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masros 38 ( +1 | -1 )
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 opening
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6
Every chess databases that I have shows white almost won 100% in this opening.Theory say this is bad opening for black, it is true?.I think I will create a thematic tournament with this opening for high rated player to prove it.Good or not?
kewms 35 ( +1 | -1 )
I don't play double king pawn openings much, but from what I know about them development and king safety are pretty much the be-all and end-all. Since 2...f6 exposes the king and makes development more difficult, I can see why it probably doesn't score too well. What are the positives that would make someone want to try it?


ionadowman 75 ( +1 | -1 )
It's great to see ... ... a strong player ready to 'think the unthinkable'. Conventional wisdom tends to rubbish the Damiano Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6) mainly on account of the continuation 3.Nxe5 fxe5?, after which Black has to face a vicious attack. But the Damiano Defence has been recommended to me as a good Blitz opening for Black, as after the more 'correct' 3...Qe7, White, recalling the 3...fxe5 line, goes 4.Qh5+ g6 5.Nxg6 Qxe4+ and Black picks up the N on g6.
Although even with best play, Black very likely has to work very hard to get a playable game, that doesn't necessarily mean the line is an automatic win to White...
Good luck with your tournament masros.
ganstaman 69 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes, 3...Qe7 is the way to go. However, it leads to positions where the black queen gets harassed by white's developing moves, and black has a pawn on f6. That pawn makes the h5-e8 diagonal vulnerable for a while and takes away the best square for the g8-knight. So while it doesn't lose outright, it gives black several disadvantages with no real benefits (except maybe tricking your opponent).

Most other bad second moves at least have something going for them. Not with this. I don't even think it's good enough for blitz. I have a feeling that your tournament will have very lopsided results, but have fun with it anyway!
schnarre 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Aye! 3...Qe7 is the best 3rd move for Black, but following through properly is critical!

3...fxe5 is extremely hazardous & can send Black to the cemetary in short order without VERY careful handling.
sough 18 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm pretty sure that after 3...fxe5 white has basically a forced win no matter how careful black is. Qe7 is a surprise I guess but I'd even recommend the Latvian (e4 e5 nf3 f5) over this.
ionadowman 50 ( +1 | -1 )
We agree ... The Latvian Gambit is a whole lot more fun for Black.
A quick check of the GK dB shows 42 games played with the following Damiano Defence line: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 Qe7 with white scoring +59% (+25) -35% (-15) =4% (=2).
Black's results with 3...fxe5 overall have been rather more dire!
Just 1 Damiano defence game appears on the 1900+ dB, Black recapturing on e5 (3...fxe5), resigning on move 12.
Were it not for other commitments, I'd be very tempted to join masros's proposed tournament...
schnarre 7 ( +1 | -1 )
I'd be willing to give such a tourney a go, if I'm not at my tournament limit already.
brunetti 11 ( +1 | -1 )
I would be very happy to play in such a tournament, provided that I will have only the White sides ;)

far1ey 16 ( +1 | -1 )
I would join but I am at my tournament limit already and will be away for a long period after the tournament finishes. But I'm just saying I would if I could...
baseline 20 ( +1 | -1 )
the Damiano Defense is not a very good opening for black, but it can be useful for novices in learning how to attack and defend I would recommend it in casual games between friends especially blitz games but not for tournament games
far1ey 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Or perhaps in Tounaments to surprise an opponent baseline? The fact that it is rarely played in Tournement play could be an advantage. I recall someone playing the Damino's defence against Fischer and although he lost at least he had the guts to play it against someone of Fischer's stregnth.
ganstaman 48 ( +1 | -1 )
"I recall someone playing the Damino's defence against Fischer and although he lost at least he had the guts to play it against someone of Fischer's stregnth."

No offense, but there's a difference between being gutsy and trying to lose. Of course, playing Fischer is practically playing to lose, but at least you could give yourself a chance.

Unless you can surprise someone by playing this opening, I don't see any advantages of it. It has no real place in correspondence chess except to discover why it's so bad :)
far1ey 54 ( +1 | -1 )
Fair enough ganstaman but we are talking about a live game not CC so no databases or nothing.

If you are versing person X and he has beaten you 20 times previously against all the 'popular' openings, why not try the Damino's Defence? You might catch him off guard. Thats all I'm saying, I'm not saying the defence is good, I know in CC that it is horrible. But in a tournament maybe you have better prospects rather then playing the Sicilian which X has play 1,000 times before and get beaten. The chances of him playing a decent game of the Damino's defence (past the first ten moves :D) are very low.
bogg 64 ( +1 | -1 )
far1ey There are better ways to try and surprise someone than playing a very unsound opening that is probably the first thing that everyone learns! I haven't seen the game in question myself but if someone played the Damiano against me I would probably just take the simple guaranteed advantage with 3. Bc4 not giving my opponent a chance to simplify the game after his weak second move by allowing 3 . ... Qe7 after 3. Ne5:. An early ... f6 seems quite inferior in the Scotch, Scotch Gambit or Goring Gambit.

