Chess Openings For Beginners: Which Are The Best

Chess Openings For Beginners: Which Are The Best Chess openings

Chess Openings For Beginners: Are you studying this intellectual activity? The best chess openings for beginners will give you an edge in any match. Improve your approaches and secure more wins!

This ancient board game is extremely complicated, even more so than most people think. Each decision launches a cascade of numerous opportunities. Only advanced GM can see further than anyone else. It’s hard to achieve this sky-high level. But as you’re here, you are already aware of this.

You just need a few tips and tricks to digest to enhance your tactics. Starting with a chess opening for beginners is a foundation for any newcomer. One match is a combination of numerous moves.

But the whole action consists of 3 phases:

  1. Initial (opening)
  2. Middle
  3. End

Some amateurs and GMs alike believe that a middlegame requires one’s most attention. At the same time, advanced players agree that the opening is also crucial. The mistakes or cunning moves you make can set the pace for the whole match.

They also predestine your fate and the outcome of the match. The wrong initial piece placement inevitably transforms into trouble further on. No one would like to preoccupy themselves with such handicaps.

Luckily, one doesn’t feel a shortage of materials for studying. Articles, books with various combinations, videos, etc. But that’s exactly our point! The abundance of information often confuses and scares away from this intellectual activity. One doesn’t know how to approach it. So, we’ve jumped into the topic and collected everything in one place. The article covers:

  • Tips for general understanding
  • Openings for white for beginners
  • Beginner chess openings for black
  • Moves that will destroy you

We’ve tried to make this material look like a guide. So that it’s more convenient to read and grasp.

Study All The Chess Openings, Remember A Few Of The Main Ones

Study All The Chess Openings, Remember A Few Of The Main Ones

You will not find a universal best chess opening for beginners. Throughout its history, different players invented various approaches for initial moves. But you’ll most likely encounter several classic sequences or their variations. They’ll help you pursue and reinforce your strategy, acting confidently on the board.

But get primed for seeing hundreds of them. If you check out this Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, don’t be shocked. It lists about 500 moves/variations which is quite impressive.

Relax, memorizing them all is not necessary. It’s such a waste of brain resources! Save them for the match analysis. Besides, you’ll just get confused or lost in such a variety. The most reliable opening chess strategy for beginners runs like this:

  • Pick up to 10 promising initial moves
  • Give up the idea of learning too many by heart
  • Dominate the center
  • Focus on a wise piece placement

Сhess Opening For Beginners – Everything Is Already Invented

Are you fed up with intuitive progression through this stage? It’s time to absorb some theory and go through this phase just like a GM would. Find your best chess opening for beginner players. With study and experience, your first steps will be indistinguishable from a GM’s approach. Win the advantage to your side, leaving your opponent several moves behind. Occupy more solid squares and secure your victory.

Now we give you our top list of the best chess openers for beginners. Explore their tricks to live through the most common scenarios. P.S: they’re relevant both for dark and light pieces.

7 Best Initial Strategies to Use as a Beginner

The Slav Defense – The best opening for beginner players (Black)

The Slav Defense - The best opening for beginner players (Black)

It’s an effective approach you can opt for if White calls the d4-pawn in action. A tip: do remember this tactic, it’ll be useful throughout your professional growth. This solid move is beneficial for the further middlegame. You’ll enter it with some advantages for your side (Black).

After White moves the d4-pawn, meet it with the d5-pawn. Then your opponent can go for the c4-pawn. Awesome! Block it with the c6-pawn. It opens a path for your bishop. Besides, it shifts the middle to your domination.

The Sicilian Defense – A bold and ambitious step for Black

The Sicilian Defense - A bold and ambitious step for Black

Consider it one of the most aggressive chess openings for beginners. It becomes an option after White goes with the e4-pawn. Launch this scenario by answering with the c5-pawn. The basic goal is to try and dominate the center. If White dares to advance its d4-pawn, you’ll eat it. It’s a small but crucial event.

Your 2 central pawns will stay on the chess board. But White will lack one. Do you notice how this shifts the balance in your direction? The difference will be even more obvious later on.

The Ruy-Lopez – The classic that will be around forever

The Ruy-Lopez - The classic that will be around forever

This strategy truly reveals its efficiency against a weaker Black player. One can find several variations. But we’ll review the most straightforward one. Start out with the e4-pawn. Does Black respond with the e5-pawn? Bingo. Proceed with your cunning trap creation. Move your knight to f3.

The most interesting thing happens if Black answers with the c6-knight. Use this chance to pin it by moving your bishop to b5. As a result, you’ll endanger 2 enemy pieces shortly after the match is on!

The London System – Among the most reliable openings for white beginners: indestructible center domination

The London System - Among the most reliable openings for white beginners

The beginning is classical: move your pawn to d4, expecting Black to mirror it (d5). Advance your bishop to f4. It goes perfectly well if your opponent comes to f6 with the knight. Answer with the e3-pawn, with Black doing exactly the same (e6).

Then the sequence unwraps as follows:

  1. Your f3-knight vs the c5-pawn
  2. Your d2-knight vs the c6-knight
  3. Your c3-pawn (completing a pyramid) vs the d6-bishop
  4. Your g3-bishop vs kingside castling
  5. Your d3-bishop vs the b6-pawn
  6. Your e4-pawn vs the e4-pawn (taking your piece)
  7. Your e4-knight (eating piece) vs the e4-knight (taking your piece)
  8. Your e4-bishop (eating black knight)

Remember this sequence to enter the middlegame with an advantageous layout!

The Italian Game – Endangering a weak square f7 with the white bishop: get an initiative

The Italian Game - Endangering a weak square f7 with the white bishop

It starts with a classic e4 e5-pawns exchange. Then your knight goes to f3, with Black responding to c6. Send your bishop to c4 to occupy the most dangerous position. This piece placement also prepares you for safe castling.

