Ranking The Best To The Worst Chess Opening Moves To Play Against d4

You asked for it and we are here at chess.com to deliver! Here’s WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni to break down all the possible ways you can open up against d4 with a clear winner coming above the rest!

For more on our rankings check out this article:

0:00 – Intro
0:29 – g5 Borg
1:00 – h5
1:46 – f6
2:17 – a5
2:58 – h6
3:03 – Na6 Australian
3:35 – Nh6
4:15 – e5 englund
5:32 – a6 St. George
6:24 – b5 Polish
7:03 – Nc6 Mikenas
8:04 – b6 English advanced
8:36 – c5 Old Benoni
9:21 – d6 Rat
10:19 -c6 English
10:50 – f5 Dutch
11:24 – g6 Modern
12:44 – e6 Horwitz
13:11 – d5 Queen’s Pawn
14:27 – Nf6 Indian
15:00 – Outro

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50 Comments

  1. As a 1. …Nf6 player I used to fear d4 players. Now most of them just lose near immediately after the very dubious 2. Bf4

  2. The best defense is the surprise. A tier: Old Benoni. S tier: Cow.

  3. d5 fans: 🀑
    King's indian enjoyers(they lose everygames): πŸ—ΏπŸ·

  4. Life is Good when you win otherwise when you lose you can become like Hikaru πŸ˜‚ he is a Great player tho

  5. You got the englund wrong, it's actually S rank

  6. You seem to have missed an important point behind 1…c5, which is that it prevents white from heading for the London or Trompowsky. So it is a useful move transposition over 1…Nf6 if you do not like the black side of these systems. The real downside is that white can play a Benoni set-up without committing to c4 and subsequently use the c4 square for a knight rather than a pawn, so you choose the move order that cuts out the variations that you least like to play against. The same thought process should be used by Pirc players when choosing between 1…Nf6, 2…d6 and 1…d6, 2…Nf6; for French+QG players choosing between 1…e6, 2…d5 and 1…d5, 2…e6; and so on. Move order subtleties are rarely about your primary defence and more about which alternative lines you accept and which you rule out.

  7. Thank you so much for this tier list! I would love to see a ranking of best to worst moves to play against 1. e4 e5

  8. Does anyone know the song/music from about 4:208:37 or in the outro? Edit: Found it- Digital Battleground: Night Riders 87

  9. I really love this series of opening moves!!!

  10. Glad to see the King's Indian at A tier. Bobby Fischer would be proud.

  11. I like this video because weird moves against d4 are rarely covered in vids.
    I didn't know that e6 is a legit move.

  12. I played The Dutch before it was cool 😎

  13. I'd really argue for the Dutch being A-tier: it's by far the most committal move against d4 with some very tough nuts to crack for White if played properly.

  14. Thank you for taking my request to make this video!

  15. h5,a5,h6 in the F category is harsh imo. they are not as bad as f6 or g5

  16. d5 and kf6, also like playing c5 to throw off opponent, g6 could be played first, also like f5 and even e6 before f5.

  17. This is just…DULL. I respect Theory and it's okay, but there's a moment when you get tired of playing the Dos and Don'ts in Chess like a machine. And we humans are allowed to do some… crazy stuff 😎

  18. Never mind opening lines, could this very attractive WIM rank pick-up lines in order of prospective success?

  19. Best to worst first move in order in my view = e4, Nf3, d4, c4, g3, e3, Nc3, b3, a3, d3, c3, h3, f4, b4, a4, h4, Na3, Nh3, f3, g4.

  20. Me who does e5 in attempt to do the Englund Gambit but really is trying to do d4, e5, dxe5, bc5, nf3, d6, exd6, ne7, dxe7, bxf2+, kxf2, qxd1:

  21. It's interesting how both 1.e4 and 1.d4 being met with the symmetrical response by black (e5 and d5, respectively) results in black's 2nd best move in both cases. However, responding asymmetrically in an aggressive and proactive way (c5 and Nf6, respectively) leads black to playing the best line possible, and maximizing their chance of winning.

  22. Why is Queen's Gambit so much better than the King's Gambit? Is it because you don't expose your king?

  23. IMO this video might get more views if you dont show the final tier list in the thumbnail. Nice video! πŸ’―

  24. I cant believe this!!! Englund gambit is bad!!!!!! I have win more game with Englund gambit than any other resoonse against d4

  25. Thank you! One advice: flip the board around when talking about best moves for black πŸ™‚

  26. d5 and nf6 queens pawn and indian ( S Tier )
    g6 for modern and e6 for horwitz

  27. Chess opening jokes!
    My wife is a telephone technology wiz, who is doing all the software engineering gizmos stuff. So to get her a little more balanced I taught her chess for a week. And she was learning fast like I knew she would. So we played our first game and I opened with d4. You know what move she made? Yes, you geeks know it, the only focus tech geeks would know the answer. g5!!!!!

    I taught a Jewish friend chess and his first intuitive response to my d4 opening was c5! Yes, you frisbee wearing Orthros know why, out of respect to Benjamin. (c5 is the BENONI defense.)

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