Saturday, July 23, 2016

How to Play the Opening in Chess for Beginners

The opening in chess refers to those initial moves you make at the start of the game which determine how the middle game would be played and eventually the endgame. Although there is no fail proof opening there are a few openings which stand out and are considered very solid for both white and black to play such as;

For White: queen’s pawn opening, king’s pawn opening, (Italian Opening, King’s Indian Attack and Ruy Lopez to name a few) Dunst’s opening to name a few.
For Black: Sicilian Defense, French Defense, Pirc, King’s Indian Defense, Dutch Opening to name a few.

The Principles of Chess Openings
There are no guarantees when you follow these opening chess principles but you can be sure of one thing – you won’t lose quickly and easily if you follow the principles well.

Control the center with pawns
The best way to control the center is to occupy it with pawns especially the king and queen’s pawns. When pawns control the center they can interfere with the opposing side’s piece development and even gain more space at the expense of the opponent. The center of the chess board consists of four squares namely; e4, e5, d4 and d5 which run through the central files and diagonals are the cornerstones of the chess board. Controlling those squares early on in the game ensures that you can adequately develop your pieces for them to fight adequately for the rest of the game.

Develop your pieces to control central squares
Developing your pieces means playing them to control the core central squares (e4, e5, d4 and d5) at the beginning of the game, the idea behind it is to rapidly gain a foothold in the game and seize the initiative. The opening and middle game phases depend heavily on the initiative which is the best way to force your opponent into inferior positions and to create superior fighting chances for your pieces to win the game.  

Castle as soon and as safely as possible
The safety of your king is the most important factor to consider in the opening and middle game because your king can be easily checkmated if uncastled or exposed to attacks from enemy pieces. So once you have the chance to castle and it is safe to do so don’t hesitate do it.

Complete your development
The fourth strategic goal of the opening is to complete your development whereby all your pieces play a role in controlling the center of the board. At this stage the king is usually castled with only the two rooks at the back rank with it while the queen is developed to either second or third rank.

Most chess games are not that simple. Sometimes your opponent might deliberately play unusual and aggressive moves such as an early pawn storm which could interfere with your piece development but just keep these principles in mind when you play the opening so that you can devise plans to stop your opponent in case he’s already frustrating your opening plans.

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