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Frequently Asked Questions

Why was an open-source, wiki format chosen?

I believe that open-source collaboration will be the future of chess theory. Just as Wikipedia has come to challenge the peer-reviewed, hierarchical model for encyclopedias, a wiki format will come to challenge the Modern Chess Openings (MCO) format of chess encyclopedias.

Where can I find a guide to using Wikitext, the wiki's markup language?

A good guide can be found at: [Guide to Wikitext]

Did this project have a previous URL / web address?

Yes. Previously, the OECO web server could be reached via: (inactive).

Who is eligible to contribute analysis to the FToC wiki?

If you are interested in contributing you own analysis to the wiki then I will create a username and temporary password for you. So long as a person has a strong chess program (ELO > 2800) they will be permitted to post their own analysis on the wiki.

Why should I consider becoming a contributor to the wiki? What is in it for me?

Becoming a contributor to the chess wiki may help to improve a player's chess game. As a contributor to the wiki, a chess player can spend time studying computer analysis of chess variations of his or her own choice rather than only studying the computer analysis which is already posted on the wiki by another user.

Anyone with a computer, of course, is free to analyze chess variations on his or her own. The wiki, however, facilitates the sharing of one's own private analysis with the public so that the world can be provided with free access to the sum of all human knowledge about chess openings. The wiki is a central repository where chess player from all over the world can publish their own analysis and or build upon others' analysis.

Each web page has a "history" tab at the top of the page. Contained within the history page are the names of all of the people who have contributed to the particular wiki page along with a record of the actual contributions or changes which were made. A player has the ability to build a personal profile and this profile is automatically linked to the revision history thereby allowing credit to be given where credit is due. Perhaps, one day, a variation will be named after the persons or group of people who contributed the first analysis of a variation or the most analysis of a chess variation!

How much does it cost to join?

There is no charge. Simply send an e-mail to with your name(optional), desired username, and your hardware/software configuration (e.g. 2.67GHz Celeron running Fritz 11).

Why must I first establish a username? Why not allow anonymous edits?

This wiki requires a username and login in order to reduce incidents of wiki vandalism and to aid the ease with which wiki vandalism can be repaired.

Can a person contribute analysis of openings other than those which are analyzed in The Final Theory of Chess?

I realize that other players may wish to analyze different openings from those that I have chosen to analyze. This wiki will not be limited to my own pet openings. I hope the wiki will become a place where analysis of any and all openings may be posted. I think that open-source collaboration will be the future of chess theory. Just as Wikipedia has come to challenge the peer-reviewed hierarchical model for encyclopedias, a wiki format will come to challenge the Modern Chess Openings (MCO) format of chess encyclopedias.

What chess software should I use?

Any chess program with an ELO rating greater than 2800 according to: CCRL 40/40 Rating List — All engines

I am holding off upgrading my chess software for the moment until Deep Fritz 12 comes out, is tested, and given an ELO rating. Rybka with aquarium might be the chess software of the future. Rybka is already better than its competitors by a significant margin and I do not know if Deep Fritz 12 will catch up. Rybka aquarium also has a few features which can really help aid the computer analysis of openings -specifically, the Interactive Deep Analysis (IDeA) module:

Will the use of different chess engines by different contributors lead to a hodge-podge collection of inconsistent analysis?

Yes, the wiki will evolve into a composite of analysis produced by a variety of chess engines but herein lies the wiki’s strongest attribute for different chess engines perform better or worse depending upon the characteristics of the position (i.e. open vs. closed). The objective playing strength of the mainline continuations suggested on the wiki will, I believe, increase over time as contributors subject analysis already posted on the wiki to the scrutiny of a variety of chess programs. In the spirit of Linus' Law, given enough eyeballs and chess engines, all chess problems are shallow.

The wiki will hopefully foster the creation of a collaborative social environment in which a decentralized peer-review process will emerge. Some contributors may be using the Fritz family of programs; others may use Rybka, etc. Of course, there will sometimes be discrepancies between Rybka’s top choice and Fritz’s top choice. In cases where chess engines disagree with each other, the community of wiki contributors will likely debate the merits of both variations. Hopefully, the objectively stronger move will win out in most cases and perhaps always win out in the long run.

The end result of this decentralized peer-review process will be the creation of a composite of the objectively strongest analysis produced by a variety of different programs, aided by human judgment. Through this process, the wiki may provide stronger analysis on a more consistent basis than any single chess program could on its own. After all, according to Kasparov,"Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process."

What is the recommended first move for white?

If playing as White, the move ‘1.d4’ is recommended to begin every game.

What are the recommended first moves for black?

If playing as Black, the first move recommendation will either be ‘1...f5’ or ‘1...e5,’ depending upon White’s first move.

Why was the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit chosen rather than, say, the Queen's Gambit?

The BDG was chosen for several reasons. The first task was to identify the proper first move for white. 1.d4 is the only move which controls three central squares. No other move controls more than two. For instance, 1.e4 controls 'd5' and 'f5' but 'e4' is occupied by white's pawn but the square itself is not protected. 1.d4 controls 'c5', 'e5', and the queen protects the pawn on 'd4'. Dr. Hans Berliner, in his book The System, used this logic to determine that 1.d4 is the correct first move for white. I relied on Berliner’s argument for the correct first move.

The second task was to determine the proper second move. Berliner argued that 2.c4 is correct against both 1...Nf6 and 1...d5. Berliner's system for proper play aims at playing e4 as quickly as possible. For example in the Queen's gambit accepted after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 Berliner argues that 3.e4 is correct. In the QGA, the move e4 is fairly easy for white to play but in many other lines, an early e4 must be prepared for in advance. Berliner's system makes abundant use of the pawn move f3 to prepare for e4.