CTC (Bogg)


I don't think Black usually makes it to move ten without being lost in the Damiano.
schnarre 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmnnn.... Sounds like we've got mini-tourney in the works!?
kewms 31 ( +1 | -1 )
I think the value of "surprise" openings is vastly overestimated by those who play them. It's one thing to play a line that's obscure but sound, quite another to play something that's known to be hideously bad and hope that your opponent won't find the refutation over the board.

schnarre 40 ( +1 | -1 )
In any case, whoever tries one better make sure they know what they're getting into & have a rudimentary understanding of how to possibly play it (I've faced every opening reply move to 1. a3 that Black can throw--even 1...Nh6 on one occasion--& the offbeat Anderssen has held me in good stead for quite sometime; the Damiano on the other hand is more hair-raising).
sf115 7 ( +1 | -1 )
How to play against it! After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6, do 3. Nxf6!!! fxf6 4. Qh4 with a winning attack using 5.Bc4+.
ccmcacollister 150 ( +1 | -1 )
I 'm with brunetti on this one and bogg pretty much stated why. 3.Bc4 seems to virtually force added protection of the e-pawn. And WT has all the options in the play. This being somewhat more flexible than 3.Nc3, but there is still choices of 4.Nc3 even, for a "Good-4-Knights-Game" {Hey, and you thought you'd never see that phrase?! You can thank Diamano! :)) heheh} or the more aggressive 4.d4 for a sort of Petroff-minus-Nf6 ??! Or a Goring/Ponziani-like 4.c3, which may be followed by d4 OR an early Qb3. Also the ...f6 move will hinder Blacks play of ...d5. And without that move available, what can WT NOT Do? Want to sit on Ke1 or Ke2 or o-o-o and launch a Kingside pawn storm? Sure, why Not if BL cannot respond with a significant center break. (rhetorical-"?")
Just my thoughts. But I always do enjoy seeing someone take one of these openings and call the 'bluff', put the test, and pound away at the poor WT pieces! Indeed it may be the perfect defense against Fischer; especially in Round One of a WC ...
All said in good humor. Really, if this is someones opening of the future; I may be startled and amazed at your victories, but I rather enjoy that state, and it wont be the first or second time. And He who knows it better ....
I think it was Karpov lost to 1...a6 and Kasparov to 1.h3 , or at least 1.a3 if I have that wrong. I have to wonder if it might have been Viktors Pupils who would dare such an opening against RJF? I hope not, cuz I believe he scored at least some part of a point ... oh my. Whatever that one was (Latvian perhaps?!) I'm sure it was unconventional, but just cant recall at the moment. Anyone?
bucklehead 251 ( +1 | -1 )
It's funny... often this debate seems to pop up. We all want to be innovators or iconoclasts.

From my perspective, there are two types of openings: 1) those that are bad, and 2) those that have not yet been proven to be bad. I don't think that there are all that many openings in category 1, though perhaps entries such as the Fred Defense (1 e4 f5) fit the bill. We're talking about situations where a player, having made his opening choice, finds himself immediately in trouble.

Damiano's Defense is an interesting case, because the weaknesses black saddles himself with are less tangible and indeed somewhat manageable (assuming black knows what he's doing). It's not an immediate loss, but black makes a conscious decision to take on a host of difficulties. In this sense, it's *worse* than a gambit insofar as you make sacrifices for no immediate, or indeed even long-term, gain. It's not much different than the case of a mountain climber who steers clear of the well-beaten track, knowing full well that thereafter it's going to be a challenge to even reach the top.

But if this is your motivation, the thrill of fighting from a disadvantaged position, why don't you simply play someone whose rating is higher? Or maybe you can choose to play at odds (using the starting scheme 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. Ng5 Ng8 3. Nxf7 Nh6 4. Ng5 Ng8 5. Nf3 Nh6 6. Ng1 Ng8, where it's white's turn to move, you can effectively play a correspondence game at pawn-and-move odds).

If your objective is to take your opponent out of book, you generally want to do this by making a GOOD move, one that is tricky to meet, and not by making a poor one. If I play an untutored seven-year-old, I'm going to be taken out of book almost immediately--but this doesn't mean my tiny opponent has an advantage over me.

