Chess is a game that has been analyzed and studied for centuries. With such a rich history, it is rare for a new opening to emerge. However, Anna Cramling, a popular Twitch Chess streamer, has introduced an unorthodox chess opening named the Cow Opening.
Overview of the Cow Opening
The Cow Opening is a chess opening invented by Anna Cramling. According to Cramling, this opening has never been played in competition before. The strategy involves initially conceding the center of the board to the opponent and then aggressively challenging it. Interestingly, the Cow Opening can be employed by playing as either white or black.
Here are the moves of the Cow Opening.
As you can see, the moves for black aren’t shown. Cramling suggests that you can play this opening against many different moves your opponent plays. You can also play the opening as white or black.
After these moves, the player advances their pawns towards the center, at which point, according to Anna, the game starts to resemble a more traditional chess game.
Analysis and Reception
The Cow Opening has been met with skepticism by many in the chess community. It has been observed that the moves in this opening are made without taking into account the opponent’s moves. This is generally not considered a sound strategy as chess principles advocate for moves to be made based on their value in the current position. Moreover, the Cow Opening breaks several traditional chess opening principles, such as not moving a piece more than once during the opening phase.
Anna Cramling’s parents, who are both grandmasters – her mother being Pia Cramling and her father Juan Manuel Bellón López –, showed themselves to be proud of their daughter’s creativity but were very skeptical of the Cow Opening as a viable competitive strategy.
In practice, it appears that the Cow Opening has not been the deciding factor in games where it has been used. For instance, when reviewing games where Anna Cramling used the Cow Opening, it was observed that she did not win due to the opening itself, but rather because of her strength in the middlegame.
However, some amateur players have reported success using the Cow Opening in fast-paced bullet games. It has been suggested that this success is not necessarily due to the strength of the opening but could be attributed to the opponent’s lack of skill.
While the Cow Opening represents an imaginative and fresh approach to the beginning phase of a chess game, it diverges significantly from the conventional principles of chess openings. Given the skepticism expressed by experienced players and grandmasters, it is unlikely that the Cow Opening will find a place in high-level competitive play. Nonetheless, Anna Cramling’s innovation reflects the endless possibilities and creativity that chess offers to players of all levels