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This odd first move is named for Thomas Wilson Barnes(1825-1874). Barnes was also fond of playing ‘1...f6’ when playing as Black. Barnes scored a number of wins against Paul Morphy including one played using the defense which now bears his name. ‘1.f3’ is also sometimes referred to as “Gedult’s Opening.” David Gedult, a French amateur of great strength, often transposed into a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit if Black responded with ‘1...d5.’

1.f3 has earned the reputation as being among the worst opening moves for White. Grandmaster Edmar Mednis went so far as to write that 1.f3 is the worst of the 20 legal first moves for White.[1] To date, however, nobody has offered a clear refutation of the Barnes opening though White can quickly find herself checkmated as, for example, in the case of the Fool's Mate 1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4. The opening's status among the worst openings does make it an ideal candidate to be subjected to intensive computer analysis in order to see whether the poor opening yields Black an advantage sufficient enough to allow Black a forced win. If on the other hand, 1.f3 is shown to lead to a draw (or a win??!) with perfect play, then it will remain in good company with the vast, if not total, majority of all other first moves in that they too lead to a draw with perfect play.

"The move 1.f3 has been called many names, some of them unmentionable in polite company. However, most BDG partisans know it as Gedult's Opening. Obviously, the move has the potential of transposing into a BDG, or something resembling a BDG - or something from your darkest nightmares. Gedult himself recommended not taking more than two of these on the same evening against the same opponent"(Purser and Tejler).

Computer Analysis

  1. [28] –0.53: 1...e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.e4 Bc5 4.Nge2 d5 5.Nxd5 Nxd5 6.exd5 0–0 7.Nc3 c6 8.Ne4 Bb6 9.dxc6 Nxc6 10.h4 Be6 11.c3 h6 12.g4 f5 13.gxf5 Rxf5 14.b4 a5 15.b5;
  2. [28] –0.44: 1...d5 2.d4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.e4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.Nge2 c5 9.Qd2 d4 10.Nb1 Nf6 11.Na3 Be7 12.b3 0–0 13.c3 Qc7 14.Nc4 e5 15.0–0 Bb5 16.Qd3 Rab8 17.Ba3 Nd7;
  3. [28] –0.41: 1...Nf6 2.d4 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Qd2 Nc6 8.0–0–0 0–0 9.Kb1 b6 10.Bc4 Bb7 11.Rhe1 a6 12.Qf4 Nb4 13.a3 Nbd5 14.Nxd5 exd5 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Bd3;
  4. [28] –0.40: 1...e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 c5 4.e4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.Qd3 Bd6 9.Nge2 Rb8 10.b3 Nf6 11.0–0 Qc7 12.h3 e5 13.exd5 cxd5 14.Nxd5 Qc5+ 15.Ne3 0–0 16.Kh1;
  5. [28] –0.26: 1...c5 2.e4 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Ne2 Nf6 5.Nxd4 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.a3 a6 8.Nb3 Qc7 9.c4 Nb6 10.Be2 Nxc4 11.Qc2 b5 12.N1d2 Nc6 13.Nxc4 bxc4 14.Qxc4 Bd6 15.Be3 0–0 16.Rd1 Bxh2;
  6. [28] –0.25: 1...Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 e5 4.dxe5 d4 5.Ne4 f5 6.Ng3 Nxe5 7.c3 Bc5 8.Bf4 Ng6 9.Nh3 Nxf4 10.Nxf4 c6 11.e4 dxe3 12.Qxd8+ Kxd8 13.Rd1+ Kc7 14.Bc4 Bd6 15.Ne6+ Bxe6 16.Bxe6 g6 17.0–0;
  7. [28] –0.18: 1...a6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e4 e6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.f4 c5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.Be3 Be7 9.Be2 0–0 10.0–0 b5 11.g3 b4 12.Na4 c4 13.c3 Bb7 14.cxb4 Nxb4 15.Nc3 Nc6;
  8. [27] –0.06: 1...h6 2.d4 d5 3.e4 e6 4.Ne2 Nf6 5.Nbc3 Be7 6.Bf4 0–0 7.Qd2 c5 8.0–0–0 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nh5 10.g3 Nxf4 11.gxf4 Nc6 12.Kb1 dxe4 13.fxe4 Nxd4 14.Qxd4 Qxd4 15.Rxd4 Rd8;
  9. [27] –0.06: 1...b6 2.d4 e6 3.e4 d5 4.Bd3 c5 5.c3 Nf6 6.Ne2 Bb7 7.Bg5 dxe4 8.Bxe4 Bxe4 9.fxe4 Be7 10.Nd2 Nc6 11.0–0 0–0 12.Qa4 Rc8 13.h3 cxd4 14.cxd4 e5 15.Bxf6 Bxf6;
  10. [27] 0.00: 1...c6 2.d4 d5 3.e4 e6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.f4 c5 7.Nf3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Be3 Qb6 10.Na4 Qa5+ 11.Nc3 Qb6;
  11. [27] 0.00: 1...d6 2.d4 e6 3.e4 d5 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.f4 c5 7.Nf3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Be3 Qb6 10.Na4 Qa5+ 11.Nc3 Qb6;
  12. [27] 0.03: 1...g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.d4 d5 4.Ne2 dxe4 5.fxe4 e5 6.d5 Nf6 7.Nec3 Bg4 8.Qd3 0–0 9.Be3 Nh5 10.Nd2 Nd7 11.g3 c6 12.d6 b5 13.Be2 Bxe2 14.Nxe2 b4;
  13. [27] 0.07: 1...f5 2.d4 d5 3.e3 e6 4.c4 c5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bb5+ Nc6 7.Ne2 a6 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.Qc2 Bd6 10.b3 Qh4+ 11.g3 Qe7 12.Nbc3 Bd7 13.Na4 cxd4 14.Nxd4 Nf6 15.0–0 0–0 16.Nxc6;
  14. [27] 0.16: 1...h5 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e4 dxe4 5.Bg5 Bf5 6.Bxf6 exf6 7.fxe4 Bg6 8.a3 Nc6 9.Bb5 a6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.Nge2 c5 12.d5 Bd6 13.0–0 Qb8 14.Rb1 c4 15.Kh1 0–0;
  15. [27] 0.20: 1...Nh6 2.d4 d5 3.e4 e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.g3 0–0 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nc6 8.Ne2 b6 9.Bxh6 gxh6 10.Qd2 Qg5 11.Qf4 Qxf4 12.Nxf4 dxe4 13.fxe4 e5 14.Bb5 Bb7 15.Ne2;
  16. [27] 0.20: 1...a5 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 e6 4.e4 Bb4 5.Nge2 dxe4 6.fxe4 Qh4+ 7.Ng3 Nf6 8.Qf3 Nc6 9.Qf4 Qxf4 10.Bxf4 Nxd4 11.0–0–0 c5 12.Na4 e5 13.Bxe5 Bg4 14.Bxd4 cxd4 15.Bb5+ Ke7 16.Rxd4;
  17. [27] 0.25: 1...Na6 2.e4 e6 3.d4 d5 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.f4 c5 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Be3 0–0 9.Be2 b6 10.Nb5 Nb4 11.0–0 Ba6 12.a3 Nc6 13.c3 h6 14.c4 Bxb5 15.cxb5;
  18. [27] 0.28: 1...f6 2.e4 e5 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.Ne2 f5 5.d4 fxe4 6.fxe4 Qh4+ 7.g3 Qxe4 8.0–0 exd4 9.Bf7+ Kd8 10.Bd5 Qe8 11.Bg5+ Nf6 12.Bxc6 d3 13.Qxd3 bxc6 14.Rxf6 gxf6 15.Bxf6+ Be7 16.Bxh8 Qxh8 17.Nbc3;
  19. [27] 0.33: 1...b5 2.d4 a6 3.e4 Nf6 4.c3 e6 5.Be3 d5 6.Nd2 Be7 7.Nh3 0–0 8.Nf2 dxe4 9.fxe4 Nbd7 10.Be2 Bb7 11.a4 b4 12.0–0 c5 13.Bd3 bxc3 14.bxc3 cxd4 15.cxd4;
  20. [27] 0.65: 1...g5 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 e5 4.d5 d6 5.e4 h6 6.Nge2 a6 7.g4 Ne7 8.Be3 Ng6 9.Ng3 b5 10.Bg2 0–0 11.0–0 Nh4 12.Nh5 Nd7 13.Ne2 Qe7 14.Nxg7 Nxg2;


