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Essentials of Opening Play

Kairav Joshi Avg Rating: 1040 Openings

This course on openings is designed to help you practice opening principles and learn more about common mistakes beginners and intermediate players make. This course will teach you how to develop optimally, how to approach gambits, and how to exploit your adversary's opening mistakes.

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  • Develop Pieces to Good Squares

    Let's start by learning the right way to develop pieces in the opening!
  • The Bad Rook Opening

    Beginners often make the mistake of developing the rooks too early by pushing an edge pawn two spaces and then advancing a rook to the 3rd rank (or 6th rank if Black). This is a bad idea.
  • Learning From the Four Knights

    In this lesson we will study the Four Knights Opening move by move and try to understand why each move played is good.
  • Learning From the Ruy Lopez

    It's time to dive into the popular Ruy Lopez opening! This lesson will explain the basics of the Ruy Lopez - also referred to as "The Spanish" - and relate it to key opening principles.
  • Opening Greed

    While taking free pawns is often a great idea, over-doing it is not! Each turn spent taking free pawns is each turn not spent on developing pieces. We will see the drawback of being too greedy in this lesson.
  • Playing Gambits for the Initiative and a Lead in Development: Smith-Morra Gambit

    The purpose of opening gambits is to gain a lead in development and acquire the initiative. The price one typically pays for their "lead in development" is a pawn. While gambits can be fun to play, most of them are not strong. In this lesson we will explore one of the most popular gambits employed at the highest levels, the Smith-Morra Gambit.
  • Playing Gambits for a Positional Gain

    While gambits are often used to gain an attacking setup, they can also be played for positional gain. The Queen's Gambit temporarily offers a pawn for a better center.
  • Punishing Bad Opening Moves 1: Who Let the Queen Out?

    Opening principles say we shouldn't develop the queen too early. In this lesson we will study this concept.
  • Punishing Bad Opening Moves 2: Prevent Castling

    A common opening mistake beginners make is unnecessarily delaying castling. It is often easy to take advantage of this mistake by preventing them from ever castling. If your opponent can't castle, the king will remain vulnerable throughout the game.
  • Punishing Bad Opening Moves 3: Passive Development

    Developing passively is a common mistake beginners and intermediate players make. In this lesson we will learn how to punish passive development by our opponents.

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