Unorthodox Chess Openings


What is the Opening?
In the Batsford Chess Encyclopedia from Nathan Divinsky we can read:

The beginning part of the game from the initial set up of the pieces to the point where both sides have most of their pieces developed. The opening is then over and the middlegame begins.
During the opening phase, master players struggle for control of the center, for greater mobility for their pieces and for optimale placing of their pieces. They try to avoid creating permanent weaknesses in their own positions and to provoke permanent weaknesses in the enemy position.


And what is an Unorthodox Opening?
Eric Schiller wrote in the UCO Groups:

Unorthodox openings are by nature and definition not solid.
Good solid openings include the Colle-Zukertort (with b3, not the c3 lines), Reti, King's Indian Attack,. and the old standby 1.d4 (.......)
But when I want to play something unorthodox, the idea is usually to create chances for a quick win against amateur opposition, or when I just want a bit of fun. Solidity isn't part of the picture.
But you can play 1.e4 and just choose solid lines. 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 avoids Petroff, and the French, well I'm well known for hating it and have lots of fun ways of smashing it, though it is a respectable opening. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd2!? or the solid Delayed (NOT immediate) Exchange Variation are fine.
It never makes sense to abandon your first move just because there is an opening or two that isn't easy to play against. Just a matter of finding the right line.

Jesús López de Lerma Ruiz wrote:

Unorthodox is not orthodox: uncommon, unusual, still uncharted. But not solid? Why?
The Van Geet is the perfect example of a solid unorthodox opening. It is unorthodox because not many people play it (just check the reactions about Morozevich's use of it against Kasparov, certainly not in a solid way!); but it CAN be very solid if white wants to play that way (watch Ekebjaerg's CC games). Anyway, it also CAN be (if white wishes to) an attacking weapon. The same cannot be said about, for example, the Grob.

finally, Eric Schiller replied:

In chess, the term "unorthodox" refers to openings which violate accepted opening principles. In order to have any coherent definition, at least two violations must be seen. I discuss this in my Unorthodox Chess Openings book.

... are you getting curious about the World of Unorthodox Chess Openings?
Well, you can learn more and discuss about them
- joining the Group UnorthodoxChessOpenings at YahooGroups
- playing some corr games! Join!
- playing thematic tournaments