Chess Maps are a project that I pursue.

A Chess Map is a detailed chess opening tree, which displays all (ok, almost all) named opening variations with their name, a diagram and paths to parent and child variations. Altogether there are 2400 named variations on 20 Chess Maps, i.e., printed pages 100 by 70 cm, which come folded like a set of road maps.

To explore them, start at the bottom end of each map and with every move go upwards one row. Where the path splits into two moves or more, you will find the options arranged like on the chess board: From left to right, e.g., a move a3 is on the left, then c4, and Nh3 appears on the right end of the fork.

Example 1: Indian defences Chess Map

Chess Maps
Preview image of the Indian defences Chess Map. The original pdf is of top printing quality.

Those long paths reaching the top edges have their extensions displayed in a separate window, in the manner of outlying islands on a map.

You will notice numbered arrows above some diagrams – these point to other pages.

Chess Maps are meant to be a learning resource for chess opening terminology. When you follow a path from diagram to diagram with your finger you attach a physical experience to the learning process. This helps your brain remembering the variation names, their geographical position in the tree and thus the way to get there.

Example 2: French defence Chess Map

Chess Maps
Preview image of the French defence Chess Map.

To limit complexity, every variation appears only once and in the context of its normal opening system. Alternative move orders and transpositions are not reflected. Also not reflected are second or third names of some variations. I just went with the one that appeared to have a majority in online chess databases. Finally, two dozen extra-long paths with named opening variations didn’t make it for a lack of space (e.g., an 11th move Paulsen variation in the Muzio gambit of the King’s gambit). Maybe I can get that solved later.