How to play chess? A Guide for Beginners

The world of chess is diverse and exciting, filled with creative solutions and lots of unexpected twists and turns along the way. But for someone who’s just starting their chess journey, it can be a bit intimidating. There are lots of rules and terminology, as well as lots of combinations to memorize. It seems to us that the best way to start playing this game and enjoying it is to choose a comfortable pace and take it one step at a time. 

how to play chess

What should the first step be? 

Probably the board setup, right? As we have a lot of ground to cover, without further ado, let’s start looking into this wonderful game and uncovering its secrets one by one!

Chess pieces

This is a short intro into chess pieces in general, and their names, just to review them and be on the same page about the terminology,  before discussing their designated positions, moves, and attack directions. 

  • Pawn. This is the lowest ranking chess piece, the one that’s commonly the smallest on the board and looks like a round ball on a leg. Each player has 8 pawns at their disposal. 
  • Knight. The chess piece, that typically looks like a horse’s head and mane. Each player has 2 knights in their army. 
  • Bishop. Bishop is the one with the ‘pointy hat’ with a split down the middle. It can look slightly different depending on the set, but that’s the general idea. Each player also has 2 of those.   
  • Rook (Castle). Rook is the one that usually looks like a tower on a castle wall, so it’s unmistakably recognizable. Again, 2 rooks for each army. 
  • Queen. The chess piece with the largest resources and powers, and it usually looks like a crown with a small ball on top. 
  • King. The king is the tallest chess piece on the board, and typically has a small cross-like addition on top, so it’s unmistakable. 

Now that we don’t call the pieces ‘soldier’ and ‘horsie’ anymore, let’s move along and position them correctly on the board! 

Chess board setup step by step guide

Ok, the board is right there, but it still means very little to a person not familiar with what’s going on. So the first step is to set up the board correctly in order to avoid mistakes in the future. There are two armies in any chess layout. The white army and the black army (the actual color of some chess sets can differ). They take their place on opposite sides, each chess piece in its designated square, which is permanent. If anyone attempts to learn to play chess, these positions are the first to memorize. Also, chess board designed for beginners usually have alphanumeric notations on them, just so it’s easier to identify the squares. Let’s take it step by step though.  

  1. Position of the board. The board has to be positioned in a certain way. Each player should have a white square in the right bottom corner.  
  2. Position the chess pieces. Both armies are positioned in the bottom two rows in front of each player. Those rows are referred to as ranks, the first rank being the one closest to each of the players. The second rank positions are occupied by 8 pawns, each on its individual square. The first rank is positioned as follows: 
  • King and queen in the middle of the first rank (queens go on matching-colored squares)
  • Bishops go next to the king and queen. (they are referred to as king-side bishop and queen-side bishop)
  • Knights go next to the bishops on each side (queen-side knight and king-side knight)
  • Rooks close the setup and go into each of the corners, next to the knights. (queen-side rook, and king-side rook) 
chess setting

Now that the board is correctly set up and ready, it’s high time to discuss a few basic rules, before we go over each piece and see how they move and how they capture other pieces. 

Basic rules of chess 

The objective of the game is to defeat the king of the opposing army, i.e. threaten him in a way that the opponent has no means of saving him. The threat to the king that still can be avoided is called “check”. The final threat that finishes the king is called “checkmate”. 

The players take turns making moves, and if they are beginners, each one can think over their move as long as they like, but in more skilled games, the time each player has is always restricted in order not to delay the game too long. 

The general rule is, none of the pieces can ‘jump’ over other pieces on the board, except for the knight. It moves in an odd route, which we’ll discuss in a minute, and is allowed to jump over other pieces from both their army and the opposing one. 

If a player moves any chess piece and it lands on the opponent’s piece, that’s called a ‘capture’, and the pieces that have been captured, are put aside and off the board, the attacker taking its place. 

how to play chess

There are a number of specific rules that are used in advanced combinations during professional matches, but as this is a guide for beginners, let’s not complicate the game at this point, and focus on general principles, not to confuse the heck out of our readers. ‘All in good time’ is a great rule of thumb in this case. 

