[Chess] : main lines or mainlines? side lines or sidelines?

Omega Force

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello.

In chess opening theory, do we say "main lines" or "mainlines"? And do we say "side lines" or "sidelines"?

Note: A main line / mainline is an opening variation which is very strong and popular, whereas a side line / sideline is an opening variation which is less powerful and less common (it's mainly played as a surprised weapon).

Thanks in advance for your answers.
 
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The usual contrast is between the main line and variations from the main line.
    Nowadays, chess theory is so rich and dense that each opening has a number of main lines (or main variations), each of which has its own main line, with further variations from that.
     

    Omega Force

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I tried to Google them, and Google has a lot of results for both "main lines" and "mainlines", and a lot of result for both "side lines" and "sidelines". So it's uncertain. But it seems that there are slightly more "main lines" than "mainlines". And there are slightly more "sidelines" than "side lines".

    It would be weird if the correct spelling were "main lines" and "sidelines" because I thought that they would either be both with a space or both without a space, but not one with a space and one without.
     
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