User Reviewed

How to Open in Chess

It's rightly said: Well begun is half done!


Chess Openings are defined as the first few (usually 8-15) moves of any chess game. This crucial time in the game often determines the winner in the middlegame or endgame. The most important principle of chess openings is development. If you can develop more pieces in the opening than your opponent, then you control the middlegame and eventually endgame - increasing your chances of victory.

Steps

  1. Image titled Open in Chess Step 1
    1
    Open with a move played by grandmasters today. These moves are all reliable and common:
    • 1.e4
      Image titled Open in Chess Step 2
    • 1.d4
      Image titled Open in Chess Step 3
    • 1.c4
      Image titled Open in Chess Step 4
    • 1.Nf3
      Image titled Open in Chess Step 5
  2. Image titled Open in Chess Step 6
    2
    Remember that the following moves are less common but are still good for you to play:
    • 1.b3
      Image titled Open in Chess Step 7
    • 1.g3
      Image titled Open in Chess Step 8
    • 1.b4
      Image titled Open in Chess Step 9
    • 1.f4
      Image titled Open in Chess Step 10
  3. Image titled Open in Chess Step 11
    3
    Develop your pieces. Try developing by giving threat to your opponent so that his/her move is wasted while defending. Meanwhile, you can develop your own piece in your next move.
    • Keep an eye on controlling the center with your pieces. The center is the place where most of the action will be.
    • Develop with gain of time by attacking your opponents unguarded pieces and pawns.
  4. Image titled Open in Chess Step 12
    4
    Exchange your bad pieces for your opponent's good pieces: This is a bit complex, but learn which pieces are "good" and which are "bad" for each player, and try to exchange your bad pieces for your opponent's good pieces. For example, a bishop is bad if it is trapped by pawns of the same color as the bishop. If your center pawns are on white squares and your bishop is trapped behind them, try to exchange the bishop for a well-placed piece of your opponent's.
  5. Image titled Open in Chess Step 13
    5
    Avoid premature attacks. You might beat beginners with early mates, but not masters. So develop, rather than attempting premature attacks.
    • Don't go pawn hunting in the opening (unless it is a center pawn) because it wastes time and will probably put you in an underdeveloped position that is very hard to defend.
  6. Image titled Open in Chess Step 14
    6
    Learn common openings:
    • Four Knights: 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6
    • Vienna Game: 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3
    • Sicilian Defense: 1. e4 c5
    • French Defense 1. e4 e6
    • Italian Game: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4
    • Scandinavian Defense (Center Counter): 1. e4 d5
    • Queens Gambit: 1. d4 d5 2. c4
    • The English Opening: 1. c4 e5
    • The Ruy Lopez: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5
    • The Fried Liver (A famous attack): 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5
  7. Image titled Open in Chess Step 15
    7
    Learn Unusual Openings:
    • Blackmar-Deimer Gambit: 1. d4 d5 2. e4
    • Danish Gambit: 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3
    • Latvian Counter-gambit: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5?!
    • Queen's-pawn Counter-gambit: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5
    • Ponziani Opening: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6. 3. c3
    • Larsen's Opening: 1. b3 e5 2. Bb2
    • Orangutan: 1. b4 e5 2. Bb2 Bxb4 3. Bxe5
    • Bird's Opening: 1. f4 d5
    • Dutch Defense: 1. d4 f5
      • Common opening theory: “Rapid development of pieces and fight to control the center”.
        Image titled Open in Chess Step 16
  8. Image titled Open in Chess Step 17
    8
    Attack with gain of time whenever possible.
  9. Image titled Open in Chess Step 18
    9
    Castle early in open positions.
  10. Image titled Open in Chess Step 19
    10
    Don’t move your queen out early, she is subject to attack (known to experienced players as premature development of the queen).
  11. Image titled Open in Chess Step 20
    11
    Move your rooks to open files or towards the center because center files usually open.
  12. Image titled Open in Chess Step 21
    12
    Try to control the center.
  13. Image titled Open in Chess Step 22
    13
    Don’t attack before you complete your development.
  14. Image titled Open in Chess Step 23
    14
    In Queen Pawn openings, don’t trap your queen bishop pawn with the knight.
    • He who takes the knight pawn sleeps in the streets.
      Image titled Open in Chess Step 24
  15. Image titled Open in Chess Step 25
    15
    Don’t go pawn hunting in the opening unless it is a center pawn.
  16. Image titled Open in Chess Step 26
    16
    Don’t attack too early because a premature attack will fail.
  17. Image titled Open in Chess Step 27
    17
    Don’t sacrifice a pawn without a clear and adequate reason.
  18. Image titled Open in Chess Step 28
    18
    Don’t move the same piece twice in the opening because it wastes time. Unless you have a reason, or it is part of the opening you're playing, such as in the fried liver attack.

Things You'll Need

  • A chess set

Article Info

Categories: Chess