Tuesday, 3 February 2015

There is no Australian Opening

Chess openings draw their names from a variety of sources. Some are named after people (Ruy Lopez, Petroffs Defence, Traxler Variation), some are named after cities (London System, Berlin Variation) and some are even named after things (Dragon, Hippo, Tumbleweed). One big source of opening names is of course countries (and regions). Often the opening named after a country is played by a player from that country, which allows chess writers to use the word "fittingly" when writing about the game.
It is of course easier for some players than others. The English Opening is one that is both easy to play, and has a number of potential champions. The Indian Defence's is a similar case, and I am sure the French Defence is popular in the cafe's of Paris.
For other player/country combinations it can be a little rarer. The Italian Game is not that common at the highest levels, so it was nice to see Fabiano Caruana play it against Anand last night. He even went as far as playing it as a real Giuoco Piano, with 5.d3 making it a real 'quiet game'.
Australian players seem to be completely out of luck where openings are concerned. There is no 'Australian' Opening/Variation/Gambit on the market. The closest I can think is the Kangaroo Variation (1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+) but even this is more commonly known as the Keres Defence. There is also the Kangaroo Variation (devised by the late Tony Miles) which involves some knight hops on the kingside, but after that I have run dry (except for the Woolloomooloo Gambit which just occurred to me moments before I hit publish.

Caruana,Fabiano (2820) - Anand,Viswanathan (2797)
GRENKE Chess Classic 2015 chess24.com (1), 02.02.2015


Anonymous said...

There is the Aussie Counter-Attack - 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4. Name caught on in the 1980 and 1990ss but later forgotten.

Anonymous said...

There is the Adelaide Counter-Gambit, 1.e4, e5 2.f4, Nc6 3.Nf3, f5?!apparently named by Tony Miles after the city where he and Alex Wohl developed the line.

Kevin Bonham said...

There is an "Aussie Attack" in the Sicilian:
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Bg5.

Attributed to the 2002 Olympiad team. I've seen one post that claims this can also be played against 2...d6 and 2...Nc6.