And aren't there much more interesting (and solid!) ways to get your opponent out of book? ccmcacollister has been at the forefront of a resurgence of the Center Game in blitz play--history considers it unambitious but hardly unsound; and in an opening such as this there is room for the daring to study the twists and turns. The suggestion of the Latvian Gambit is a good one, and probably the Elephant Gambit (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d5) deserves consideration. Here the play gets crazy almost immediately, and there are plenty of spots where white can go astray if he is not careful. A practitioner of Damiano's Defense, by contrast, must wait for his opponent to make a blunder, rather than an inaccuracy, in order to gain equality.
sf115 8 ( +1 | -1 )
I still think that 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 3. Nxe4 fxe4 4. Qh4+ with a winning game
bucklehead 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Incorrect The point is that 3...fxe5 is the sucker's move. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 3. Nxe5 Qe7 4. Nf3 Qxe4+ equalizes the material; and though black's queen may be harassed and his kingside weakened, there is no killer attack he must fend off.

And, sadly, you can't always rely on your opponent being a sucker.
sf115 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Incorrect??? After 1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 Qe7 white should play 4.Qh5+ when after 4...g6 5.Nxg6 wins
bucklehead 33 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes, incorrect. Your line, 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 f6 3 Nxe5 Qe7 4 Qh5+ g6 5 Nxg6, *fails* to 5...Qxe4+. White trades a N for a pawn and a somewhat loosened kingside--indeed, not a "win" at all, but a very tough position for white.

sf115 , I admire your commitment to this line, but I think it's thoroughly busted.
sf115 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Really??? Instead, After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 3. Nxe5 Qe7 then you have a choice of 2 moves:

4. Nf3 Qxe4+ 5. Be2 with an advantage due to a lead in development


4. Nc4 Qxe4 5. Ne3 also with an advantage

This line isn't "busted" yet bucklehead
bucklehead 154 ( +1 | -1 )
Let's clarify Our colleague sf115 has posted many Damiano's Defense lines to this thread. Two of them require black to make the obviously losing move ...fxe5, and another claimed a win for white following a move where white loses a N for the sake of a P. These are NOT good lines for black, I think we'd all agree; and indeed, I already pointed out that the 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 3. Nxe5 Qe7 4. Nf3 Qxe4+ line is probably good for white.

That's the whole point of the discussion. Let's summarize our findings:

1) Damiano's Defense is NOT a good opening for black to play.
2) If black DOES choose to play 2...f6, white can either play for a positional advantage with 3 Bc4 or try to swindle some material with 3 Nxe5.
3) The possibility exists that Black, not knowing his stuff, may reply 3...fxe5, after which White has an easy game.
4) But since we can't count on Black being stupid, we must prepare for him to play 3...Qe7, after which white still has an advantage but NOT a crushing attack (which is what the first three lines suggested by sf115 claimed).

My point about "busting" was that there is no forced win for white against Damiano's Defense--unless you're playing against a 10-year-old or someone who makes the move without thinking. And I don't know about the rest of you, but my opening preparation is geared toward getting playable positions against stern opposition, not against a weak opponent.
sf115 33 ( +1 | -1 )
Agreement I agree with most of what you are saying but just to add 2 things:

1. very few peolpe "over 10" play this opening well as black so there isn't much point learning a 300 page book on it and
2. you get a huge positional advantage which is probally enough to win, particually if you are playing someone who plays 2...f6 in the first place
bucklehead 119 ( +1 | -1 )
A quote I looked this opening up in my old 1960s copy of Horowitz's "Chess Openings: Theory and Practice" and found this very succinct description:

"This naive defense is a mere compendium curiosity, not having been employed in tournament chess for many decades. Black's unnatural way of protecting his King Pawn fails not only against the tactical 3 NxP [3 Nxe5 in algebraic], but also against the positional 3 B-B4 [Bc4]."

That said, Chigorin was able to get a draw-by-repetition position early in an 1897 game against Schiffers, the one that seems to get quoted in all the literature. But, having gone through this game and noticing a) that Chigorin didn't take the first draw, b) white missed several chances to increase his advantage, c) Chigorin twice missed forced mating lines, and d) the final "drawn" position was not, in fact, drawn, I can't consider it to be a serious game.