Let’s move on to the chess pieces and discuss them in more detail. 

Moves of the chess pieces and their captures 

Making a move and making a capture often entail different trajectories, so let’s see how the chess pieces move and how they are allowed to capture the opponent. 

  • Pawn. Pawns are allowed to move only to the square in front of them. Never side-ways, or backwards. If the pawn hasn’t been touched yet during the game, its first move can be 2 squares to the front. This is optional, so each player has a choice to move each pawn 2 squares the first time they are touched, or one square. When each pawn has made their first move during the game, they can’t go 2 squares anymore. 

Pawns capture other pieces only in the two available squares to the right and to the left diagonally. A pawn cannot capture backwards.   

rook
  • Rook. The rook or the castle can move only straight either vertically, or horizontally, for any number of squares, as long as they are not occupied. The rook never moves diagonally for any reason. If a square in the rook’s way is occupied by a chess piece from the opposing army, the rook can capture it.  
knight
  • Knight. Knights move in a very odd route, very much like the letter ‘L’. Two squares to the side, then one vertically, or vice versa, two squares vertically the one horizontally, in shape on an ‘L’ pointing any which way. Unlike all the other pieces, knights can move over other pieces but can land only on unoccupied ones, or occupied by the opposing color, thus capturing them. 
bishop
  • Bishop. As opposed to the rook, the bishop moves and captures exclusively diagonally in any direction. It cannot move vertically or horizontally and it cannot go over other chess pieces. 
queen
  • Queen. As we mentioned before, the queen has immense power on the board and is the most high-ranking piece, partially because when it comes to making a move, the only no go for the queen is a curve. It can move in anywhere, as long as it’s a straight line. Vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. It captures other pieces like all the rest, by occupying their square. And, like the rest of the pieces (except for the knight), it cannot jump over other pieces on the board.
king
  • King. The king is allowed to move only one square in any direction, i.e. horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. It can capture other pieces, but it cannot ‘sacrifice himself’, or move to a square, where he can be threatened. Meaning he can’t move to a position that will result in check or checkmate. 
how to play chess

Knowing the chess pieces moves is crucial to playing the game, but not sufficient.  How to play chess well? Here’s where it usually gets a bit tricky.  The answer to that question is chess strategies. As this glorious game has been around for centuries, great chess players have devised many strategies and combinations of moves that can help players win the game. As we mentioned before, this is a beginner’s guide, so in order not to confuse our audience, let this be an intro to chess strategies. But keep in mind that there’s a lot more to discover and learn on the way to greatness!  

Introduction to chess strategy

As we already mentioned, knowing the moves and playing chess successfully are two very different things. Beginner players find that out very quickly and many get discouraged. But rather than being intimidated by the magnitude of possible outcomes and the different strategies to memorize, beginners should take it slow and get acquainted with the process little by little. Here we are not going to discuss difficult move successions. We want to give our readers the general idea of what chess strategy actually is. 

Much like in life, in chess, the objective of a strategy is to reach your goal with the minimal amount of collateral damage and minimal effort. When it comes to chess, it means the maximal control of the board. And the term ‘chess opening’ usually involves a plan to gain control of the center of the board, because a well-placed knight, for example, can control a big portion of the board, not counting the other pieces. Another strong point is ‘castling the king’ which is also a good move to memorize.  

There are countless books and websites on how to be a better chess player and they all involve strategy. And even though beginner players are not really expected to implement all of them, it’s still a good idea to at least recognize them when they are being implemented against you. So not to shoot the breeze, let’s talk more about popular chess openings, that will help any beginner feel more confident. 

Best chess openings for beginners

As we mentioned before, if you are interested in how to play chess for beginners, game-opening strategy is something you should be familiar with. So let’s go over the most popular and well-known openings, just to get started. 

