5 Solid Openings/Defenses For Beginners

Mar 10, 2011, 10:27 AM |

When I was just starting out in chess, I was barely able to beat people rated 900 on this chess site. 900! Thats very very low. But slowly, and with much practice, after about 1000 games of chess with little opening/defense knowledge, I was able to reach the mid 1200's quite easily. To make the new transition over to the 1300's, I had to try even harder to remember openings and tactics. The self training took me months, and plenty of hours out of my spare time, but I learned enough opening knowledge and pawn tricks to improve way over 1300.

Currently I am about to surpass 1600, and looking back now, I wondered what the best types of openings and defences would have helped me the most along the way. Well, after careful analysis, I have concluded that 5 different openings were the best for me to use during my "beginner" days. Be aware that ALL of the openings below have been used and tested by many GM's, and are in use in today's most serious of tournaments. Below are the openings, and the reasons why beginners should use them =]

B00: King's Pawn

Kings Pawn Opening is the most widely used opening in chess, because of the feature to open up both the light square bishop and the queen at the same time. Also, the pawn grabs for the center, causing tension for black. After moving e4, just develop your minor pieces and you should do fine.


A45: Indian Game

When playing as black, if white should make their first move d4 (queen's pawn) then you should try to use this move fairly often. In most games, the knight moving to Nf6 is inevitable most times, so doing it first will save you time in the long run. Don't try this when white plays e4, because that would transition to the Alekhine defense, a much more advanced defense ;)


C60: Ruy Lopez

Considered one of the strongest chess openings for white, black now has to face multiple challenges to defend against white's onslaught of powerful moves. White now has the power to castle, and already has a fairly strong control on the board. If you play white and your game goes "e4,e5,Nf3,Nc6" then I recommend bringing that bishop out and doing the bold Ruy Lopez.


B20: Sicilian Defense

As black, you will have the disadvantage of moving second, but the Sicilian Defense tries to turn that into an advantage. For black, using the Sicilian is a perfect way to throw white off guard. I always hated seeing it whenever I played white, because it always made me ponder ways on how to actually beat it! This is the most used defence when dealing with white's e4 move, and even in Grandmaster games. Do not be afraid to use the Sicilian, it's a very versatile and flexible defence for black.


A00: Hungarian Opening / A07: King's Indian Attack

Considered an unorthodox move by some, this opening has a very impressive win rate for white. Almost as powerful as the King's Pawn opening itself, if your opponent is not careful, they can wind up in a world of pain. The next obvious move is to fianchetto the light squared bishop to g2, and then perhaps developing the g1 knight to f3 so you can castle. This opening is also good whenever trying to take down much higher rated opponents, since most are quite unready to deal with the setup. You can easily change the order in which you play this setup. or instance, move Nf3 as your first move, followed by the pawn moving to g2. Or the other way around. It's however you want the game to progress.


Hope you guys enjoyed this segment. Please be aware, this is only a recommended read for those under 1200 in rating, and basically only just starting out in chess. Of course, those above 1200 can read this and learn something new, but those of you above 1200 should seek Intermediate opening guides that are recommended for those between 1250-1400.

Hope you all enjoy this small article on strong chess openings! :]