Basic Chess Openings Explained – For convenience, all existing Chess Openings are divided into three large categories:
- Open Games – which start with moves 1. e4-e5;
- Semi-open Games – in which White started the game with 1. e4, and Black responded with any move except 1…e5;
- Closed Games – in which White started the game by any move except 1. e4.
The division may seem complicated, but let us consider it through a simple metaphor.
In front of each king at the beginning of the game is his pawn (e2 for White, e7 for Black), which plays the role of a door.
If both kings fully open their door with their kings pawns (White goes 1. e2-e4, Black responds with 1. …e7-e5), this means that an open play will be played.
If the White King has opened his door (1. e2-e4) and Black has not (any move other than 1. …e7-e5 was played, e.g. 1. …c5, 1. …e6, 1. …d5), then the board is a semi-open play.
A closed opening is obtained if the kingside pawn door was not opened on the first move (e.g. 1. d4, 1. c4, 1. Kf3).