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ECO Opening Database - Help


This tool provides an easily searchable and easy to use interface to the over 2,000 opening positions which are represented in the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, or ECO.

You can search for an opening 3 different ways:

  1. By its ECO code, for example A01 or E20
  2. By the moves in its opening, for example d4 d5 or 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 (either syntax is fine)
  3. By the names of the opening or variation, for example Queens gambit or Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense

Regardless of which way you choose to search, just type any kind of query into the search box and the ECO opening database will do the right thing.


However you search for an opening, each one appears in a gray box, with an image of the final position on the left and the list of moves on the right. Here is an example:

Modern defense diagram

Modern defense (A42)

Averbakh system, Kotov variation

1. d4 d6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 Nc6

  1. If you hold your mouse over the image, the image will go through the opening move by move.
  2. If you click the icon in the upper right hand corner, it will load the end position in the diagram generator.
  3. You can click on the name, the ECO code or the variation and it will search for that particular item.
  4. You can click on any move in the opening, and you will load the ECO openings for that particular move order.

Can I Use These Images on my Site?

Yes! All static and animated GIFs on this page are free "software" and can be redistributed or modified under the terms of the GNU General Public License V2. For more details about how the GNU General Public Licence V2 applies to images, you can read this related section in the Wikimedia Commons Reuse Wiki. If you choose to use these images on your page, we would appreciate a link back to our site, but it is not required.

However, please do not hot-link these images from our site (IE link directly to the image version hosted on If you would like to use them, please save them onto your own computer and then upload them to your web server or blog. We provide no guarantee the image names will stay the same or stay in the same location, so hot-linking also will likely result in broken images on your page.

In addition to the non-looping GIFs we use on our page, we also store looping images (IE after the animation completes, it will start over again) purely for your usage! To load them, just change the URL of the image you would like from: