Barnes Opening

Barnes Opening

Infobox chess opening

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moves = 1.f3
ECO = A00
birth =
nameorigin = Thomas Wilson Barnes
parentopening = Irregular opening
AKA = Gedult's opening
chessgid = 371587&move=1.5&moves=f3&nodes=371587

Barnes Opening or Gedult's Opening is a chess opening where White opens with:1. It is considered an irregular opening, so it is classified under the A00 code in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings.

The opening is named after Thomas Wilson Barnes (1825–1874), an English player who had an impressive eight wins over Paul Morphy, including one game where Barnes answered 1.e4 with 1...f6, known as Barnes Defense.


Of the twenty possible legal first moves, 1.f3 is considered to be the "worst" one. The move does attack a central square, e4, but if this is the summit of White's ambition in the centre, which it should not be, 1.d3 (the Mieses Opening) or even 1.Nc3 (the Dunst Opening) are better ways, although both of these opening moves are considered rather passive. 1.f3 does nothing for development, indeed it actually hinders White's development because it robs the knight of the f3 square. In addition 1.f3 weakens the king's position needlessly. [cite book | author=Larsen, Bent| title=Lærebok i sjakk | publisher=Dreyer | year=1977 | isbn=82-09-01480-3]

Since 1.f3 is a poor move, it is not played often. Nonetheless, it is probably not the rarest opening move. Some players play this move, somewhat arrogantly, as a way of saying something like "I can play anything against you". After 1.f3 e5 some players even continue with the nonsensical 2.Kf2, which is sometimes called the Wandering King Opening, The Hammerschlag, or the Pork Chop Opening. One example of this was Simon Williams against Martin Simons in the last round of the British championship tournament in 1999 where Williams had nothing to play for. [ [ Opening Lanes] Garry Lane,]

Refutation of 1.f3 is not an easy task. Black can easily secure an advantage by advancing his central pawns, grabbing control of the centre, and rapidly developing his pieces. However, converting this to a win is tougher, and in most games featuring 1.f3, White "wakes up" and starts playing sensibly after a few moves.

Fool's Mate

Barnes Opening can lead to Fool's mate, 1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4 mate. Of all of White's legal moves on his second move, only one allows mate in one, while another, 2.h3, allows mate in two.

A transposition

David Gedult, a cult hero of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit community, often played 1.f3 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3. This is sometimes called the Gedult Opening. Play often transposes to the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit proper, as x.d4 is a logical move.

See also

* Fool's Mate
* Barnes Defense


:cite book | author=Hooper, David and Kenneth Whyld | title=The Oxford Companion to Chess | publisher=Oxford University | year=1996 | isbn=0-19-280049-3 | oclc=34618196:citation | last=Dunnington | first=Angus | author-link=Angus Dunnington | year=2000 | title=Winning Unorthodox Openings | publisher=Everyman Chess | isbn=978-1857442854 | oclc=44556403 :cite book | author=Eric Schiller | year=2002 | edition=Second Edition | title=Unorthodox Chess Openings | publisher=Cardoza | isbn=1-58042-072-9 | oclc=51747780 p. 51

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