Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings

The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (ECO) is a reference work describing the state of opening theory in chess, originally published in five volumes from 1974 to 1979 by the Serbian company Šahovski Informator (Chess Informant). It is currently undergoing its fifth edition. ECO may also refer to the opening classification system used by the encyclopedia.

ECO volume E. The first line of moves means that it contains openings beginning 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6. The second line means it contains openings with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6, without an early ...d7–d5. The title is given in eight languages.

Overview edit

Both ECO and Chess Informant are published by the Belgrade-based company Šahovski Informator. The moves are taken from thousands of master games and from published analysis in Informant and compiled by the editors, most of whom are grandmasters, who select the lines which they consider most relevant or critical. The chief editor since the first edition has been Aleksandar Matanović(1930-2023). The openings are provided in an ECO table that concisely presents the opening lines considered most critical by the editors. ECO covers the openings in more detail than rival single volume publications such as Modern Chess Openings and Nunn's Chess Openings, but in less detail than specialized opening books.

The books are intended for an international audience and contain only a small amount of text, which is in several languages. The bulk of the content consists of diagrams of positions and chess moves, annotated with symbols, many of them developed by Chess Informant. Chess Informant pioneered the use of Figurine Algebraic Notation to avoid the use of initials for the names of the pieces, which vary between languages.

Instead of the traditional names for the openings, ECO has developed a coding system that has also been adopted by other chess publications. There are five main categories, "A" to "E", corresponding to the five volumes of the earlier editions, each of which is further subdivided into 100 subcategories, for a total of 500 codes. The term "ECO" is often used as a shorthand for this coding system. ECO code is a registered trademark of Chess Informant.

Openings covered edit

Volume A: Flank openings edit

Volume B: Semi-Open Games other than the French Defence edit

Volume C: Open Games and the French Defence edit

Volume D: Closed Games and Semi-Closed Games edit

(including Grünfeld Defence but not other Indian Defenses)

Volume E: Indian Defences edit

(other than Grünfeld Defence and Old Indian Defence)

Main ECO codes edit

A edit

  • White first moves other than 1.e4, 1.d4 (A00–A39)
  • 1.d4 without 1...d5, 1...Nf6 or 1...f5: Atypical replies to 1.d4 (A40–A44)
  • 1.d4 Nf6 without 2.c4: Atypical replies to 1...Nf6 (A45–A49)
  • 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 without 2...e6, 2...g6: Atypical Indian systems (A50–A79)
  • 1.d4 f5: Dutch Defence (A80–A99)

B edit

C edit

D edit

E edit

  • 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6: Indian systems with ...e6 (E00–E59)
  • 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 without 3...d5: Indian systems with ...g6 (except Grünfeld) (E60–E99)

First edition edit

The first edition was published in the following years:

  • Volume A: 1979
  • Volume B: 1975
  • Volume C: 1974
  • Volume D: 1976
  • Volume E: 1978
Volume D (1976)
Code Author
00–01 Bagirov, Vladimir
94–95 Bagirov, Vladimir
60–65 Barcza, Gedeon
60–65 Florian, Tibor
70–79 Botvinnik, Mikhail
98–99 Botvinnik, Mikhail
70–79 Abramov, Lev
98–99 Abramov, Lev
56–57 Bukić, Enver
02–05 Cvetković, Srđan
02–05 Sokolov, Vladimir
31–32 Euwe, Max
50–55 Filip, Miroslav
45–46 Gheorghiu, Florin
45–46 Samarian, Sergiu
38–39 Gipslis, Aivars
80 Gipslis, Aivars
90–91 Gipslis, Aivars
58–59 Hort, Vlastimil
66–69 Judovič, Mihail
85–89 Karpov, Anatoly
43–44 Korchnoi, Viktor
47–49 Korchnoi, Viktor
15–19 Kotov, Alexander
33–34 Larsen, Bent
30 Matanović, Aleksandar
35–36 Matanović, Aleksandar
30 Ugrinović, Dragan
35–36 Ugrinović, Dragan
25 Matulović, Milan
25 Krnić, Zdenko
06–09 Minev, Nikolay
37–38 Minev, Nikolay
40–42 Parma, Bruno
26–29 Polugaevsky, Lev
96–97 Smyslov, Vasily
10–14 Suetin, Alexey
20–24 Taimanov, Mark
81–84 Uhlmann, Wolfgang
92–93 Uhlmann, Wolfgang
Volume E (1978)
Code Author
00–05 Averbakh, Yuri
00–05 Neishtadt, Yakov
32–37 Bagirov, Vladimir
67–69 Boleslavsky, Isaac
67–69 Lepeshkin, Vladimir
27–29 Botvinnik, Mikhail
47–49 Botvinnik, Mikhail
27–29 Abramov, Lev
47–49 Abramov, Lev
97–99 Byrne, Robert
97–99 Mednis, Edmar
90–92 Euwe, Max
46 Filip, Miroslav
56–59 Filip, Miroslav
10–11 Gipslis, Aivars
20–23 Gipslis, Aivars
95–96 Vlastimil Hort
54–55 Ivkov, Borislav
52 Judovič, Mihail
83–84 Karpov, Anatoly
83–84 Razuvayev, Yuri
43 Kotov, Alexander
50–51 Kotov, Alexander
06–07 Krnić, Zdenko
93–94 Krnić, Zdenko
06–07 Cvetković, Srđan
93–94 Cvetković, Srđan
85–86 Larsen, Bent
87–89 Lilienthal, Andor
87–89 Florian, Tibor
08–09 Matanović, Aleksandar
15–19 Matanović, Aleksandar
08–09 Ugrinović, Dragan
15–19 Ugrinović, Dragan
70–72 Minev, Nikolay
76–79 Minev, Nikolay
24–26 Parma, Bruno
53 Parma, Bruno
14 Polugaevsky, Lev
73–75 Polugaevsky, Lev
80–82 Razuvayev, Yuri
12–13 Suetin, Alexey
30–31 Taimanov, Mark
40–45 Taimanov, Mark
60–63 Uhlmann, Wolfgang
38–39 Unzicker, Wolfgang
64–66 Wade, Robert

