Desprez Opening

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Desprez Opening
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
h4 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
Named afterMarcel Desprez
Synonym(s)Kádas Opening
Anti-Borg Opening
Samurai Opening

The Desprez Opening is a chess opening characterised by the opening move:

1. h4

The opening is named after the French player Marcel Desprez. Like a number of other rare openings, 1.h4 has some alternate names such as Kádas Opening (after Gabor Kádas, a Hungarian player), Anti-Borg Opening, Samurai Opening and Harry's Opening.

As the Desprez Opening is very rare, it is considered an irregular opening, and is classified under the A00 code in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings.


Like 1.a4, the Ware Opening, 1.h4 does nothing in the fight over central space, and does very little in the way of development. The only piece released is the rook, which is usually not developed to h3. In addition, 1.h4 weakens White's kingside. For these reasons, 1.h4 is among the rarest of the twenty possible first moves for White.

Black usually responds by grabbing the centre with 1...d5 or 1...e5, and simple and sound development by 1...Nf6 is also possible. The response 1...g6, however, intending to fianchetto Black's bishop on g7, is rare because White can undermine Black's pawn structure with 2.h5, making 1.h4 seem logical.

Grandmaster David Bronstein once remarked that he knew of a Russian player who always opened 1.h4 and always won. His point was that after 1...e5 2.g3 d5 3.d4! exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Qd1 Nf6 6.Nh3! Be7 7.Nf4 0-0 8.Bg2 the f4-knight is well-placed and White has a good position.[1] Black does not have to be so cooperative, however.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McDonald, Neil (2001). Concise Chess Openings. Everyman. p. 301. ISBN 1-85744-297-0.