After reading Berliner's book, I questioned whether 2.c4 was in fact the correct second move. It seemed logical to play 1.d4 d5 2.e4 establishing the 'ideal pawn center' in the shortest amount of time which is possible (2 moves) even if the pawn center would not remain intact for long. 1.d4 d5 2.e4 also seemed to be more in the spirit of the Option Principle than 2.c4. Berliner himself wrote: "2.e4 would be wonderful if it were tactically sound. As it is, it just loses a pawn, that can at best be recovered with a very much inferior position." I was not convinced and wanted to explore 2.e4 further.

The BDG doesn't have a very good reputation among master-level players. Few books, however, provide any sort of refutation of the BDG. I've analyzed the few "refutations" that I did come across with computer analysis and I failed to find any decisive advantage for Black. Now, 1.d4 d5 2.e4 may, one day, be found to be inferior to 2.c4 but that remains to be seen (and finding the answer is one of the goals of this Final Theory of Chess project).

The BDG also has several qualities which make it a suitable opening to be analyzed with computers. The BDG is a highly tactical opening and tactics are where computers excel. In many variations, both black and white have a very limited number of "good" responses - all others lose quickly. The smaller number of branches in the variation tree is much easier to deal with than highly fluid openings such as the Reti Opening or Benko's Opening. There are a number of drawing variations too where white may be losing if it weren't for a variation which results in a three-fold repetition of check. White also has the 'initiative' by which I mean that white determines where play is going to go and black has limited options to respond. Lastly, the Blackmar-Diemer gambit can be played against either 1...d5 or 1...Nf6 (i.e. 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3) which, again, limits the number of branches of the chess tree which need to be analyzed.

Other considerations also pointed to the BDG being a good choice. For OTB players who do not have access to a book while playing, as opposed to correspondence players, I also needed to build a repertoire which is simple enough to be remembered by human players. Being able to be employed against black's two most popular defenses against 1.d4 - 1...d5 and Indian defenses - provided the BDG with the added benefit that humans could more easily remember one opening rather than several specifically tailored openings to handle every black defense.

Is 1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 Nf6 the opening move order of the perfect game of chess?

This move order is not claimed to be the opening sequence of the perfect game of chess although it may be an opening move order of one among many perfect games of chess. If there are no forced wins in chess but numerous openings lead to forced draws, who can say one draw is better than another? Therefore there may well be multiple lines of "perfect play."

What is the standard naming convention for pages?

The standard naming convention for pages written from White's perspective is a 5 ply naming convention (e.g. 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3). From Black's perspective, the standard naming convention is 6 ply (e.g. 1.d4 f5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4).

What happens when two pages have a name conflict (i.e. the 5 ply or 6 ply naming convention applied to two different variations produces the same page name)?

In the case of a name conflict, add 2 extra ply to the applicable naming convention. These 2 extra ply are not added to the existing pages which are in conflict with the new pages which are being created. The standard 5 or 6 ply naming convention works on a first come, first serve basis. If a 5 ply or 6 ply page name is already taken, the variation which comes into conflict with an existing web page should assume a 5 + 2 ply or 6 + 2 ply page name. A 5 ply naming convention becomes a 7 ply naming convention and a 6 ply naming convention becomes an 8 ply naming convention. Once a name conflict arises and 2 ply are added to the naming convention, all pages which follow will also assume a naming convention with two extra ply tacked on.

Why does the wiki show the “best move” without showing the hardware/software setup which produced it?

It is a shortcoming that the wiki is only listing the “best move” without showing the hardware/software setup which produced it. Perhaps one workaround for this problem is to have a link to a “position analysis” page off of each page whereby wiki users can post additional analysis and additional information related to the given position. There is a working example of this on the following page: 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 c5 3.d5

Mediawiki Resources

For further information, or to establish a user log-in:

Please contact:


All questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome. Send all feedback to If you have good ideas, please also consider joining this project as a wiki editor.

"I am but the maintainer, and I hope that any of you will become contributors. I present to you 
an imperfect project and hope you will share your genius ... to evolve it into a great one."
- Martin Fink,  General Manager of Hewlett-Packard's Linux Systems Division 
writing in The Business and Economics of Linux and Open Source

Wiki Markup Language

This page introduces "Wiki Markup," that is, the tricks required to create various types of formatting in wikis.

Type this: Get:
Plain text Plain text
''Italics'' Italics
'''Bold''' Bold
'''''Bold italics''''' Bold italics
[[Support the OECO]] Support the OECO
[[Support the OECO|Link to Support the OECO but display different text]] Link to Support the OECO but display different text
[ Link to an external website] Link to an external website
==Level 2 header==

===Level 3 header===
====Level 4 header====

Level 2 header

Level 3 header

Level 4 header

<ref>Provide a reference</ref> <ref>Provide a reference</ref> (see below for making it appear)
Show references: <references /> <references />
[[Category:Category name]] The category appears at the bottom of the page.
[[File:Final Theory of Chess 1.jpg|thumb|right|100px|Image with caption]]

File:135 X 135 Final Theory of Chess 1.jpg
#REDIRECT [[to another page]] Makes the page automatically redirect readers to another page.
**with subbullet
  • Bulleted
  • list
    • with subbullet
##with subnumber
  1. Numbered
  2. list
    1. with subnumber
Indent text
:One level
::Two levels
:::Three levels, etc.
Indent text
One level
Two levels
Three levels, etc.
Insert your signature on talk pages:
Username (talk) 02:25, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

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