Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings
The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (ECO) is a reference work describing the state of opening theory in chess, originally published in five volumes from 1974 to 1979 by the Serbian company Šahovski Informator (Chess Informant). It is currently undergoing its fifth edition. ECO may also refer to the opening classification system used by the encyclopedia.
|This article uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
Both ECO and Chess Informant are published by the Belgrade-based company Šahovski Informator. The moves are taken from thousands of master games and from published analysis in Informant and compiled by the editors, most of whom are grandmasters, who select the lines which they consider most relevant or critical. The chief editor since the first edition has been Aleksandar Matanović. The openings are provided in an ECO table that concisely presents the opening lines considered most critical by the editors. ECO covers the openings in more detail than rival single volume publications such as Modern Chess Openings and Nunn's Chess Openings, but in less detail than specialized opening books.
The books are intended for an international audience and contain only a small amount of text, which is in several languages. The bulk of the content consists of diagrams of positions and chess moves, annotated with symbols, many of them developed by Chess Informant. Chess Informant pioneered the use of Figurine Algebraic Notation to avoid the use of initials for the names of the pieces, which vary between languages.
Instead of the traditional names for the openings, ECO has developed a coding system that has also been adopted by other chess publications. There are five main categories, "A" to "E", corresponding to the five volumes of the earlier editions, each of which is further subdivided into 100 subcategories, for a total of 500 codes. The term "ECO" is often used as a shorthand for this coding system. ECO code is a registered trademark of Chess Informant.
Volume A: Flank openings
- English Opening
- Benoni Defence
- Dutch Defence
- Réti Opening
- Benko Gambit
- Old Indian Defence
- Bird's Opening
- Anti-Indian systems (Trompowsky Attack, Torre Attack, Richter–Veresov Attack)
- Irregular openings, etc.
Volume B: Semi-Open Games other than the French Defence
- Sicilian Defence
- Caro-Kann Defence
- Pirc Defence
- Alekhine's Defence
- Modern Defence
- Scandinavian Defence, etc.
Volume C: Open Games and the French Defence
- Ruy Lopez
- French Defence
- Petrov's Defence
- Vienna Game
- Centre Game
- King's Gambit
- Philidor Defence
- Italian (Giuoco Piano, Evans Gambit, Hungarian Defence, and Two Knights)
- Scotch Game
- Four Knights Game, etc.
- King's Pawn Opening, etc. (covers unusual/rare 1. e4 openings such as the Elephant Gambit and Ponziani Opening).
Volume D: Closed Games and Semi-Closed Games
- (including Grünfeld Defence but not other Indian Defenses)
- Queen's Gambit
- Grünfeld Defence
- Queen's Pawn Game, etc.
Volume E: Indian Defences
- (other than Grünfeld Defence and Old Indian Defence)
- Nimzo-Indian Defence
- Queen's Indian Defence
- King's Indian Defence
- Catalan Opening
- Bogo-Indian Defence, etc.
Main ECO codes
- White first moves other than 1.e4, 1.d4 (A00–A39)
- 1.d4 without 1...d5, 1...Nf6 or 1...f5: Atypical replies to 1.d4 (A40–A44)
- 1.d4 Nf6 without 2.c4: Atypical replies to 1...Nf6 (A45–A49)
- 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 without 2...e6, 2...g6: Atypical Indian systems (A50–A79)
- 1.d4 f5: Dutch Defence (A80–A99)
- 1.e4 without 1...c6, 1...c5, 1...e6, 1...e5 (B00–B09)
- 1.e4 c6: Caro–Kann Defence (B10–B19)
- 1.e4 c5: Sicilian Defence (B20–B99)
- 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6: Indian systems with ...e6 (E00–E59)
- 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 without 3...d5: Indian systems with ...g6 (except Grünfeld) (E60–E99)
The first edition was published in the following years:
- Volume A: 1979
- Volume B: 1975
- Volume C: 1974
- Volume D: 1976
- Volume E: 1978
The second edition was published in the following years:
- Volume A: 1996
- Volume B: 1984
- Volume C: 1981
- Volume D: 1987
- Volume E: 1991
The third edition was published in the following years:
- Volume A: 1999
- Volume B: 1997
- Volume C: 1997
- Volume D: 1998
- Volume E: 1998
The fourth edition was published in the following years:
- Volume A: 2001
- Volume B: 2002
- Volume C: 2000
- Volume D: 2004
- Volume E: 2008
The fifth edition was published in the following years:
- Volume C: 2008
- Volume B part 1 [ECO codes: B00–B49]: 2020
- Chess annotation symbols – ECO uses symbols instead of text
- Chess Informant
- List of chess books
- List of chess openings – for all ECO codes
- Opening book
- Matanović, Aleksandar; Molorović, Milivoje; Božić, Aleksandar (1971). "Classification of Chess Openings". Chess Informant. Cite journal requires
- Abramov, Lev; Bagirov, Vladimir; Botvinnik, Mikhail; Cvetkovic, Srdan; Filip, Miroslav; Geller, Efim; Gipslis, Aivars; Gufeld, Eduard; Hort, Vlastimil; Kasparov, Garry; Korchnoi, Viktor; Krnic, Zdenko; Larsen, Bent; Matanović, Aleksandar; Minev, Nikolay; Nunn, John; Parma, Bruno; Polugaevsky, Lev; Suetin, Alexey; Sveshnikov, Evgeny; Taimanov, Mark; Ugrinovic, Dragan; Uhlmann, Wolfgang (1984). Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, volume B (2nd ed.). Belgrade: Chess Informant. ISBN 0-7134-3716-2.
- Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1996) [First pub. 1992]. "Encyclopedia of Chess Openings". The Oxford Companion to Chess (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-19-280049-3.