Over 98% of expert games begin with 1 of 4 moves, out of a possible 20:


I used to play the Grob (1.g4) and did quite well with it. It’s a trade off, making a slightly less good first move to very quickly get into positions that your opponent has never been in before and needs to use up clock time to consider options from an unusually early stage of the game.

This is a tactic that Kasparov used against IBM’s Deep Blue, reaching a position after 3 moves that had only ever been seen once before at tournament level.

in any long game of chess it’s quite likely that a position is reached that no two players in the history of humanity have encountered before.

More in Nate Silver’s ‘The Signal and the Noise’.