Chess Openings Study: Best to Worst

Feb 15, 2012, 3:16 PM |

Hi! I'm sharing the main amateur openings from best to worst; every single possible first move.

1. King's Pawn Opening (e4) Pros: Develops a center pawn and simultaneously providing outlets for queen and king's bishop. Cons: None.

2. Queen's Pawn Opening (d4) Pros: Develops a center pawn and provides outlets for the queen and queen's bishop. Cons: Leads to a hard, distracting closed game.

3. Reti Opening (Nf3) Pros: Develops a piece and controls d4 and e5. Cons: Doesn't create a pawn center like the Alekhine's Defense.

4. English Opening (c4) Pros: Shoots at d5. Cons: Doesn't create a pawn center.

5. Nimzo-Larsen Attack (b3) Pros: Prepares to strike at the center. Cons: Black gets the center.

6. Benko Opening (g3) Pros: Prepares to strike at the center after Bg2. Cons: Black plays e5 with defense from Nc6. 

7. Bird's Opening (f4) Pros: Lunges for e5. Cons: Weakens kingside, and now castling queenside/trading queens and dark-squared bishop are the only choices. Also, Bf4 is unplayable.

8. Dunst Opening (Nc3) Pros: Develops back-rank piece. Cons: Only goes for e4.

9. Van't Kruij's Opening (e3) Pros: Frees kingside bishop/queen. Also supports d4. Cons: Blocks queenside bishop. 

10. Mieses Opening (d3) Pros: Frees queenside bishop and queen somewhat. Cons: Blocks off kingside bishop, now castling kingside is harder.

11. Anderssen's Opening (a3) Pros: Is helpful against a dark-squared bishop attack. Cons: Does nothing for the center.

12. Clemenz Opening (h3) Pros: Against light-squared bishop attacks. Cons: Does nothing in the center and weakens kingside.

13. Saragossa Opening (c3) Pros: Goes for a d4 pawn push. Cons: Blocks off Nc3.

14. Barnes' Opening (f3) Pros: Supports e4. Cons: Blocks of kingside knight natural development.

15. Sokolsky Opening (b4) Pros: Opens up development. Cons: No center play for white.

16. Ware Opening (a4) Pros: None. Cons: No center play.

17. The Grob (g4) Pros: Plays for a fianchetto. Cons: No center play, and weakens kingside.

18. Desprez Opening (h4) Pros: None. Cons: No center play.

19. Sodium Attack (Na3) Pros: None. Cons: Queenside knight goes to the less active edge, therefore blocking off play for knights.

20. Ammonia Attack (Nh3) Pros: None. Cons: It's worse than the Sodium Attack because e5 can use some attacking every once in a while, and d4 needs to be more supported.