  1. French Defense

It is most commonly associated with the moves e4 and e6, followed by d4  d5. French defense is one of the main strategies that a beginner should know and opens up many interesting opportunities. 

Sicilian Defense
  1. Sicilian Defense

This is a great strategy for players with black pieces. It’s quite aggressive and involves an exchange of pawns for gaining central positions, thus better control of the board straight from the beginning.  

how to play chess
  1. Italian game

It typically starts with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 and the objective is once again gaining better control of the central part of the board. This strategy also helps castle the king more effectively. 

how to play chess

Chess is exciting and colorful. Greatness comes with practice and love, and as there’s a lot to learn, so the main principle we suggest for beginners is learning, practicing constantly and having fun with it! Good luck in all the matches to come!

The Chess Rules For Beginners

Chess is ancient, intriguing, and fascinating. It can also be intimidating sometimes, especially to a beginner. 

There are lots of rules, many chess pieces to follow and it is easy to get a bit confused. But practice makes perfect and there’s always a lot to learn when it comes to chess rules, moves and captures. 

This short review of chess game rules is specially made for beginners, so the first set of rules we should mention is the moves and the captures of all the chess pieces on the board. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

Basic chess rules of moves and captures 

  • Pawn 

Move: As you well know, the pawn can move vertically one square forward. It cannot move sideways, or backward.  There’s one more rule when it comes to the pawn. The first move of every pawn during a match can be a double one, meaning two squares instead of one. This is an optional move, which has another interesting twist. Read on to find out more! 

knight chess rules
  • Knight

Move: When it comes to the rules of chess, the knight is the oddest piece on the board. It moves in an ‘L’ in any direction  (two squares straight and one to the side, or vice versa) and can ‘jump’ over other pieces, which no one else on the board can do, even the queen (which says a lot, considering she’s the toughest one out there). 

chess rules
  • Bishop 

Move: Bishop moves only diagonally any number of unoccupied squares in any direction. The only obstacle in his way is another chess piece of the same army. He cannot ‘jump’ over other pieces, he can only capture them. 

chess rules
  • Rook

Move: The rook, as opposed to the bishop, can move for any number of squares only vertically, or horizontally, but never in a diagonal line.  

chess rules
  • Queen

Move: Surprisingly, the queen is relatively new on the chess board. The game has been around for more than a thousand years, but the queen is young – only a few hundred years. She quickly gained power and in modern rules, she can move in any direction, as long as it’s a straight line (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally). 

chess rules
  • King

Move: The king can move in any direction, but only for one square. The only limitation is that the king cannot sacrifice himself, or put himself in a vulnerable position, causing a ‘check’ situation, or a ‘checkmate’. 

chess rules

Chess Rules beginners should know 

Now that we’ve covered the basic rules, there are some specific chess moves that beginner players should be aware of. These moves will help develop a strategy and up the game.  

En passant

Remember the rule about the pawn having the right to move two squares on its debut? Well, it just so happens, that an adjacent pawn of the opposite army can capture this daring pawn that moved 2 squares, ‘en passant’, or ‘in passing’. 

How does that work? The diagram shows it all. 

Usually capturing means occupying the opponent’s square, but not in this case. Let’s say the white pawn make a 2-square move and now occupies the square next to the black pawn. 

Is the black pawn going to let him sneak past and be on his way to promotion (we’ll explain that in a sec)? 

No! He can occupy the square the white pawn would have been on, if he had only moved one square instead of two, and capture the white pawn ‘in passing’. 

What do we have as a result? The black pawn captured as if the white pawn had moved only one square instead of two! Imagination comes to life. 

The catch is that the en passant capture must immediately follow the 2-square move. In other words, you should take the chance while it’s still there, you snooze – you lose. 

chess rules

Castling

Castling is another classic move all beginners would do well to remember. As you can guess from the name, it involves a rook (or a castle) and the objective is to provide protection for the king. Again, obvious. But let’s take a closer look at how it’s done properly. 

