How You Can Use Opening Principles of Chess to Improve Your Game

Posted by IchessU on May 6th, 2016

A chess game played without strategy is already lost before the first move. Your openings and initial strategy can tell about your psyche, acumen and earnestness about playing the game.

The opening in a chess game is very important because it encompasses several objectives, such as:

  • Game Development: A basic objective of opening is to develop the game according to your strategy. Through astute chess opening moves, you have the chance to place your pieces where they will give you maximum advantage as the game advances. Strong openings also help in rapid advancement of your pieces. This can intimidate your opponent from the very first move.
  • Control Over Center of Board: You never know at the start of a game which part of the board will give you maximum advantage in later stages or which part may prove dangerous. Nonetheless, with control of the center, you can easily dictate the terms in the game and rebuff any attacks with ease. Controlling the center will allow you to move pieces smoothly all through the board. It will put you in the driving seat. A classic view of a controlled board is pawns controlling center squares. Some modern schools of thoughts consider central controlling as vulnerable. They emphasize on controlling the middle squares from a distance. Such a strategy lets you break your opponent’s center from a distance. However, whatever school of thought you prefer, control over the center with pieces present there or controlling it from a distance, the center remains the key to an easy win. Your opening strategy will help you gain maximum advantage to control this primary section of the board.
  • Keep the King Safe: The King often becomes more and more exposed as the game develops. As such, it is always better to safeguard the king by using the ‘castle’ opening move or moving it to the safe side of the board by ‘artificial casting’.
  • Pawn Weakness Forestalling: Many openings are meant to prevent the pawns’ weakness from affecting the play. Some openings also involve a ‘sacrifice’ move to get into a position of quick attack. Some special openings also accept pawn weaknesses and sacrifices them so that the player can play a dynamic game.
  • Creating Comfortable Positions: Some middle game strategies are also executed in openings. These strategies involve pawn breakings. Pawn breakings allow you to counter your opponent’s moves. You can create weaknesses in opponent’s pawn structure and seize important squares. You can also gain space for free roaming.
  • Threat or Defense of Threat: A widely accepted use of openings is to intimidate your opponent or creating pawn structures in defense of a future threat.

According to new opening trends, the core objective of opening moves has not only been limited to gaining block advantages. It has diversified to create a dynamic inequality between two players. This inequality decides the course of the middle game and strategies chosen by the players. Another high-level chess opening strategy is to lure your opponent into places where you are comfortable and thus, dangerous. Many of the openings are specifically named according to their nature such as King’s Gambit, Queen’s Gambit, Sicilian Defense, French Defense, Indian Defenses, Caro-Kann, Center Counter (also called Scandinavian Defense), British Opening, The Ruy Lopez, Alekhine Defense, and various others.

Having a mastery over the opening moves greatly enhances the winning percentage. That is why it is important for any player to study these moves and become an expert in them. The internet has made it quite easy for a player to learn these moves. You can study all of the aforementioned and many more opening moves on the internet through online chess coaching classes.

About the Author:

Albert Fishman has been involved in teaching chess since 1996 and is part of the IchessU coaching staff. IchessU is the best online chess school and their coaches are titled masters and grandmasters. Their students enjoy private or group chess lessons in our online chess club.

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Joined: September 8th, 2012
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