Chess Opening Essentials: The Ideas & Plans Behind ALL Chess Openings - Volume 1: The Complete 1. e4
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To make matters more confusing, these terms are used very inconsistently. Although these do not have precise definitions, here are some general observations about how they are used. A small minority of openings are prefixed with "Anti-". Chess openings are primarily categorized by move sequences. Of these, 1. Nf3, and 1. A few other opening moves are considered reasonable but less consistent with opening principles than the four most popular moves.
The Dunst Opening , 1. Nc3, develops a knight to a good square, but is somewhat inflexible because it blocks White's c-pawn; also, after Note that after 1. Nf3 the analogous Bird's Opening , 1.
The Sokolsky Opening 1. The eleven remaining possibilities are rarely played at the top levels of chess. Of these, the best are merely slow such as 1. Worse possibilities either ignore the center and development such as 1. Na3 and 1. Black has twenty possible responses to White's opening move. Many of these are mirror images of the most popular first moves for White, but with one less tempo. Defenses beginning with Defenses with an early The most important scheme of classifying chess openings for serious players is by ECO code , a series of opening codes assigned by the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings.
Although these codes are invaluable for the serious study of the chess opening, they are not very practical for a broad survey of the chess opening as the codes obscure common structural features between related openings. Since these categories are still individually very large, it is common to divide each of them further. One reasonable way to group the openings is:. The Indian systems 1.
Chess Opening Essentials: The Ideas and Plans Behind All Chess Openings: 1
White starts by playing 1. This is the most popular opening move and it has many strengths—it immediately works on controlling the center, and it frees two pieces the queen and a bishop. The oldest openings in chess follow 1. Bobby Fischer rated 1. The most popular second move for White is 2. Nf3 attacking Black's king pawn, preparing for a kingside castle, and anticipating the advance of the queen pawn to d4.
Black's most common reply is Nc6, which usually leads to the Ruy Lopez 3. Bb5 , Scotch Game 3. If Black instead maintains symmetry and counterattacks White's center with Nf6 then the Petrov's Defense results. The Philidor Defense Other responses to 2. Nf3 are not seen in master play. The most popular alternatives to 2. Nf3 are the Vienna Game 2.
Nc3 , the Bishop's Opening 2. Bc4 , and the King's Gambit 2. These openings have some similarities with each other, in particular the Bishop's Opening frequently transposes to variations of the Vienna Game. The King's Gambit was extremely popular in the 19th century. White sacrifices a pawn for quick development and to pull a black pawn out of the center.
The Vienna Game also frequently features attacks on the Black center by means of a f2—f4 pawn advance. In the Center Game 2. An alternative is to sacrifice one or two pawns, for example in the Danish Gambit.
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Many other variations after 1. In the semi-open games White plays 1. The most popular Black defense to 1. The Pirc and the Modern are closely related openings that are also often seen, while the Alekhine and the Scandinavian have made occasional appearances in World Chess Championship games.
The Sicilian and French Defenses lead to unbalanced positions that can offer exciting play with both sides having chances to win. The Caro—Kann Defense is solid as Black intends to use his c-pawn to support his center 1. Alekhine's, the Pirc and the Modern are hypermodern openings in which Black tempts White to build a large center with the goal of attacking it with pieces.
Other semi-open games have been studied but are less common; see Semi-Open Game for details. The openings classified as closed games begin 1. The move 1. This slight difference has a tremendous effect on the opening. For instance, whereas the King's Gambit is rarely played today at the highest levels of chess, the Queen's Gambit remains a popular weapon at all levels of play.
Also, compared with the King Pawn openings, transpositions among variations are more common and critical in the closed games. The most important closed openings are in the Queen's Gambit family White plays 2. The Queen's Gambit is somewhat misnamed, since White can always regain the offered pawn if desired. In the Queen's Gambit Accepted , Black plays White will get active pieces and possibilities for the attack. Black has two popular ways to decline the pawn, the Slav Both of these moves lead to an immense forest of variations that can require a great deal of opening study to play well.
Black replies to the Queen's Gambit other than They are also examples of Systems , rather than specific opening variations. White develops aiming for a particular formation without great concern over how Black chooses to defend. Both systems are popular with club players because they are easy to learn, but are rarely used by professionals because a well-prepared opponent playing Black can equalize fairly easily. The Stonewall is characterized by the White pawn formation on c3, d4, e3, and f4, and can be achieved by several move orders and against many different Black setups.
The diagram positions and the move sequences given below are typical. Other closed openings have been studied but are less common; see Closed Game for details. The Indian systems are asymmetrical defenses to 1. Fianchettos are common in many of these openings. As with the closed games, transpositions are important and many of the Indian defenses can be reached by several different move orders.