As shown in the picture, the space between the king and the rook is open. In this case, the king can move two squares toward either the king-side rook or the queen-side rook. Then the rook can ‘jump’ over the king, and occupy the square next to him, keeping him protected. 

chess rules

This begs the question why would you want to do that? Well, first of all, the king is in greater danger when he stays in the middle of the board, and as you guessed from his moves and captures, he’s not very good at defending himself. Plus, the rook is pretty useless snoozing in the corner, when he can be quite effective in the thick of the battle. 

There are some rules when it comes to proper castling:

  • You can’t castle if the king is in check. In other words, castling is not a valid way to avoid an attack. 
  • Castling is also not allowed if, to do so, the king has to pass through a square ‘under fire’.  
  • You can’t castle the king if, doing so, puts him in check or checkmate. Remember the rule about the king not being suicidal? Here it is again. He cannot put himself in danger. Ever. 
  • The fourth restriction is that this move is legal ONLY in case the king and the castle have not been moved during the game. Castling should be their first move, otherwise, castling is illegal. 

Promotion

Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Promotion is only possible if a pawn has reached the first rank on the opposite side of the board. So basically, if a pawn somehow manages to survive and reach the opposing edge of the board, it can be promoted to any other chess pieces, besides the king. 

chess rules

Sorry, there can only be one boss. Usually, the pawn is promoted into a queen, just because she can move more freely and capture anything that moves past her. But sometimes the situation calls for ‘underpromoting’ the pawn to a knight. The knight’s ability to move in a curve can be extremely helpful in some situations! 

We have discussed the basic chess rules and some specific moves that can help beginners up their game a bit and use new skills. These moves are well-known to the chess community and very frequently used. 

There’s always room to improve, learn new moves and strategies, and develop as a player! 

So learn, play more and good luck in all the matches to come! 

Must Know Chess Tips & Tricks

Chess is one of the most popular games in the world for people of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels. Learning how to play chess is fun and rewarding, and the more you play and practice, the better you will become. If you are a beginner chess player or a novice player looking to improve your game, then you’re in luck: the following are some must-know chess tips that tricks that will help you improve your basic chess strategy, know which chess rules to keep your mind on while playing, and even learn how to win chess in 2 moves.

Best Chess Tips and Tricks

Tip #1: Opt to get those central squares first

The most important squares you want to take are those central squares, as these will set up essential block posts for the rest of your pieces. Taking central pawns will add more value to your strategy that taking pawns on the flank. Controlling the center of the board also gives you a greater defensive position, which will help you protect your king or other pieces when the time comes.

Tip #2: Consider your opponents moves carefully

It’s not enough to plot out your own chess moves and think ahead to what you want to do during your turn. You should be evaluating every move your opponent makes. Ask yourself: Why did they make that move? Which of my pieces are they aiming to take? What steps do I need to take to thwart their plan? It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own chess plans and forget that the other player is also engaging in a strategy of their own. Keeping yourself aware of your opponent’s moves and evaluating the reasoning behind their strategy will help you avoid traps.

Tip #3: Never play without a plan

One of the most common rookie mistakes is simply “playing” chess-never play without a plan of your own! Even a simple (or outright weak) strategy will be more effective than playing without any plan whatsoever, so make sure that you head into each game with some sort of plan in mind.

Tip #4: Keep track of your king

It can be surprisingly easy to forget about your king during a match, so make sure that you are constantly aware of your king’s position and the position of your opponent’s pieces as it relates to your king. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to “castle” your king as soon as you can, as this provides added defense.

Tip #5: Win in 2 movies with this simple strategy

If you want to know how to win chess in 2 movies, follow this surprisingly simple strategy: First, move your pawn to E6. This will open up your queen. Your opponent will respond by moving their pawn in an attempt to close in on your queen. In your second move, move your queen to H4. This will result in a checkmate for your opponent’s king. They will have nowhere to move and no piece they can block your check with. You’ve won!

