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Owens Opening (e4 b6) – Guest Lecture with GM Igor Smirnov

Guest Lecture By Grandmaster Igor Smirnov

1. e4 b6 – Owens Opening

Owens Opening

This chess opening for Black is greatly underestimated. Owen’s Defense starts starts with 1. e4 b6. It’s a relatively unknown opening that should surprise your opponent right from the start of your game, dragging them into unknown territory and forcing them out of their opening repertoire so that they have to think for themselves! Being full of tricks and active possibilities for Black, it is one of the best chess openings to keep up your sleeve, especially when playing against amateur players, at the local chess club, or in quick games.

In this exclusive video, GM Igor Smirnov takes a close look at Owen’s Defense and clearly explains the key moves and ideas behind it. Black uses a hyper-modern concept: let your opponent place his pawns in the center, seemingly in control, but then make them the targets of your attack with this menacing weapon!

The variations are wild and crazy, Black’s idea is to fianchetto the queenside bishop, and weaken White’s position b doubling their pawns. A non prepared White player can quickly find themselves in great trouble. Watch the look of shock on your opponent’s face from the very first move!

John Owen once defeated the chess prodigy and legend Paul Morphy in an informal game in London with this chess opening for Black. If it can catch out even the very best players in history, it’s certainly a chess opening worth remembering when you want to try something a little different.

What’s more, the opening can also be adapted and used by White where instead of playing 1. e4 b6, White can instead play 1. b3! If Black then plays 1…b6 anyway, it doesn’t hurt at all to have an extra tempo as White.

Many players consider the move 1…b6 to be an incorrect line, falling away from basic opening principles of battling for the center, but GM Igor Smirnov says that they couldn’t be further from the truth. Already underestimating the effect of Owen’s Defense could be a deadly mistake from White.

Add this chess opening to your repertoire as Black, or White, with this video from GM Igor Smirnov.

Ready for Part 2 of Owen’s Opening? Than click here for another FREE 30 minute video!

10 Comments

Abdi says:

Thank You sir, Very educative video

William says:

Thanks for commenting!

Waheed Mikle says:

The lecture was most informative. Thank you very much.

William says:

thanks for taking the time to check out our site and comment!

Wim Molenkamp says:

Thank you Igor,

You made me enthusiastic for 1…,b6!
I think I am going to play it myself.

Fernando says:

This is a quality video, much better than some of the other youtube videos I have seen. I often see questionable moves with good commentary, or good moves that someone doesnt explain well. Thanks for taking the time to share this freely and willingly. Im old and retired so its tough to take lessons finacially, but I do sometimes buy chess merchandise. So i wil look at this site from time to time to see whats available..Fernando

Kumara says:

Thank you for a very educative programme.

Chris says:

Excellent lesson. I’ve also watched part 2. I’ve been looking for an aggressive opening and one that may not be well known. I think this will be it. I realize that there is no “wonder” opening and this opening will definitely help me to understand and apply middle game strategy because if you don’t know how to capitalize any advantage you may get in the opening, you will fall apart in the middle/end game. One question I have though is can this opening be used if white opens with d4?

Michael Fischer says:

I look forward to a video with enthusiasm to see how White would play effectively against this Defense to maintain his initiative and create some weaknesses in Black’s plan or maybe this is already available in another video/series that you could recommend? Thank you for these excellent training courses.

Hi! The Owen’s defense is quite interesting although White gets a strong centre from the beginning, I’ll make a video about this and we’ll publish it soon! Take care, GM Lemos

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