Play The Strange Saragossa Opening!


Saragossa Opening

The Saragossa opening is one of the most interesting openings there are to try out. It may seem normal and simple, but it has a little hidden trick that you can use to get some advantage.

As always, we have to understand that every opening in the book has value, and can be pretty useful to know. We have given too much importance to chess openings in contemporary chess, and that can play against us or without us.

We can simply play the normal variations that we see, the regular Sicilian, queen’s gambit, and etcetera. But if you really want to take your opponent out of his element, play different openings!

The Saragossa opening will give you an extra option, and it will allow you to adopt different systems depending on what your rival plays. It’s somewhat like the Reti opening that is pretty flexible, for that reason, allows you to play different things.

If you want to know more about the Saragossa opening and learn how to use this weapon read this post.

The main lines of the Saragossa opening


First, to enter the Saragossa opening with white we will have to play 1.c3 and is a weird-looking move. It doesn’t occupy the center and it doesn’t develop a piece, suspicious, right?

But the Saragossa is preparing to strike the center strongly with d4 when the right moment comes. It plays with a similar idea to a French defense, but with white, why not?

An example of how the game could go is this: 1.c3 d5 2.d4 c6 3.Bg5 Bf5 4.Nd2 Nd7 5.Ngf3 Ngf6 6.e3 h6 7.Bf4 e6 8.h3 Be7 9.Be2 and we end up in a typical queen’s pawn position.

There are many ways to play the Saragossa opening, but the value of the opening is not actually on the theory about it. If you think about it, this is a move that is played so many times in different openings.

The thing is that is not played in the first move, but you can transpose to many openings. And the openings you can transpose from here are pretty solid and easy to play. You can create a whole repertoire from the Saragossa opening only!

Some masters simply use it to transpose to their favorite system, but making their opponent think a little: 1.c3 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.cxd4 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bf4 Bd6 6.Bg3 Ne7 7.e3 is another good way to go.

1.c3 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Bg5 O-O 5.Nbd2 d5 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Be2 Re8 8.O-O not a bad position either.

Studying the variations of the Saragossa opening is like studying the whole opening book, it’s so flexible.

Saragossa opening sample games


We will see two games that demonstrate that the Saragossa opening is playable!

Now, we will see another game played by the world champion: GM Magnus Carlsen

Now, I feel like it would be interesting to share this game I found on my database, a really weird one. Come to your own conclusions on this game.

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