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I have been playing chess actively for about 3 months now and I would really like to extend my knoweldge of openings. I only know 2 openings but I have got an idea about how to play the opening if someone does something I have not anticipated. The two openings that I know how to play are the queens gambit and the sicilian defense. I know it is a really meager arsenal but my question is: what openings should I go about learning? Please just give me a few that I should learn. Im not sure about what my style of play is but I think I play rather passively until I know I can gain an advantage by either aggressive or defensive play. Thanks!
Learn a Ruy Lopez as black. Not the Schliemann (spelling?) since you'd need a good deal of skill. Also find lines against the Piano, Scotch, King's Gambit (2...d5! for starters), Four Knights, Danish Gambit (5...Bb4+ and call it a day), Bird (1...d5 or 1...e5 depending on your taste) 1.d4 (Nimzo and Bogo Indian complex may be good but 1...e5? doesn't work here like 1.f4 because black doesn't have a weak king to work against and instantly kills off a center pawn. At best black enters a king pawn esque position where white is significantly better and black can't castle for some time)
Also against 1.Nc3 go for a Caro-Kahnesque position where your c-pawn isn't committed yet:
Most beginners start out with the Italian game (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4). The good thing about it is, it can lead to very sharp and tactical play as much as quiet and dull positions, which are two aspects of the game you must constantly strive to master. When I began playing, my favorite opening was the Four Knights game, Spanish variation (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5). You should try that if you don't want to play the Italian, there's just as much to learn from both.As Black, against 1. e4 I recommend 1... e5, the French or the Caro-Kann but if you're doing well with the Sicilian then stick to it but you might get into trouble against someone who knows the theory well;against the Queen's Gambit, I recommend the Queen's Gambit accepted. Although I never played it myself, I spent quite some time studying it only to come to the conclusion that it's a perfectly fine defense for Black, and it's certainly more beginner-friendly than the Queen's Gambit declined.
Thanks for the input so far! I have been doing well with the sicilian but as they say variety is the spice of life so I will definatley try out some of the 1. ...e5 variations mentioned as well as a ruy lopez. I know how to play the opening moves against the sicilian perfectly (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 (or ...Nc6) 3. Nc3 Nf6 etc. etc.) so I'm not too worried about being on the other end of the board against the sicilian for a change if they play ...c5 instead of ...e5. Thanks again!
GM Igor Smirnovs "Grandmaster Opening Laboratory 1" Explains what openings to and not to play for beginners
Thank you for the advice! it is so tempting to go onto live play instead of learning openings... I'll start on some ASAP though.
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