Hungarian Opening

Hungarian Opening starts with 1.g3. It is not really an opening because the idea of the first move is generally to transpose into a well-known opening. White starts with 1.g3, keeping the options open to transpose into various openings.

The drawback of move 1.g3 is that it allows black to occupy the center first. Black has various moves like c5, d5, e5 or Nf6. White will choose his opening depending upon black’s reply.

We will look at various set-ups that can happen after 1.g3.

King’s Indian set-up

After 1.g3 d5, white can play the king’s Indian attack set-up. For example 2.Bg2 e5 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nd2 Bd6 5.e4 c6 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0

Queen’s pawn opening sideline

After 1.g3 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 we reach a 1.d4-d5 sidelines set-up where white has a fianchetto bishop.

Black can play Bg4 or c5 or even g6-Bg7 playing a symmetrical set-up.

Reti opening set-up

After 1.g3 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c5 4.c4 leads to reti-opening.

After 4…d4, the structure resembles Benoni opening with reversed colours and white can choose to play reverse Benko gambit with 5.b4! cxb4 6.a3 with an added advantage of an extra move.

Instead of 4.c4, white can also choose to do double fianchetto with 4.b3 Nc6 5.Bb2 e6 6.e3 Bd6 7.0-0 and white maintainsthe option of playing either d4 or e3-e4.

Closed Sicilian opening

After 1.g3 c5 2.Bg2 Nf6 white can transpose into various openings.

3.e4 leads to closed Sicilian opening. After 3…Nc6 4.Nc3 g6 5.d3 Bg7 6.Be3 d6 7.Ne2 0-0 8.0-0 Rb8 we reach a set-up below.

Black is encouraged to play on queenside with b5-b4, while white will try and generate attack on kingside with Qd2-Bh6…etc.

Symmetrical English opening

3.c4 leads to symmetrical English opening.

After 3…g6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Nf3 0-0 white can play 6.d4, 6.d3 or 6.0-0

English opening four knights variation

After 1.g3 e5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Bg2 we have English opening with four knights variation.

The line goes 3…Nc6 4.d3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Nc3 Be6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 with an equal game.


We have covered various set-ups that arise from the Hungarian opening. The opening is playable since it allows white flexibility to choose from various possibilities. But at the same time black also gets his own choice.

This opening is recommended when you want to make your opponent think from the first move and avoid home-preparation. Also, you can surprise your opponent into some tricky openings like the reversed benko gambit or closed Sicilian starting with 1.g3.

About Harikrishnan A

I am an International Fide Rated player with 10+ years of experience. Played many International Chess Tournaments and Commonwealth games.
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