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Poll Results

Poll 52: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 ?

Total votes: 1014

WTF?: 476 (46.9%)  
O-O: 117 (11.5%)
Ng5: 88 (8.7%)
Nc3: 45 (4.4%)
d4: 41 (4.0%)
d3: 35 (3.5%)
Na3: 21 (2.1%)
Nxe5: 21 (2.1%)
Qe2: 16 (1.6%)
Bd5: 15 (1.5%)
Bxf7: 13 (1.3%)
a3: 9 (0.9%)
g4: 9 (0.9%)
Bb3: 9 (0.9%)
Bd3: 9 (0.9%)
b4: 8 (0.8%)
Be6: 8 (0.8%)
c3: 7 (0.7%)
b3: 7 (0.7%)
Ba6: 7 (0.7%)
h3: 7 (0.7%)
Bb5: 6 (0.6%)
Ba1: 6 (0.6%)
Nd4: 5 (0.5%)
Rf1: 5 (0.5%)
Be2: 4 (0.4%)
Ke2: 4 (0.4%)
h4: 4 (0.4%)
Rg1: 3 (0.3%)
Kf1: 3 (0.3%)
g3: 2 (0.2%)
Ng1: 2 (0.2%)
a4: 2 (0.2%)

For the roughly half of you who didn't understand the question, it was chess notation, showing the development of a game up to the position shown here, and asking what move you would play next as white.

I'm no chess expert, but as far as I can gather from the web, this position is known as the Two Knights Defence (by black, presumably) and is not an uncommon opening sequence. According to chessgames.com, the most common next moves by white, in order of popularity, are:

  • d3, advancing the queen's pawn one square, to reinforce the attacked king's pawn.
  • Ng5, advancing the knight to threaten an attack on f7 and forking the black queen and rook.
  • d4, advancing the queen's pawn to attack the black king's pawn.
  • Nc3, using the other knight to defend the advanced pawn.
  • O-O, castling the king and running like a coward.
  • Qe2, using the queen in yet another defence of the threatened pawn.
  • c3, a bizarre pawn advance which I don't really understand at all.
Interestingly though, castling appears to be the best move, resulting in an eventual win for white in 48% of recorded chess games. So it looks like the readers who understood the question are reasonably well informed about how to play chess.

I should also point out that the option Ba1 was a typo on my part, as it's an illegal move. It should have been Bf1. So if you voted for that one, you should feel suitably ashamed!


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