How the Chess Pieces Move

When playing chess for the first time, chess newbies think that the rook can move in a diagonal direction. A classic rook-ie mistake. Yes, laugh now, but the look on the face of a pro seeing someone doing such a chess move is priceless.

Let’s do a quicker-than-making-a-coffee-order history lesson.

The exact origin of chess dates back to India more than two millennia ago. See, that was faster than ordering a macchiato with cream on top, buttermilk caramel, two cinnamon biscuits sticks and warm milk, no hot.

Now, get your “coffee” to talk about the game.

Learning names of pieces and how chess pieces move is vital to understanding the game. Chess has rules. But what will happen if a person and Bobby Fisher go to a restaurant with checked tablecloths? 

It does not mean that if he asks for the salt, it will be two hours until it reaches the other side of the table.

It is important to know how a chess piece moves to be able to play the game, thus it is necessary to know how they move. 

The most complex pieces to learn the movement are knights and pawns.     

Each player has exactly 16 pieces:

  • 1 King;
  • 1 Queen;
  • 2 Rooks;
  • 2 Bishops;
  • 2 Knights;
  • 8 Pawns.

The objective in a game of chess is to beat the king through “checkmate”. Now let’s play ball… sorry, chess. 

The first player to move is the one who has chosen the light-coloured pieces. Now you need to find out how the pieces move in chess. Yes, daunting at first, but there is nothing special about it.

Each figure has a trajectory. Their paths are simple and easy to remember. In a basic move, there are pieces unable to go through others. Before making a move, you should think about how and what piece to place to defend the territory or capture the opponents in the next move.

King

chess moves

For a successful game, it is not enough to know the main points about how the pieces move in chess. The king is both very important, as in VIP, and the weak link. It can move only one square but in any direction. However, it cannot stand on the square that is already in “check”.

It is the largest piece in chess and moves one square at a time, in all directions. The king is like the game “capture the flag”. It is the one that no one can capture. Its value? The game.

Queen

chess moves

The queen is the most powerful. Like the king, it moves in any direction. It can move through any number of cells, but without jumping over other pieces. Its value is 10 points.

Rook

chess moves

This is a unique piece that combines the capabilities of the king and queen. It can move through any number of cells, but its moves are vertical or horizontal. The rook can also do castling together with the king. Its value is 5 points.

Bishop

chess moves

The bishop is considered a light piece. It can move through any number of squares, but only in a diagonal direction. It is worth noting at the beginning of the game, one bishop occupies a dark cell and the other a light one. They cannot change the original colour in any way. Each player has two pieces that can move and capture an opponent’s piece in both the dark and light squares. Its value is 3 points. 

Knight

chess moves

The only combat unit in chess is the knight. It can jump over the rest of the pieces (well, its a horse, a newbie might say). The cavalry moves in an L-shape fashion, so its movement is limited. 

The knight can move two squares vertically and one square horizontally, and it doesn’t matter their sequence or the direction. Since the knight is able to jump over other pieces, it can “check” the king. This can put the royal in a no-escape position. Its value is 3 points.

Pawn

chess moves

Most people know which pieces move first in chess. But there are more complexities in their “walking” style. It can move only a single square in a forward direction and only one diagonally.  On the first move, the pawn can advance a couple of squares. It does not move backwards. The pawn has no chance to beat a piece or make a move until the place in front of it is free.

It is the bravest piece in chess. It goes forward and never goes back. To capture a pawn the attacking piece does it diagonally. Its value is 1 point.

Pawn TRANSFORMER!? 

At first glance, the pawn seems like a worthless piece. But it has an interesting feature that only experienced gamers know about. If a pawn reaches the opposite side, it becomes any other piece of a higher value. Only the pawn can do this and, as a rule, it becomes a queen.

Castling

This means performing two important actions in one move. Move one: secure the king, and two, remove the rook from the corner. The rook in this case acts as a bodyguard. 

