Chess is a very tactical game that involves deep strategy and thinking that most times play a major role in the outcome of the game. The first few moves of a game are some of the most important and could make or break you. These moves establish an early foundation for your plans and although you shouldn’t try to memorize opening moves, you should know some basic chess openings that usually come in handy during the game.
There are several openings to consider using depending on your preference. However, you have to understand a good number of them to determine which you’d work best with.
What Is an Opening in Chess?
A chess opening or commonly referred to as an opening is the initial move of a chess game. An opening often consists of a theory of established sequences that players adopt at the very early aspect of the game. The other phases are the middle game and end game. Chess opening moves are considered standard and also referred to as book moves. When the players start deviating from an opening theory, it is called out of book.
What Are the Best Openings That You Can Use?
Certainly, not all chess openings are suitable for beginners or experts. They usually involve intimate knowledge of deep, strategic ideas and difficulties. Some of the best chess openings you can use include:
The Italian Game
The Italian game is achieved by the moves: 1. e4, e5; 2. Nf3, Nc6; and 3. Bc4. In the Italian game-opening strategy, white points its Bc4 to target blacks’ potentially weak f7 pawn. The opening takes an aggressive approach, leading to opening positions that make the game fun to play.
The major advantage of the game is that it focuses on fortifying the center early and provides multiple chances for white to develop rapidly. However, the center isn’t an immediate threat for black and since it opens with its bishop on c4, there is a good chance that it is attacked.
The French Defense
This opening is intended for black. It involves conceding central space to white and limiting the scope of his king’s bishop. However, the opening prevents tactics against f7 while giving room for black to have an activity on the queen side. Black is also able to counter play in the center.
The opening starts with the typical line of 2. d4, d5, after which whites “e” pawn receives immediate pressure. When this happens, white must react by choosing how to deal with this, therefore, opening room for several variations.
A major advantage of the French defense is how it teaches blocked positions, typical pawn structures, pawn structures, and pawn levers. This system helps your entire game and not only the opening, taking an overly aggressive approach. Its disadvantage includes a bad bishop, less space, and the need for unconventional thinking to properly execute.
The Sicilian Defense
This opening is black’s most common response to e4, especially when used at the highest level of chess. Black plays c5, a move that immediately fights for the center and attacks d4 while avoiding e5. Ultimately, the Sicilian defense opening creates a complex and dangerous struggle between white and black, which both sides can play for a win.
This opening is also popular and effective because it gives black a very comfortable position to defend their king territory while leaving room to counter-attack white. Using this opening also puts black in a position that denies white the advantage it usually gains at the beginning of the game.
The Ruy Lopez opening is named after Rodrigo Lopez de Segura. Its starting position is reached after following the moves: 1. e4, e5; 2. Nf3, Nc6; and 3. Bb5.
Ruy Lopez chess opening has an advantage in that it typically leads to open games with lots of play for both sides. However, its disadvantage is that it doesn’t offer enough opportunities to play aggressively and also lacks enough lines when an attack is possible.
The Caro Kann sets d5 on black’s second move in an attempt to challenge white’s e4 pawn. The major advantage of Caro Kann is that it provides a solid opening for black, which is a chance to equalize or gain the advantage over white. However, it has a major disadvantage in the sense that the basic move, c5 counter-attacking the white center loses a tempo because c6 has already been played. Caro Kann is an aggressive kind of opening.
|Openings||Black or white||Advantage||Disadvantage||Style of play|
|The Italian game||White||Fortifies the center early||It exposes the bishop to attacks||Aggressive|
|The French defense||Black||Teaches blocked positions and structures||Bad bishop, less space, requires unconventional thinking||Aggressive|
|The Sicilian defense||Black||Defends the king territory and leaves room for a counter-attack||Forces black to take caution not to fall victim to quick attack||Aggressive|
|The Ruy Lopez||White||Creates open games with several plays for both side||Doesn’t offer enough opportunities to play aggressive||Passive|
|The Caro Kann||Black||Provides a solid opening for black to equalize or gain the advantage over white||Its basic c5 counter-attacking move causes a loss of tempo||Aggressive|
Which Is the Best Opening for You?
With all that has been said, you might still be wondering which is the best opening for you. Well, the best one is simply the one that you’re most familiar with and which also suits your style of play.