SuperMac! The French MacCutcheon

This line gets its name from a simul. game that the American amateur MacCutcheon played against Steinitz in 1885.  After some initial explorations by Tarrasch and Co., it was relatively neglected, but opening theory is never still... Chistiakov played it for decades, as has Volkov, and recently it has appeared again in Korchnoi's games.  It has also been favoured by Ivanchuk and especially Morozevich who has found new resources in many lines.

Big Mac

Classical rocks

I was wondering about 1. e4 e5 and 1.d4 d5 openings - would you recommend exploring some of these? I'm not enjoying being squashed as black any more and thought I'd make a longer term plan to learn a (very) few classical openings instead. I wondered about French (winawer?) but thought I try a complete new tack (why swap an early d6 for an early e6 ?!!)

My first thought was, I don't know how long you've been getting back into the game, but I'd leave the job of taking on two or three whole new opening systems for a bit.

Defending against 1.e4

Bird lives!

Ah, not Charlie "(Yard)Bird" Parker, whose untimely departure in 1955 prompted jazz fans to write this graffito all over New York, but Henry Bird, who left us two sprightly variations: the Bird Defence to the Ruy Lopez, and his very own opening, 1.f2-f4.  2008 is the 150th year since Bird died, and at this year's Paignton Chess Congress, there was a special prize for the best game played with his opening.  This resulted in a bigger crop of Birds than usual, as you might expect, and the prize winner was the following game (courtesy of Bill Frost at

Openings Workshop 2008

Learning Opening Lines

Lots of things to say about this...  Here's half-a-dozen or so little nuggets to ponder, and a bit more practical advice.

Openings for Correspondence Chess

Opening Books to help a solid Black player

Playing 1.d4 for juniors

Syndicate content

Chess Quotes

"The great master places a Knight at e5; mate follows by itself."

  "Some Knights don't leap - they limp."

  "A chess game is divided into three stages: the first, when you hope you have the advantage, the second when you believe you have an advantage, and the third... when you know you're going to lose!"

— Savielly Tartakower