Openings: King Pawn Openings

Jan 8, 2012, 4:20 PM |


I have been reading "Winning Chess Openings" by GM Yasser Seirawan and it has been teaching me lots of openings and variations. In this blog, the positions reached and the comments in diagrams are taken from what I have learned in the book.  Some of the diagrams do not explore long variations.  The idea is to learn common positions that openings can lead to early on.  All openings here proceed from the King Pawn Opening (1.e4 e5).  The openings explored in this blog are:

(2.d4) The Danish Gambit and the Center Game Openings

(2.f4) the King's Gambit

(2.Nf3) Petroff Defense, Scotch GameItalian Game, and the Ruy Lopez

Variations of the Italian Game and the Ruy Lopez are more widely explored.



Let's look now at the most popular opening sequence in chess, the 

King Pawn Opening: 1.e4 e5


2.d4, The Danish Gambit and the Center Game Openings:

Instead of attacking Black's d4 pawn early on with 2.d4, White has the centuries-old option of intitiating the King's Gambit (2.f4) 


Now that we've explored some options where White attacks right away in a King Pawn Game with 2.d4 or 2.f4, let's look at the main line move of 2.Nf3 and see where it can lead...


(Petroff Defense)


We now look at some popular openings after 2.Nf3 Nc6:

The Scotch Game, the Italian Game, and the Ruy Lopez


The Scotch Game:



The Italian Game:


...continuations from 3...Bc5: (Evan's Gambit, Giuoco Piano) 

The Max Lange Attack:

Continuations from 3...Nf6:  Two Knights Defense and Traxler Gambit

The Fried Liver Attack:



The Ruy Lopez: 

4. Bxc6 dxc6 (Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation)
(Ruy Lopez Open Variation)
Alternatives to the main line:
In deviating from the main line early on, Black has many choices on move 3 that we will look at here.

3...d6 (Steinitz Defense)
3...Nge7 (Cozio Defense)
3...Nf6 (Berlin Defense)

3...Nd4 (Bird Defense)
3...Bc5 (Classical Defense)
3...f5 (Schliemann Defense)