The Hungarian Opening is a semi-unusual chess opening which begins with the move 1. g3


Hungarian Opening

Compared to white’s four “main” opening moves (1. e4, 1. d4, 1. c4, and 1. Nf3), the Hungarian Opening lags far behind in popularity. That said, this opening is fully viable – even some professional-level chess games have featured the Hungarian Opening!



By playing g3 on move one, white indicates his intention to fianchetto the light-squared bishop. Black has several reasonable responses, including 1…c5, 1…e5, 1…d5, 1…Nf6, and 1…g6.

This is the real downside of the Hungarian Opening – black’s options aren’t limited at all! Black will be free to develop in almost any way he pleases.


There are very few “original” setups that are unique to the Hungarian Opening. The game will almost always “tranpose” to a setup that is better associated with another first move from white!

For example, after 1. g3 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. 0-0 e5 5. d3:

KIA Hungarian


We end up in a King’s Indian Attack, which could have just as easily begun with Nf3 on move 1!

Another example would be after 1. g3 e5 2. c4, we end up in the English Opening – just as if white has played c2-c4 on move one.

Because of this, there’s no real need to discuss specific lines of the Hungarian Opening – because they don’t really exist! If you wish to play this opening, you’ll need to understand a variety of different openings that can be reached by transposition.


The Hungarian Opening is a perfectly viable way to begin a chess game. There are several reputable opening systems that involve a bishop coming to g2, so it can make sense to put it there right away!

However, this move doesn’t limit black’s options at all, and black can grab central space in whatever manner they please. White will have no better option than to transpose back to a more “mainstream” opening over the next coming moves – which explain why few players are willing to play the Hungarian Opening, despite its viability.

That said, if you’re looking for a way to catch your opponent off-guard in your next chess game…you might consider giving 1. g3 a try!

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