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The bird opening

The bird opening is an irregular opening that characterizes because of its weird move at the start of the game. You can learn the birds opening to surprise your opponent in the first stage.

It’s considered not to be the best option because there are other moves that may give more advantage to white. But it’s undeniable that the birds opening hides some nice ideas that can give you more than one win.

If your opponent is not well prepared to face the birds opening, you can be sure he will have a bad time. And there are ways to treat the opening that may be riskier or not, everything depends on your preparation.

The bird opening has been neglected by some players due to the risks that the opening choice supposes. Even for white who doesn’t have any reason to assume these concessions having the first move.

However, they are ignoring the real potential of the opening, and if studied correctly, you can avoid making too many concessions. If you want to master the birds opening, you came to the right place! Make sure you read until the end.

Main lines of the bird opening

bird-opening-chess

To enter the bird’s opening we should first play the move f4 with white, and this is considered the bird opening already. We see this is a move that controls the key central square e5 and has more ideas.

For now, let’s look at the main lines, and how the game may continue, there are four possible moves for black:

  • c5
  • Nf6
  • b6
  • d5

The first move c5 normally supposes that white will gain space in the kingside while black will go with the queenside. The game could go this way:

And you have a decent position.

If you want to avoid exchanging queens you can take with the b-pawn: 8.bxc3 Bd7 9.Nxd7 Qxd7 10.O-O Be7 11.Qe2 and you will prepare d4.

The second move Nf6 is one of the most popular in this position, and it sticks more with the normal lines of the bird opening:

A very exciting line!

The other possible move is b6 which is playing directly against our Bg2 plan, but white has resources here:

You can assume a setup like in the Grand Prix Attack against the Sicilian.

Finally, the move d5 is one of the most common against the bird, and in this case, we get a similar setup to the one against Nf6 by black:

We have simply transposed to what we have already seen.

As a bonus, we will talk about a line that white must know if is going to play the bird’s opening. It’s a strange sacrifice by black, but it is extremely dangerous!

After white normally plays 1.f4 e5! This is called the From gambit, with incredible amounts of poison. Here you can simply play 2.e4 and avoid all of what we are about to see, but black surely exploit first white’s move.

The mainline on the From gambit is the following:

And black are going all-in in this game, black will attack with the open h-file!

Plans and ideas of the bird opening

bird-opening-play

White is going for the control of the black squares in the center, e5, and d4. And this is very well combined with the ideas of Bb2 that we saw in some lines. You will assume a setup with both bishops fianchettoed, and try to prepare e4 calmly.

It’s a similar system to the king’s Indian attack, you can also advance on this side of the board and attack. We can control the center better, f4 is a move that is done eventually in many openings, but we do it right away.

The problem is that it is a bit risky, as we saw in the From gambit for example. But if we are able to develop the opening stage with the move f4 we can say the bird opening is a success.

It’s true that weakens the king position a little bit, but it gives you space in the kingside, and the possibility of a quick f5 is always there.

Sample games of the bird opening

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