Bird's Opening

1.f4

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The Bird's opening has great surprise value! It was popularised by the English master Henry E. Bird towards the end of the 19th century. It has not enjoyed the same popularity as 1.d4 and 1.e4 because it is generally regarded as non developing, does not secure a lasting hold on the centre, and slightly weakens the kings position.

It can however lead to very interesting positions when Black plays a gambit variation (The From gambit) against it with 1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6. In this variation, White tries to calm the complications down, and emphasise Whites pawn dominance in the centre. In other variations, where Black does not play so agressively, White can often look forward to a nice grip on the e5 square, and good attacking opportunities on the king side, with the kings rook able to switch easily to h3 via f3 often.

A Brief Survey of the Openings

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