Chess Openings : Semi-Open Game

In the semi-open games White plays 1.e4 and Black breaks symmetry immediately by replying with a move other than 1...e5. The most popular Black defense to 1.e4 is the Sicilian (1...c5), but the French (1...e6, normally followed by 2.d4 d5)


and the Caro-Kann (1...c6, normally followed by 2.d4 d5) are also very popular. The Pirc and the Modern are closely related openings that are also often seen, while the Alekhine and the Scandinavian have made occasional appearances in World Chess Championship games.

The Sicilian and French Defenses lead to unbalanced positions that can offer exciting play with both sides having chances to win. The Caro-Kann Defense is solid as Black intends to use his c-pawn to support his center (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5). Alekhine's, the Pirc and the Modern are hypermodern openings in which Black tempts White to build a large center with the goal of attacking it with pieces.

Other semi-open games have been studied but are less common; see Semi-Open Game for details.

Semi-open games (1.e4, Black plays something other than 1...e5)