Second edition edit

The second edition was published in the following years:

  • Volume A: 1996
  • Volume B: 1984
  • Volume C: 1981
  • Volume D: 1987
  • Volume E: 1991
Volume B (1984)
Code Author
04–05 Bagirov, Vladimir
18–19 Bagirov, Vladimir
13–14 Botvinnik, Mikhail
13–14 Abramov, Lev
10 Filip, Miroslav
12 Filip, Miroslav
15 Filip, Miroslav
17 Filip, Miroslav
36–39 Filip, Miroslav
70–79 Geller, Efim
95–99 Gipslis, Aivars
20–21 Gufeld, Eduard
23–26 Gufeld, Eduard
02–03 Hort, Vlastimil
80–85 Kasparov, Garry
30–31 Korchnoi, Viktor
34–35 Korchnoi, Viktor
28–29 Krnić, Zdenko
87 Krnić, Zdenko
28–29 Cvetković, Srđan
00–01 Larsen, Bent
16 Larsen, Bent
60–69 Matanović, Aleksandar
60–69 Ugrinović, Dragan
06 Minev, Nikolay
11 Minev, Nikolay
57 Nunn, John
88–89 Nunn, John
07–09 Parma, Bruno
44 Polugaevsky, Lev
50–53 Polugaevsky, Lev
86 Polugaevsky, Lev
90–94 Polugaevsky, Lev
96 Polugaevsky, Lev
27 Suetin, Alexey
54–56 Suetin, Alexey
58–59 Suetin, Alexey
22 Sveshnikov, Evgeny
33 Sveshnikov, Evgeny
40–43 Taimanov, Mark
45–49 Taimanov, Mark
32 Uhlmann, Wolfgang

Third edition edit

The third edition was published in the following years:

  • Volume A: 1999
  • Volume B: 1997
  • Volume C: 1997
  • Volume D: 1998
  • Volume E: 1998

Fourth edition edit

The fourth edition was published in the following years:

  • Volume A: 2001
  • Volume B: 2002
  • Volume C: 2000
  • Volume D: 2004
  • Volume E: 2008

Fifth edition edit

The fifth edition was published in the following years:

  • Volume C: 2006
  • Volume B part 1 [ECO codes: B00–B49]: 2020
  • Volume B part 2 [ECO codes: B50-B99]: 2021

See also edit

References edit


  • Matanović, Aleksandar; Molorović, Milivoje; Božić, Aleksandar (1971). "Classification of Chess Openings". Chess Informant. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Abramov, Lev; Bagirov, Vladimir; Botvinnik, Mikhail; Cvetkovic, Srdan; Filip, Miroslav; Geller, Efim; Gipslis, Aivars; Gufeld, Eduard; Hort, Vlastimil; Kasparov, Garry; Korchnoi, Viktor; Krnic, Zdenko; Larsen, Bent; Matanović, Aleksandar; Minev, Nikolay; Nunn, John; Parma, Bruno; Polugaevsky, Lev; Suetin, Alexey; Sveshnikov, Evgeny; Taimanov, Mark; Ugrinovic, Dragan; Uhlmann, Wolfgang (1984). Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, volume B (2nd ed.). Belgrade: Chess Informant. ISBN 0-7134-3716-2.
  • Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1996) [First pub. 1992]. "Encyclopedia of Chess Openings". The Oxford Companion to Chess (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-19-280049-3.

External links edit