Beginner: Openings

  • NM Alexander King
  • Avg Rating: 800
  • Beginner

Learn the basic principles of opening play and take note of our tips (for beginner level players) on all the things you need to know to properly start a chess game.

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  • The "Perfect Opening"

    It's time to start learning about the opening! The first stage of chess is very important because all games, even the shortest ones, must have an opening.
  • Control the Center

    The center is the most important part of the board, because it connects to all the other parts of the board. As mentioned in the previous lesson, all pieces achieve their optimum power when placed in, or at least near the center of the board.
  • Develop Your Pieces

    By far the most important principle in the opening is to DEVELOP YOUR PIECES. This simply means get them in the game, off of their original starting positions! Preferably, they should always try to develop to good squares (central squares or squares that attack the center).
  • Protect Your King

    The third main opening principle (after developing your pieces and controlling the center) is to PROTECT YOUR KING. The reason for this is obvious - you don't want your king to be in danger of getting checkmated when the game has barely even started! We saw what happened to black in the last lesson!
  • Don't Forget Your King

    Sometimes in the opening there are tempting opportunities to capture hanging pieces. Usually this is a good idea because winning material is one of the best things you can do in a chess game, but don't forget about your king! It is the most important piece, so keep it safe!
  • Openings for White

    Now we're going to look at every possible first move for White. Some are better than others, but all 20 moves will be covered, so feel free to try any move that interests you! The purpose of this lesson is simply to provide a brief description, listing the good and the bad, of every possible move available to you in the opening stage of chess. Once you try a move, back up, and try another! NOTE if you try 1.e4, you will need to click "review this lesson" in the text to go through the other moves...
  • Openings for Black

    Now we're going to look at all of Black's first move options. Remember that since Black moves second, he has slightly less room to experiment in the opening, and some of the moves we're going to examine are simply terrible! Once you try a move, back up, and try another! NOTE if you try 1...e5, you will need to click "review this lesson" in the text to go through the other moves listed.
  • The Famous Four-Move Checkmate

    And now for the most dreaded of all openings...the four move checkmate! Against proper defense from black, this opening is just a silly trap for white that actually breaks a very important opening principle (not to develop your queen until your minor pieces have been developed) - BUT it is being displayed here in part to teach you what NOT to do and how to stop it!
  • Copycat Trap

    Some people who don't know anything about openings just like to copy their opponent's moves. This "strategy" does not work for long...
  • Another Opening Trap

    And now for another opening trap, and the final opening lesson of this course. This one is a little more complicated, but just as important to know.

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