Chess openings

Chess openings

In the previous article we introduced the Initial Position of the pieces and the 4 Pillars of Wisdom of the openings but before delving into the individual openings it is good that I spend a few words on chess opening theory.

Since the beginning of the game it has been realized that playing certain sequences of moves (openings) could lead to a more promising position than others. The practice of the game then perfected and deepened the sequences leading to a continuous improvement of the organization of the game itself in opening phase for both colors.

The study of all chess openings form the Aperture Theory.

Most used openings in chess

White's choice of first move is usually dictated by the need to control the central squares of the board; therefore the moves 1.e4 (opening of the king pawn or opening of the king) and 1.d4 (opening of the queen pawn or opening of the queen) are the most played moves as that physically they occupy the important central houses. They are certainly the most used openings. However, it is also possible to check the center from afar as theorized in certain openings such as 1. b3 (Larsen opening) or 1. Cf3 (Reti opening) where control is exercised in the first case by the bishop placed on the side panel in b2 and in the second example by the centralized knight in f3.

The Theory of Openings is not something fixed and immutable, but it is in constant evolution; sometimes in tournaments a move is played for the first time (theoretical novelty) that arouses the interest of fans who do not fail to experience it at the first opportunity. It will be just the result concrete obtained in the game (and its repetition!) which will sanction the success or failure of that theoretical novelty.

So the openings must be studied, but not by heart, but by understanding the ideas that are hidden in the sequences of moves. This study is very demanding and, if you want to perfect yourself, you have to tackle it sooner or later. The good news is that it is not necessary for beginners to tackle this demanding study right away, but it can be postponed to a later time. At the beginning it is enough to understand the four principles, which I call the "4 Pillars of the Wisdom of the Openings”, Strategic and basic that, if well understood, will allow you to play any opening without fear.

Best chess openings

THE 4 Pillars of the Wisdom of the Openings are important because if you follow them you will be sure to play them best openings to win at chess.

They provide:

  • Conquest physics of the Middle
  • Development quick of the pieces
  • Movement prudent of pedestrians
  • Security of the King.

The adjectives are not randomly placed, but they have a precise meaning.

Let's start from the first point, the physical conquest of the Center. Why do we have to conquer? The reason lies in the fact that whoever occupies the Center has more space, that is, more squares, available to place the pieces that from there will also be able to exert a greater influence on the opponent's line-up. The conquest of the Center then normally allows us to be able to carry out a direct attack on the King. Because we must try to occupy physically the center? We have to physically occupy it because it is simply much easier to occupy physically the Center than not to check from afar. We are at the beginning; so let's start playing simple things that work. With the practice of the game we will learn over time to play more complex things.

The center is made up of the 4 houses 'd4' 'd5' 'e4' 'e5' highlighted in red. The green colored houses form what is sometimes called the "extended center".

Regarding the second point it is necessary to explain what it means to develop a chess piece.

We talk about the development of a piece when it is moved from the starting square and is assigned a role active control or support of the Center, of attack or defense of its own piece or of the Center. Normally the Horses develop first and then the Bishops which are the first pieces that come into play.

This concept, which is not immediately assimilated, must absolutely be well understood, it carries with it some corollaries, namely do not move the same piece twice in the opening, do not hunt for pawns, do not move the Queen too soon. With a military simile, developing the pieces well is analogous to carefully positioning all your troops before battle.

An example of the development of pieces in attack and defense

At point three we find an obsolete word, prudent, which indicates few and effective movements of a pawn. A pawn move is effective when it occupies / supports the center or defends / attacks a piece is free movement to the pieces behind him so they can come into play.

From this it follows that the move 1. a4 so dear to beginners, it is not effective.

  1. a4 Move to avoid

Finally, last but not least, the fourth principle states that it is necessary to keep one's King safe from harm. When we lose the King we have lost everything. So we must take the utmost care of its safety. We manage to carry out this task by perching. In his fortress, defended by valiant pedestrians, the King is safe. Of course during all the course of the game we will always have to check the status of its security so as not to be faced with unpleasant surprises.

In the diagram castling is long for white and short for black.

The application of these principles will allow you to achieve the goal of opening which is to enter the medium game with a playable position, or perhaps not particularly good, but not particularly bad, playable indeed.

But this is another movie. :-)

My other related articles that I recommend you read are:

  • Chess rules
  • How to play chess
  • Chess game and its benefits
  • The stalemate in chess

by Andrea Gori

Video: The Sicilian Defense. 10-Minute Chess Openings (September 2021).