NonVi Games

Closed Openings

Closed openings don't really work in Bughouse. The idea of a closed opening in regular chess is that you slowly build up your forces until you can break open your opponent's position and end up with either a superior position or an outright win.

There are two problems with this in Bughouse. One problem is that your opponent can force the position open whenever they want to. The other problem is that if you are playing a closed opening, you are creating lots of spaces near your king where your opponent can drop attacking pieces.

Here are a couple of examples to illustrate some of the problems.


In the typical closed French, Black will end up with a diagonal line of pawns from e6 through c4 and there will usually be a pawn at b4 as well. White will have a corresponding set of pawns. White can use Black's position in two ways. White can either drop pieces or pawns on the other side of Black's pawn wall where they will be supported by White's own pawns. Or, white can drop pieces in safe spots behind the pawn wall where they are unsupported by pawns, but can then support other pieces.

Slav variations

Getting into some of the closed Slav / Meran style defenses opens up similar problems. In these openings, White can drop pieces into strong supported squares. Trying to move existing pieces into those locations would be time-consuming, but dropping a few pieces can quickly change the balance of power. For good locations, think about squares like e5 or even d6 if White pushes the pawn from c4 to c5.

Last updated: January 11, 2003

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