The IG definitely deserves to be in the category of the coolest chess openers for beginners. Act to seize the initiative and enjoy middle control which will come to you naturally. Use this approach to secure beneficial middlegame advancement by leaving Black behind.

The French Defense – Sacrifice the power of your c8-bishop to better perform in the center

The French Defense - Sacrifice the power of your c8-bishop to better perform in the center

White chooses a classical path by moving its pawn to e4. That’s ok, advance to e6 to respond. It’s great if the white pawn will be sent to d4. Nail the advantage by answering with d5. At this moment both parties will realize that there is no room for center maneuvering anymore.

You’ll switch your attention to the flanks, trying to dominate there. Although your c8-bishop is restricted at that moment, you’ll unlock it later on. The FD gives Black a chance to win thanks to aggressive attacks.

The Four Knights Opening – A quiet positional strategy

The Four Knights Opening - A quiet positional strategy

Send your white pawn to e4. Black answers with e5. Then knights come into play:

  1. Your f3
  2. Black c6
  3. Your c3
  4. And finally, black f6

You can choose several development paths to win. Your b5-bishop, d4-pawn, or even g3-pawn. Each of these steps provides you with an edge when played wisely.

But you can also go the wrong way. For instance, if you jump with your bishop to c4. It’s a perfect situation for Black to use the Fork Trick. The black knight then attacks your e4-pawn, endangering multiple pieces. It also gives your opponent stronger squares a few moves further.

The Worst Ever First Squares to Occupy

Now that you can try several best chess openings for beginners (black and white), let’s go further. Remember that some decisions can trap you in difficult situations and even cause your defeat. It’s useful to recognize their flaws for your own good. The shortlist below is also useful for your general knowledge:

Bad Chess Openings For White

Barnes opening – The F3-pawn to unblock a dark square

Barnes opening - The F3-pawn to unblock a dark square

It’s an old move loved by previous generations of players. But their general level was lower. Now, most opponents recognize the dangers such a decision poses. Yes, this unblocks the king, but it also:

  • Limits the g3-knight
  • Weakens the king
  • Slows you down

This placement will work for you in case your opponent is weaker. But a savvy player will jump at this mistake and outplay you.

Bongcloud attack – The e2-king (after the e4-pawn is in its place)

Bongcloud attack - The e2-king (after the e4-pawn is in its place)

This absolutely pointless motion is a gift for Black (if it sees it). Not only does it block your bishop. But it also weakens your king, the most vulnerable piece. It becomes a target for attacks. Even more than that, you can forget about castling if you opt for this path.

Amar opening – The g3-knight to achieve… nothing

Amar opening - The g3-knight to achieve

This piece is pretty much useless in the corner. It’ll limit its maneuvering range. You’ll have to place it somewhere else anyway to make better use of it. It means that you’ll waste precious moves in vain. Why trouble yourself in such a way? Avoid this pointless and unwise decision in the first place.

Bad Chess Openings For Black

Borg Defense – The g5-pawn in response to the e4-pawn

Borg Defense - The g5-pawn in response to the e4-pawn

If your goal is to lose the initiative to White, go for it. Your opponent will use this opportunity to occupy the middle. It’ll make you weaker, sending you far behind.

You’ll suffer attacks, having no chances of snapping back after such a move. It won’t be easy with such a disadvantage on your hands.

Arctic Defense – The f6-pawn in response to the f3-knight

Arctic Defense - The f6-pawn in response to the f3-knight

It’s the strangest attempt to make which won’t be seen in most professional games. The kingside protection gets severely damaged in this way. This opens a white diagonal pass, luring the opponent for attacks.

Polish Defense – The g5-pawn in response to the d4-pawn

Polish Defense - The g5-pawn in response to the d4-pawn

Does it give you an advantage? Analyze the board layout. Each move is a claim. White clearly shows that it wants to control the center. But you claim to take the right corner. What for? The middle is more valuable, so fight for it! Don’t let it slip to White. It’ll also unleash an ocean of attacks at you.

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Chess Tactics

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Chess Tactics

Here are simple but effective methods to enhance your style and approaches:

Watch high-flying professionals

Grandmasters can teach you a lot about opening chess moves. For beginners, it might be hard to understand all the decisions they make. Some consequences are tricky to predict. Watch videos with comments explaining the hidden motives.

A tip: don’t try too smart approaches unless you fully grasp how they affect the board. Wait until you understand why pro-players chose this or that path.

Read educational materials

Enjoy the variety of articles, guides, and books to learn new things. Here are a few best chess opening books for beginners we’d like to recommend reading:

Take lessons

Find an online or offline course and explore the nuances with a teacher. It’ll boost your studying. You’ll have a professional who can point at simple mistakes and answer all questions. This is how you can learn basic chess openings for beginners and beyond. Join free clubs, pay for your lessons or watch YouTube courses.

Keep playing

Find opponents in real life, connect online, or compete against AI-driven engines. The more challenges you go through, the more you learn. Join a community and discuss successful moves and strategies together. Here are some online multiplayer challenges you can dive into:

6 Best Chess Openings for Beginners – video

Summing Up

We’ve reviewed good chess openings for beginners. Additionally, we’ve spoken about bad decisions you can make to illustrate the negative consequences they bring. Upgrade your skills using all ways available to you!

Be prepared that becoming really good won’t happen in a moment. But it’s not important if you have a passion for this intellectual game. Good luck!

The FAQ About Chess Openings For Beginners

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Avatar of William Berrington
William Berrington
William Berrington is an experienced chess player and a candidate master of sports. He took part in many regional USA championships. Also, he contributes to chess popularization by giving workshops for beginners and interviews for newspapers.
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