Although Indian defenses were championed in the s by players in the hypermodern school, they were not fully accepted until Soviet players showed in the late s that these systems are sound for Black. Since then, Indian defenses have been the most popular Black replies to 1. The usual White second move is 2. Black's most popular replies are:. Advocated by Nimzowitsch as early as , the Nimzo-Indian Defense was the first of the Indian systems to gain full acceptance. It remains one of the most popular and well-respected defenses to 1. Black attacks the center with pieces and is prepared to trade a bishop for a knight to weaken White's queenside with doubled pawns.
The King's Indian Defense is aggressive, somewhat risky, and generally indicates that Black will not be satisfied with a draw. Although it was played occasionally as early as the late 19th century, the King's Indian was considered inferior until the s, when it was taken up by Bronstein , Boleslavsky , and Reshevsky.
Despite being Fischer 's favored defense to 1. Kasparov 's successes with the defense restored the King's Indian to prominence in the s. Distinguished by the move The Queen's Indian Defense is considered solid, safe, and perhaps somewhat drawish. Nf3 instead of 3. Black constructs a sound position that makes no positional concessions, although sometimes it is difficult for Black to obtain good winning chances.
Karpov is a leading expert in this opening.
The Modern Benoni is a risky attempt by Black to unbalance the position and gain active piece play at the cost of allowing White a pawn wedge at d5 and a central majority. Tal popularized the defense in the s by winning several brilliant games with it, and Fischer occasionally adopted it, with good results, including a win in his world championship match against Boris Spassky.
Often Black adopts a slightly different move order, playing The Benko Gambit is often played by strong players, and is very popular at lower levels. Black plays to open lines on the queenside where White will be subject to considerable pressure. If White accepts the gambit, Black's compensation is positional rather than tactical, and his initiative can last even after many piece exchanges and well into the endgame. White often chooses instead either to decline the gambit pawn or return it. The Catalan Opening is characterized by White forming a pawn center at d4 and c4 and fianchettoing his king's bishop.
Since the Catalan can be reached from many different move orders, one Queen's Gambit Declined -like move sequence is 1. Nf3 Nf6 4. The most important Indian Defenses are listed below, but many others have been studied and played; see Indian Defense for details. Of the defenses to 1. Nf6, the most important are the Dutch Defense and the Benoni Defense. The Dutch, an aggressive defense adopted for a time by World Champions Alekhine and Botvinnik , and played by both Botvinnik and challenger David Bronstein in their world championship match , is still played occasionally at the top level by Short and others.
Another fairly common opening is the Benoni Defense , which may become very wild if it develops into the Modern Benoni , though other variations are more solid. Several other uncommon semi-closed openings have been named and studied, see Semi-Closed Game for details. The flank openings are the group of White openings typified by play on one or both flanks. White plays in hypermodern style, attacking the center from the flanks with pieces rather than occupying it with pawns.
These openings are played often, and 1. Nf3 and 1. If White opens with 1. Nf3, fianchettoing one or both bishops, and not playing an early d4 which would generally transpose into one of the 1. The characteristic KIA setup is 1. Nf3, 2. Bg2, 4. Nbd2, and 7.
In fact, the KIA is probably most often reached after 1. Its greatest appeal may be that by adopting a set pattern of development, White can avoid the large amount of opening study required to prepare to meet the many different possible Black replies to 1. The English Opening 1. Larsen's Opening 1. Benko used 1. With Bird's Opening 1. The opening can resemble a Dutch Defense in reverse after 1. From's Gambit. First moves other than the king pawn 1. Nf3, 1.
Although some of these openings are not actually bad for White, each of the twelve remaining possible first moves suffers one or more of the following defects compared to the more popular choices:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Initial moves of a chess game. For a list of openings as classified by the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings , see List of chess openings. The Perenyi Attack, which arises from the opening moves 1. Nf3 d6 3. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6.
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Italian Chess Federation Golden Award! Most chess opening books are either too detailed or too shallow. Chess Opening Essentials has exactly the right balance and is an accessible primer and a reference book at the same time. It gives a flavour of how every opening works and explains the similarities with other openings, as well as the differences.
In addition, it also points at the various middlegame plans that apply after the opening has ended. The authors do not propagate forcing tactical variations to be memorized mechanically, but explain what you should actually be trying to achieve when playing the opening of your choice. They include the main alternative responses and give clear indications for further study. Info: "I don't think something like 'Chess Opening Essentials', in this size, yet exists. For players with a rating up to this book covers a large part of the road.
I have frequently enjoyed browsing through the beautifully-presented volume. Compared with this, books from Everyman, Gambit or Olms look like black-and-white television. Ideal for the club player who wishes to improve.