We Asked ChatGPT For The Best Chess Openings. Here’s What It Said.
It is well-known that ChatGPT doesn’t make for a good chess player. But, it does have quite a lot of knowledge when it comes to the history of chess, chess players and everything that doesn’t require actually playing the game. In a sense, that makes ChatGPT the exact opposite of Stockfish. However, how does ChatGPT stack up in terms of opening knowledge? We decided to find out by asking ChatGPT for the best three chess openings and digging in on how well it knows certain openings. Let’s see what it says.
ChatGPT, What Are The Top 3 Chess Openings?
After logging into the chatbot, we went straight to work:
Chessily: What are the top 3 chess openings?
ChatGPT: It is difficult to determine the “top 3” chess openings as the popularity of openings can vary depending on the level of play and personal preference. However, here are some of the most commonly played openings that are often considered strong choices for both White and Black:
- Spanish Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5) – Also known as the Ruy Lopez, this is one of the oldest recorded openings and is still a popular choice among grandmasters.
- Sicilian Defense (1.e4 c5) – The Sicilian is the most popular response to 1.e4 and is known for its aggressive nature. It has many variations, each with its own strategic ideas and tactical motifs.
- French Defense (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5) – The French Defense is a solid choice for Black that aims to undermine White’s center and fight for the initiative. It has a reputation for being a bit positional and slow, but can lead to a strong pawn structure for Black if played correctly.
It’s worth noting that these openings are not set in stone and the list can change as the game of chess evolves.
Chessily: Could you elaborate on why you think the French defense is such a good opening for black? Also, what do I have to be aware of when playing it?
ChatGPT: The French Defense is considered a solid choice for Black due to its ability to control the center of the board and create a solid pawn structure. By playing the move 2…d5, Black takes control of the important d4 square and puts pressure on White’s pawn center. This can lead to a game with a slower pace and less tactical opportunities, which can be advantageous for Black if they are able to secure a solid position and wait for White to make a mistake.
When playing the French Defense, Black needs to be aware of several key concepts and ideas. One of the most important is pawn structure: it’s crucial to maintain a solid pawn structure and avoid weaknesses in the position. Black should also be aware of the tactical motifs that arise from the French Defense, such as the pawn breaks …c7-c5 or …f7-f6, and be prepared to take advantage of any opportunities that arise. Finally, Black should also be familiar with the various pawn structures that can arise from the French Defense, such as the Tarrasch and Winawer variations, and know the plans and ideas associated with each structure.
In conclusion, the French Defense is a solid choice for Black that can lead to a solid pawn structure and control of the center of the board. Black needs to be aware of the pawn structure, tactical motifs, and pawn structures that can arise from the French Defense, and be prepared to take advantage of any opportunities that arise in the game.
Chessily: What about my bishop on c8?
ChatGPT: The bishop on c8 is a key piece for Black in the French Defense. This bishop often remains trapped on c8 for several moves, which can limit its mobility and impact on the game. However, there are several strategies that Black can use to get the bishop into the game and make use of its full potential.
One common strategy is to play …b7-b6 to open up the b8-h2 diagonal, allowing the bishop to come into play. This can be an effective way to counter White’s pawn center and put pressure on their position. Another strategy is to play …d7-d6 to create the “d-pawn gambit” and offer a pawn sacrifice in exchange for active piece play. This can lead to a dynamic and tactical game that gives Black the chance to take the initiative.
In general, the bishop on c8 is an important piece for Black in the French Defense, and Black needs to find ways to get it into the game and use it to their advantage. This can involve a combination of pawn moves and piece play, and may vary depending on the specific pawn structure and tactical motifs that arise in the game.
Chessily: Very good explanation! What are the most common variations in the french defense?
ChatGPT: The French Defense has several common variations, each with its own strategic and tactical ideas. Some of the most popular variations include:
- The Tarrasch Variation (3.Nd2): This variation is characterized by the move 3.Nd2, which aims to control the center of the board and restrict Black’s piece play. White often follows up with d4-d5, which creates a strong pawn center and puts pressure on Black’s position.
- The Winawer Variation (3.Nc3 Bb4): This variation is characterized by the move 3.Nc3, which aims to attack Black’s pawn on e6. Black’s reply, 3…Bb4, is designed to put pressure on White’s pawn on d4 and create tactical opportunities for Black.
- The Advance Variation (3.e5): This variation is characterized by the move 3.e5, which aims to control the center of the board and create a strong pawn center. This can lead to a game with a more tactical focus, as both sides will have pawn chains in the center of the board.
- The Rubinstein Variation (3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5): This variation is characterized by the move 4.Bg5, which aims to restrict Black’s knight on f6 and control the center of the board. White often follows up with d4-d5, which creates a strong pawn center and puts pressure on Black’s position.
These are just a few of the most common variations in the French Defense, and there are many others with their own strategic and tactical ideas. The choice of variation will often depend on the player’s personal preferences and the specific pawn structure and tactical motifs that arise in the game.
Chessily: What is the main line in the french defense?
ChatGPT: The main line in the French Defense is a matter of some debate among chess players and experts, as different variations can be considered the main line depending on the player’s style and preferences. However, one variation that is widely considered the main line and is frequently played at the highest levels of chess is the Tarrasch Variation (3.Nd2).
In the Tarrasch Variation, White plays 3.Nd2, which aims to control the center of the board and restrict Black’s piece play. White often follows up with d4-d5, which creates a strong pawn center and puts pressure on Black’s position. The Tarrasch Variation is considered a solid choice for White, as it aims to control the center of the board and create a strong pawn center, which can lead to a strategic advantage for White.
Of course, the choice of main line in the French Defense can depend on many factors, including the player’s individual style and preferences, the specific pawn structure and tactical motifs that arise in the game, and the player’s familiarity with a particular variation. Nevertheless, the Tarrasch Variation is widely considered a strong choice for White and is frequently played at the highest levels of chess.
ChatGPT Has Impressive Knowledge of Chess Openings
I think we can agree that ChatGPT did a lot better in theory than it did when actually playing chess. Although some information was a bit misplaced or presented weirdly, it can generally understand and communicate the ins and outs of certain chess openings.
For some reason, it never mentioned the main line of 3.Nc3, which is the most common line in the Lichess Masters database for the French Defense. But at least it got all the variations correct.
It is quite surprising how well ChatGPT did here, compared to it playing itself. Does that mean you should use ChatGPT as a chess coach? Definitely not (yet). While it does have some impressive opening knowledge, it lacks a deeper understanding of what it is talking about and there is no guarantee it will be correct for more niche openings.