|Named after||Preston Ware|
|Parent||Irregular chess opening|
|Synonym(s)||Meadow Hay Opening|
The Ware Opening (or Meadow Hay Opening) is an uncommon chess opening for White beginning with the move:
- 1. a4
It is named after U.S. chess player Preston Ware, who often played uncommon openings. The Ware is considered an irregular opening, so it is classified under the A00 code in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings.
|This article uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
The Ware Opening attacks the b5-square and prepares to bring the a1-rook into the game. The b5-square is non-essential and if Black plays 1...e5, the f8-bishop prevents the development of the white rook for the moment. The reply 1...e5 also gains space for Black in the center, a typical objective of most openings but one completely ignored by the Ware Opening. Noting all this, the Ware Opening is normally seen played only by players completely new to chess.
An experienced player using the Ware Opening will usually meet a response of 1...d5 or 1...e5 with 2.d4 or 2.e4, respectively, since a reversed Scandinavian or Englund Gambit would be unsound here. At some later point the move a5 will be played, followed by Ra4 (as Ra3?? invites ...Bxa3 Nxa3 with a definite advantage for Black).
In the 2012 World Blitz Championship, 1.a4 was employed as a little joke by Magnus Carlsen against Teimour Radjabov, who during the blitz championship two years earlier had told him "Everyone is getting tired. You might as well start with 1.a4 and you can still beat them." The game soon turned into a sort of Four Knights Game where Carlsen finally prevailed.
There are several named variations of the Ware Opening. The best known of these are:
- 1...e5 2.h4 – the Crab Variation. This does nothing to help White, but instead weakens his position even more.
- 1...e5 2.a5 d5 3.e3 f5 4.a6 – the Ware Gambit.
- 1...b6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nd7 – the Cologne Gambit.
- 1...b5 2.axb5 Bb7 – the Wing Gambit of the Ware Opening.
- 1...a5 – the rarely seen Symmetric Variation.
- Corn Stalk Defense – sometimes known as the "Ware Defense"
- Preston Ware
- List of chess openings
- List of chess openings named after people
- "Grischuk wins 2nd World Blitz title in Astana". ChessVibes. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- Hooper, David and Kenneth Whyld (1996). The Oxford Companion to Chess. Oxford University. ISBN 0-19-280049-3.
- Dunnington, Angus (2000). Winning Unorthodox Openings. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-285-4.
- Eric Schiller (2002). Unorthodox Chess Openings (Second ed.). Cardoza. pp. 506–508. ISBN 1-58042-072-9.