Mate

The main task of the players is to “checkmate” the opponent’s king. This will finish the game when the main piece is under threat of “check” and cannot be easily avoided. 

If there is no opportunity for an escape, then the king finds himself in the “checkmate” situation and the game is over. The king doesn’t leave the board, as it is done with captured pieces, but rather the game is simply over.

Draw

Very often, a draw decides the end of the game. This can happen if there are not enough pieces on the board to checkmate or the usual consent of both players to a draw. Other textbook rules apply to declare a draw. 

Up to this “end of the board” a new player is now able to identify the pieces and how they move. Together with piece specific moves important in the game. Now, make sure the salt container is shaped like a bishop, a queen or a rook; in case the chess grandmaster attends dinner and the tablecloth is checkered.

Chess Strategy For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know

The life of chess players goes through different phases to learn how to play chess. It must be so for them to improve and enjoy the game. This article will provide a basic insight into chess strategies. These strategies could make a beginner player avoid a certain level of stagnation. They will also help find ways to understand difficult concepts to shake off the “bad luck” and win matches.

New players must be aware of the fact that there are chess techniques that work in 80% of the cases. But it is true that if you know them you will improve your piece play. 

Knowing chess is not the same as playing well.

A player can understand the chessboard to design a strategy but to fail in execution. You may learn a chess strategy, but you fail to put into practice, even if in theory everything is correct. 

Chess Strategy

A short session on basic chess strategy and tactic.

Chess strategies and tactics are not the same. Without being too strict here is how players can view them:

Tactic 

  • Short-term advantage
  • Look for material advantage or a checkmate
  • It is the main concern of beginners
  • It is easy to train and improve
  • It generates specific threats.

Strategy

  • Long-term advantage
  • Aims to improve board position
  • Grandmasters dominate tactics and their main concern is a strategy
  • The improvements are intangible.

Some authors define tactic as “knowing what to do when there is something to do.” If a player can get a bishop, go ahead; if the king is in the line of fire and checkmate is possible, great.

A strategy is “knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.” It means that there is nothing visible to do. That is when the player prepares an offensive to occupy the strategic ground. Tactical moves will allow you to gain positions on the chessboard. 

Question-based exercises help players learn the proper course of action. These exercises are often called “manoeuvring and visualization tests”.

The format is simple. The chess coach can raise a question putting with the pieces arranged in a given position. The answer comes through plays. The purpose is to capture abstract ideas to generate concrete variants with plays. 

For example, a bishop is either blocked or unable to play. Then, analysis and response: Why is this happening? Because his pawns prevent him from doing so. Finally, execution: move the pawn in front of the bishop, for well, the bishop will have a good life.

Quick fixes don’t exist.

Don’t believe anyone who promises to teach chess tricks so you can win games without effort. It is more likely that tricks will lead to building bad playing habits.

Improving at chess or reaching a professional level takes time. A player does not need to mortgage the rest of his life. Rather, you will have to study and understand rules that are not “simple drugstore remedies.”

The relationship between time and matter

Don’t be afraid. we are not going to get philosophical or talk about thermodynamics. Though the rules of the latter apply in this case.

If a pawn reaches the other side of the board, it can “rise” and become another piece, even as high as a queen. Improving the power, your piece is not always at the expense of the loss of power of our adversary. Players organize their forces to increase the level of activity. If done well, in chess, any transformation improves the quality of the position. In exchange for time, the knight can improve his situation. The opponent has to spend a move or two to capture a pawn that you sacrifices. Allowing the player to intensify the attack. 

No luck

Do not expect to win at chess by luck. Chess is not poker or casino. Sometimes, when beginners lose, luck is usually blamed for it. But what happens is they omit the chess strategies. This usually happens when they play following their gut.

Improve openings by understanding position commitment

There are chess techniques and tactics that do work. Control of the centre, pieces development and putting the king in a safe place in the first 10 moves. The players have many options to choose from. There are times when these principles conflict. Be sure to select the best move deciding on the least compromising one. 