Image:chess zhor 26.png
Image:chess zver 26.png a8 rd b8 nd c8 bd d8 qd e8 kd f8 bd g8 nd h8 rd Image:chess zver 26.png
a7 pd b7 pd c7 pd d7 pd e7 pd f7 pd g7 pd h7 pd
a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6
a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5
a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4
a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 pl g3 h3
a2 pl b2 pl c2 pl d2 pl e2 pl f2 g2 pl h2 pl
a1 rl b1 nl c1 bl d1 ql e1 kl f1 bl g1 nl h1 rl
Image:chess zhor 26.png
Barnes Opening
Image:Chess_zver_27_2.PNG a8 rl b8 nl c8 bl d8 kl e8 ql f8 bl g8 nl h8 rl Image:Chess_zver_27_2.PNG
a7 pl b7 pl c7 d7 pl e7 pl f7 pl g7 pl h7 pl
a6 b6 c6 pl d6 e6 f6 g6 h6
a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5
a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4
a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3
a2 pd b2 pd c2 pd d2 pd e2 pd f2 pd g2 pd h2 pd
a1 rd b1 nd c1 bd d1 kd e1 qd f1 bd g1 nd h1 rd
Barnes Opening


Chess Program

DroidFish, Stockfish Six(6)


"DroidFish is an Android port of the very strong Stockfish chess engine, combined with a feature-rich GUI."


  1. Blackmar, Diemer & Gedult: David Gedult plays the Blackmar-Diemer gambit by Tom Purser and Anders Tejler
  2. Danelishen, Gary (2008), The Final Theory of Chess, Phillidor Press, ISBN 978-0981567709
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