Beginner tactical openings

PTERANODON7


I'm looking to explore my options for 1.e4 openings for white, but I'm a very tactical, aggressive player. On one hand I want to hone in on these skills but I also want to improve positional play and solidity. These are my main choices

Italian game

Petrov's defence. Urusov gambit

So could I have some help? Maybe even a new opening recommendation?

blueemu

 

exploding_herring

Those choices sound fine. If you want to get experience of both positional play and tactical stuff playing a normal mainline against Nc6 and a more unusual gambit against the Petroff could be quite smart. The main thing is that you stick with your choice for a while after you've decided (at least 6 months). Too many people panic after one bad loss and think they have to change openings. A better response is to work out why the loss happened and then try not to do same thing again.

exploding_herring

Also there's a couple of gambits black can play after 2.Nf3 that you should be aware of. The Latvian gambit with 2...f5 and the elephant gambit with 2...d5 can both be rather dangerous if you haven't seen them.

MooseMouse

1. Boden Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nf3 Free pawn? 3...Nxe4 Black takes the bait! 4.Nc3 Nxc3 5.dxc3. Looks like a harmless position. Look again! How can Black protect the e-pawn? 5...Nc6, 5...d6, 5...e4 are all blunders because of 6.Ng4!

2. Urusov Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 Free pawn? 3...Nxe4 Black takes the bait! 4.dxe5. Okay, pick a move for Black. Wrong! For example: 4...Nc6 5.Bxf7+! Kxf7 6.Qd5+ Ke8 7.Qxe4 and we're not only a pawn up, but Black's King is stuck in the middle.

3. Vienna Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf3 3.f4 Free pawn? 3...exf4? 4.e5! Where can the Knight go? Only back to where it came from! 4...Ng8. White has the center, better development, and should soon get the pawn back too!

4. Halloween Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 And now let's totally freak out our opponent. 4.Nxe5! Black doesn't know what to think. Are you insane or brilliant? The next few moves are almost forced: 4...Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6. You're down a knight for a pawn, but you dominate the board. And how will Black handle your threats of the Knight (heading for c7) and our upcoming Queen check on e2?

5. Ponziani Opening
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Surprise! 3...Nf6 4.d4 Free pawn? 4...Nxe4 Black takes the bait! 5.d5 Ne7 6.Nxe5 We have our pawn back. 6...d6 A natural move. Kicks the knight, stops the pawn, opens up the bishop. Looks good. Except for one thing. 7.Bb5!! c6 8.dxc6 bxc6 9.Nxc6!! White's winning a piece or checkmating here! See it?

6. Center Game
1.e4 e5 2.d4 "Let's play my opening." 2...exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd2 0-0 7.0-0-0 White castles long in the Center Game, which means excitement, and an all out attack on Black's King. 7...Re8 8.Qg3 Free pawn? Not exactly. In fact, masters here, if they take it, will take it with the Rook. But your opponents, unsuspecting, will "win" the pawn with the knight: 8...Nxe4 9.Nxe4 Rxe4 10.c3 and White's going to get a sweet attack against the Black King.

The following four openings all start with the same three moves by each side.

7. Evans Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4! Free pawn? 4...Bxb4 Black pretty much has to take the bait! White gets space and a lasting initiative in all variations. Play might go like this, if Black is greedy: 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 exd4 7.0-0 dxc3 Not so free pawn! Black has captured three pawns, but is dangerously behind in development. 8.Qb3! Qf6 9.e5! Qg6 10.Nxc3 Nge7 11.Ba3! 0-0 12.Rad1 White rules the board. Black will almost certainly have to give back his material gains to neutralize White's pressure.

8. Max Lange Attack
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d4! Free pawn? Black may think you're stupid. Little does he know... 4...exd4 5.0-0 Nf6 6.e5 and you can count on a good game, with major pitfalls for Black. Play might go like this: 6...d5! (6...Ng4 is not good for Black) 7.exf6 dxc4 8.Re1+ Be6 9.Ng5 Black is in a minefield. 9...Qd5 is the only move. Most folks will play 9...Qxf6? 10.Nxe6 fxe6 11.Qh5+ g6 12.Qxc5! spearing a bishop.

9. Guioco Piano, Moller Trap Line
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Looks innocent, doesn't it? Oh so deceptive. If Black plays the most natural looking moves, he'll end up deep fried. Watch it unfold: 4...Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Free pawn? 7...Nxe4 8.0-0 Free pawn? 8...Nxc3 9.bxc3 Bxc3 Black is happy, no? Two pawns up, and attacking the rook also. Yet... 9.Ba3! and White has a winning advantage in all variations.

10. Four Knights Opening -- Play for the Double Freddie
The idea here is to saddle Black with doubled f-pawns (Double Freddies) right after he castles, then invade the resulting weakened king position and checkmate. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.Nc3. Now there are a few move orders, but a sample game shows the idea in action: 5...d6 6.Bg5 0-0 7.Nd5 a6 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.Qd2 b5? 10.Qh6 bxc4 11.Nxf6+ Kh8 12.Qxh7 mate.

11.Scotch Gambit!

IMBacon

"...I'm a very tactical, aggressive player."

Actually, you're a 900 player that blunders.  Trying to be "tactical and aggressive" is the last thing you should be doing.

https://www.chess.com/live/game/3721534344?username=pteranodon7

You hung material and fell for a back rank mate.  Nothing tactical or aggressive here, and nothing openings will help with.

https://www.chess.com/live/game/3721460832?username=pteranodon7

You didnt follow opening principles, and got mated.

https://www.chess.com/live/game/3715126658?username=pteranodon7

You hung material.

https://www.chess.com/live/game/3715117460?username=pteranodon7

You hung material.

https://www.chess.com/live/game/3723362558?username=pteranodon7

You won because your opponent hung more material than you did.

See the common theme?

 

kindaspongey

"... you must choose what openings you will be using. This choice depends on your taste and also on the character and style of your game. If you like to attack and you are not afraid of sacrificing and taking risks choose sharp gambit openings. If you prefer a quiet game, then there are relatively calm openings for you. ..." - Journey to the Chess Kingdom by Yuri Averbakh and Mikhail Beilin

PTERANODON7
IMBacon wrote:

"...I'm a very tactical, aggressive player."

Actually, you're a 900 player that blunders.  Trying to be "tactical and aggressive" is the last thing you should be doing.

https://www.chess.com/live/game/3721534344?username=pteranodon7

You hung material and fell for a back rank mate.  Nothing tactical or aggressive here, and nothing openings will help with.

https://www.chess.com/live/game/3721460832?username=pteranodon7

You didnt follow opening principles, and got mated.

https://www.chess.com/live/game/3715126658?username=pteranodon7

You hung material.

https://www.chess.com/live/game/3715117460?username=pteranodon7

You hung material.

https://www.chess.com/live/game/3723362558?username=pteranodon7

You won because your opponent hung more material than you did.

See the common theme?

 

Woah, that's one way to put it. Geez.