[Event "?"]
[Site "St Petersburg"]
[Date "1897.??.??"]
[White "Schiffers,Emanuel"]
[Black "Chigorin,Mikhail"]
[Round "14"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C40"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 3. Nxe5 Qe7 4. Nf3 d5 5. d3
dxe4 6. dxe4 Qxe4+ 7. Be2 Nc6 8. O-O Bd7 9. Nc3
Qg6 10. Ne5 Nxe5 11. Bh5 O-O-O 12. Bxg6 hxg6 13. Qe2
Bd6 14. Ne4 Nf3+ 15. gxf3 Bxh2+ 16. Kg2 Bh3+ 17. Kh1
Be5 18. Kg1 Bh2+ 19. Kh1 Be5 20. Qe1 Bg4+ 21. Kg1
Bxf3 22. Ng3 Ne7 23. Qe3 Bc6 24. Qxa7 b6 25. Be3
Nf5 26. f4 Nxg3 27. fxe5 Rh1+ 28. Kf2 Rh2+ 29. Kxg3
Rdh8 30. Qa6+ Kb8 31. Bxb6 Rg2+ 32. Kf4 Rh4+ 33. Ke3
Rh3+ 34. Kf4 Rh4+ 1/2-1/2

sf115 47 ( +1 | -1 )
Remember remember that this is Chigorin and his opponent, although 3rd in the world, is not terribly strong. Also opening theory wasn't very big in 1897. Gary Kasparov has played 1.b3, 1.g3, 1.e3 and 1.d3. This shows that players do play something bad every now and then. bucklehead said that players looking for a challenge will should play harder players. World champions can't do that!!!
ionadowman 188 ( +1 | -1 )
Rather an entertaining game... ... I'm not sure I go along with sf114 that Schiffers wasn't a very strong player. I believe he was quite a strong master for his time, though maybe not quite in Tchigorin's class. The game does make me wonder if Tchigorin might have been saying to his opponent in effect: "Look, I can play this and you still can't beat me!" On the other hand, it also reminds me a little of the Portisch-Tal game, Amsterdam Interzonal 1964 (not a Damiano, this one!). Both games are characterized by Black giving up enormous material and getting a very active game in return. Objectively, White ought probably to have won, but the awkwardness of their position (despite or because of the extra material), forced into a defensive posture, and the unrelenting pressure, and maybe even the fact that despite the pressure the defence had a large range of options possibly made the task very difficult indeed. Interesting that both games ended in draws. Mind you, no doubt there are zillions of occasions in which the defender rose above the pressure and went on to win...

Let us agree: 2...f6 is not, from an objective point of view, Black's best choice: a weak defence, indeed. Yet I would not condemn anyone for choosing to play it, against any opponent, at any level. Emmanuel Lasker used to play dodgy lines - nothing too compromising, withal - in a species of "odds-giving" style, in order, I gather, to provoke the opponent into attacking. Confident in his defensive technique, Lasker was prepared to accept slightly inferior positions for the sake of the imbalance it offered, and hence the potential for a decisive result. So 2...f6 has this virtue: any White player facing it thinking it's a "gimme", might overreach himself and get on the wrong end of a kicking. ACDTBW - A consummation devoutly to be wished... ;-)
masros 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks for your feedbacks.I will consider to start tournament with this opening soon for player rated 2200 and above when I have finish one of my tournament.I can't start one coz I have maximum tournaments right now.However I just curious who dares play with this opening?.I also not confident to play this opening esp when play black:).Draw for black is great achievement.
sf115 19 ( +1 | -1 )
what does white play after 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 3. Nxe5 fxe5 4. Qh4+ Ke7 5. Qxe5 Kf7 6. Bc4+ d5

diakonos 3 ( +1 | -1 )
7. Bxd5+ Kg6 8. h4, if memory serves.
bucklehead 98 ( +1 | -1 )
An old link, but a good read I think all your questions can be answered by this old ChessCafe column: -> . Seems to me that I heard almost nothing about Damiano's Defense on the web until this article popped up a few years back, and now here we are.

A couple of other points that occurred as I was searching for the original link:

* Pedro Damiano, after whom the opening is named, was a strong chessplayer in his day. It appears that the reason his name got attached to such a stinker of an opening is that he mentioned it (as one of the worst possible openings for black!) in his book "Questo libro e da imparare giocare a scachi et de li partiti."
* There is an interesting story tangentially related to the Schiffers-Chigorin game mentioned in Tim Krabbe's Open Chess Diary ( -> --scroll down to #222) that's worth reading.
misato 12 ( +1 | -1 )
8. h4 indeed is decisive Black can't cover both threats: 9. h5 mating soon as well as 9. Bxb7 winning material (9. - Bxb7 10. Qxf5+).
sf115 21 ( +1 | -1 )
I think that the website [-> (link 2 boxes above)] that bucklehead suggested tells you everything you need to know on this opening. There isn't much else to say on this opening.
frankly 19 ( +1 | -1 )


Lots of games with the damiano, some of them black wins!!
ganstaman 28 ( +1 | -1 )
frankly For whatever it's worth, that link has 49 games (some repeats against different opponents I think). With the exception of 5 of them, white wins every game that features 3. Nxe5 and loses every game with a different 3rd move for white.
sf115 8 ( +1 | -1 )
this just shows that 3. Nxe5 is the best 3rd move for white