results forced a re-evaluation and they were accepted into the mainstream. Then they became mainstream. It was then that 1.d4, once a far more humble opening move, shot to stardom. It eventually came to rival 1.e4 for the title of the best first move. The QGD
and others were analyzed in depth and theory on each grew exponentially.