Study relevant chess matches

Who is not fascinated by a surprising play? Moves representing a brilliant idea. Moves that people recognize around the world. Chess scholars and students reproduce and analyze these players and matches. They also suffer modifications or variants. 

The game of the century, was the match between Robert James “Bobby” Fischer and Donald Byrne, in New York, 1956. 

The game had lots of moves out of this world. But another reason for the great recognition of this game was that Bobby Fischer was only 13 years old. He was facing one of the best players in the United States. Fisher won. 

Some consider the match of the century the one between Boris Spassky and, again, Bobby Fischer. This one took place in Reykjavík, Iceland in 1972, where Bobby Fisher emerged victorious yet again. 

One-shot, one kill… or two.

When possible, “aim” one of the pieces at two pieces of the enemy, who can only save one of them. The piece that engages two of the enemy must attack pieces that are of greater value. By doing so a player secures material gain, even if your opponent captures the piece later. Another way is to “nail” a piece, making it impossible for the enemy to move it. A nailed piece might uncover the king if your opponent moves it.

The final piece of advice for a chess player that we have is – play, but do not get affected by the outcome of a given move. Keep you cool, mind your “poker” face and avoid your opponent’s psycho-warfare.

These chess strategies and chess techniques are a must-do for all players. Observe them from the simplest to the most advanced. You will notice the game improvements over time.

Top Winning Chess Openings

If you really want to know how to win chess, then you need to embrace these two words: chess openings. Your opening move in chess can determine the rest of the game—it can even help you win the game outright, if you choose the best chest openings for your playing style and for your particular opponent. There are a lot of different chess openings available to players, so it’s important that you focus on the very best if you want to start winning more. This simple guide will help you understand what to look for when picking chess opening movies and how to win chess using the top chest openings in the game.

Chess Openings

There are countless chess opening choices for players, but certain openings are considered “tried and true” for establishing a solid strategy that will improve your chances of reaching your intended endgame.

Chess openings are frequently given nicknames in order to help players learn them by heart. The most notable chess openings you will want to consider in mind are: Ruy Lopez, Giuoco Piano, King’s Gambit, the Sicilian Defense, and the French defense.

  • Ruy Lopez opening: e4 e5, Nf3 Nc6, and then Bb5.
  • Giuoco Piano opening: e4 e5, Nf3 Nc6, and then Bc4 Bc5.
  • King’s Gambit opening: e4 e5, f4
  • Sicilian defense opening: e5 c5 (OR the Sicilian Dragon variation: e4 c5, Nf3 d6, d4 cxd4, Nxd4 Nf6, Nc3 g6)
  • French defense opening: e4 e6, d4 d5

An interesting fact about the Ruy Lopez opening that is worth knowing: The Ruy Lopez opening is one of the oldest chess openings in the world; it dates back to at least 1490 and is named after a 15th century chess enthusiast whose analytical studies of chess openings were published in in the 1500s.

How to Choose Your Chess Opening

Now that you know some of the best chess openings in the game, you may wonder: how do I actually choose one? The right chess opening will depend on a variety of factors, including your opponent as well as which opening you find yourself most experienced in. The best way to choose an opening is to carefully consider the type of strategy you will need to employ after using that opening. Does this strategy mesh with your overall playing style? Will you be able to engage in the plan you’ve chosen for your game easily after the opening? Once you have found openings that lead you towards more successful chess strategy, you will be able to gain more experience with the opening and develop additional strategies based around it.

Another option to consider is using a site such as Chess Opening Explorer, which lets you simulate an endless amount of chess openings so that you can study the results of various openings, including the percentage of games won when using that opening as well as a detailed analysis of the chess position.

Finally, make sure that you are well versed in multiple types of openings, especially if you plan to consider tournament or competition play. You never know when your initial opening plans will have to change last minute, so being prepared for any outcome is best.