Chess Openings are the Starting Point of a Chess Game.

It includes the development of pieces and controlling the center. It is used to prepare for an early attack or an intact defense. Having a good opening can mean getting an early advantage in the game.

There are lots of variations of chess openings. The most popular one even has its name. The most popular ones are Queen's Gambit, Ruy Lopez, Sicilian Defense, etc. In this article, we will discuss a few of the most popular openings in chess and will show you some demonstrations.

So, let's start.

Ruy Lopez

This opening is called the Spanish game and was named after Bishop Ruy Lopez de Segura. There are lots of variations of this opening. The starting of this opening is 1. E4,E5 2. NF3, NC6, 3. Bb5. At this point, the white pieces are more developed than black. White has now the option to caste and begins to attack.

The picture above shows the basic movements of the Spanish game. Black to A6 to threaten the white bishop. Bishop now to A4. If black pursues the bishop, it will just retreat to b3 and so on. White is ready to castle and the action begins.

The Queen's Gambit

The queen's gambit is one of the oldest chess openings. According to the oxford dictionary, " A gambit (in chess) is an opening in which a player makes a sacrifice, typically of a pawn, for the sake of some compensating advantage". That is the very idea of the queen's gambit. The opening is 1. D4 D5, 2. C4. The white is sacrificing its C pawn for the D pawn of the opponent to get the advantage in the center. If black captures the C pawn of the white then the white takes control of the center.

Let's say the black didn't take the white pawn in C4 which is the best thing to do and move C6 instead. Then while will just bring out his knight to F3. While will continue to position his pieces until he sees a good opening.

The queen's gambit opening is strong. It keeps white dominance in the center if played correctly. The black, on the other hand, has some counter however should white play it correctly, white will gain an advantage in position and space.

Sicilian Defence

The Sicilian Defence is the most popular counter to E4. After white moves E4, black moves to C5. This opening contests the center by preventing the white from moving to D5. This opening has a lot of ups and downs so not recommended using if you are a beginner.

There are numbers of grandmasters who uses the Sicilian when playing black. One of them is Gary Kasparov. In his game versus Gm Anand, he crashed Anand using Sicilian in the Geneva Grand Prix 1996. Kasparov also used it successfully against Dominguez Perez in BLitz 2017. You can search those games to see how Kasparov was able to utilize Sicilian defense against his opponent.

King's Gambit

The King's Gambit is one of the oldest openings and is similar to Queen's Gambit. The only difference is it sacrifices its F pawn instead when the black answered E5. The opening is 1. E4, E5 2. F4. If the black takes the gambit which is F4, white will start to position his pieces and plan for an attack. If white will keep holding on to that Pawn, then the development of his pieces will be delayed and will result in white taking advantage or winning the game.

In this position, if black decides to capture the pawn in F4 white will just play knight to F3. And If black defends his pawn by playing G5, white will just play knight to C3. Black can see that he can play G4 threatening white knight in F3 but white will just move his knight to E5. In this position, white might have lost position and space but there are traps left in his movement.

French Defence

The French Defence is another opening you can play against E4. When white plays C4, black will play E6. White can play D4 which most player does and the black is waiting so he can play D5. This defensive opening aims to control the center while defending. If white takes D5 using his pawn in E4, then black will recapture using his pawn in E6 and continue to develop his pieces. This opening has a lot of variations as well. Instead of black playing to C5, he can play knight to B3 and then play the C5.

This defense is strong however there are many ways to destroy it. Grandmasters like Garry Kasparov, Bobby Fischer, Magnus Carlsen, etc. have shown extraordinary ways to break this defense.


There are numerous openings players can use. For beginners, it is recommended to master one or two openings before studying other variations. The opening is important because it sets the tempo of the game. The one who controls the early game has an advantage that he can use to victory.

There are also counters for each opening so you need to learn those as well. It is not just memorizing the moves but more of understanding them and applying them to your gameplay. You can copy how grandmasters make their moves but make sure that when you do it, you understand why such moves are made.

There are lots of references where you can learn more openings and I highly recommend checking them if you have time.