Tips on this opening?

I'm still fairly new to chess (about 2 months since my first game). Although I won this game, I feel like I would have been picked apart by someone more skilled. Was there anything you would have done differently in the first 10 - 15 moves? Much thanks.


Neither player's opening was perfect, but your setup was solid, and you completed development. There are no big complaints from me.

Usually c3 invites d5 (because with a pawn on c3, a knight can't go to c3 to attack/defend d5).

So 3...d5 is something black could consider. Black's 3rd and 4th moves are typical beginner type moves that have nothing to do with the center or deveopment, but again, I have no important complaints about what white did.


I guess I'd say moves 13 and 14 are not 100% following the opening principals. You're like... 99% of the way there, which is really good considering how new you are, so this may be a little too negative.

But before starting action in the center (moving pawns, openings lines) ideally you bring both your rooks to the center, and also not have a knight on the edge (your a3 knight). Of course chess isn't a cook book, you can't always follow the rules and expect great results, but in many games bringing both rooks to the center, (and your knight as well), before starting action will be ideal.


In this title you are asking about help on the opening and in the main post you are asking about help on move 10-15, why?


Hello, it's no that bad for the beginning! As for the first 10 moves, I would not go 4.Na3, though it is not a bad move, but just a bid akward, and I would definitely not go 11.Ra-c1. You see, every move must have a purpose, don't just move to pass the move, move to achieve something, to improve your postion. The move 11.Ra-c1 does not have any aim and does not help you with anything. Instead you could have simply taken on e5 and play Nc4 with interesting play! happy.png


2. Nf3 isn't a bad move per se but I'm wondering why you would avoid d4 here. d4 on move 2 should be instinctive if black doesn't prevent it. A higher level player can play differently because they understand the basics. But you should be playing for control of the center. 

3.c3 kind of pointless. You can play d4 without prepping it and follow up with c3 later if you need to. All you are doing is wasting a move and blocking your kinght. 

4. Na3- developing knight way from the center. 

5. Be2- very weak move.  Bc4 not only controls d5 but attacks the f7 pawn. The f7 pawn is particularly weak in this position. Not only will it be it be pinned after black castles (leaving g6 vulnerable) but if black answers with e6 at some point he's leaving his dark squares weak. Be2 is way too passive. 

6. 0-0 I know the advice for beginners is to castle as quickly as possible but personally I would delay castling here. Black doesn't have any threats and an opposite castle position would greatly favor white. 6.d4 is much better and then if 6...Nf6, you can defend the pawn with Bd3 without blocking your d-pawn. 

7. d3- another passive move. Black is equal after 7...e5. The point is to get in d4 but now you're taking two moves to do it. Qc2 or e5 is better. 

8. Be3 allows Ng4

10. h3- Really weak move. 10. h4 is much, much stronger. 

I'll stop there. First problem I see is not controlling the center. You do make moves towards the center but there is no effort to control it. Second, you're playing way too passively. Third, while you are developing your pieces you aren't putting them on the best squares which means you'll have to move them later losing time. Na3, Be2 and Be3 are all examples. 





One rule of thumb beginners should be aware of is the addage "a knight on the rim is dim". Although it applies to a certain extent in the different phases of the game, it's in the opening and very early middlegame it's more likely a knight on the rim would be detrimental to a player's game.



I'm 20 days late but thanks everyone. I've learned a lot in the 3 weeks since I asked for help. Now I look at the same game and immediately see where I went wrong. Thanks especially to the guy above who annotated the whole game.