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Chess Openings: The Open Game (1. e4 e5)
Well, most chess games by young players and even Grand Masters start with 1. e4 e5. This chess opening is called the Open Game.
The best Open Game Opening to improve your chess is the Italian Game. White plays 1. e4 and black responds in kind with 1. …e5.
This is the opening most people play because it follows one of the principles of the chess opening: Control the Centre.
The centre is the four squares: d4, e4, d5 and e5. By playing 1. e4 white controls the central square d5. Then when black plays 1. …e5, black controls the central square d4.
Play through the opening with notes below in ChessLoversOnly‘s lichess study.
After this, white often responds with 2. Nf3 that immediately attacks black’s pawn on e5. This is called the King Knight’s Opening.
By playing 2. Nf3, white is threatening to take black’s e5 pawn and thus disrupt black’s control of the center.
White can also respond in other ways on the second move, which all branch into other chess openings (all in the Open Game chess opening family):
2. Bc4 – the Bishops’s Opening (C23)
2. Nc3 – the Vienna Game (C27)
2. f4 – the King’s Gambit (C30)
2. d4 – the Center Game (C21)
Click the above links to see where the Open Game leads to and how you can destroy your opponent with the Open Game (1.e4 e5)!!
What are the Main Chess Openings in the Open Game?
There are a lot of chess openings in the open game (1. e4 e5), especially some great gambits for chess beginners to play as well.
It would be best for chess beginners to start with openings in the open game (1.e4 e5) because these lead to open positions with great chances of chess tactics. Of course, you must study chess tactics every day as well as some chess openings – especially if you play on shorter time controls like Blitz or SuperBlitz.
Why don’t you take a look at the Top 15 Places to Play Chess Online and try out some of the openings below:
Ruy Lopez – 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5
The Ruy Lopez is also called the Spanish Game. It is named after the 16th Century Spanish Monk Ruy Lopez de Segura and is one of the oldest recorded chess openings. The Ruy Lopez is one of the most popular chess openings for beginners and experts alike.
Have a look at the position in the picture below:
On the third move, white plays 3. Bb5 which apparently threatens to win the e5 pawn.
However, this threat is illusory because Black can respond to 4. Bxc6 with 4… dxc6 5. Nxe5 Qd4. Here, Black forks both the White knight and the e4-pawn, which will allow Black to win back material with an excellent position.
Because White’s 3. Bb5 move doesn’t have an immediate Black can respond in a variety of ways.
The most popular Black response in Morphy’s Defence (3… a6).
Traditionally, White’s objective in playing the Ruy Lopez is to damage Black’s queenside pawn structure.
Scotch Game – 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4
The Scotch Game or Scotch Opening gets its name from a correspondence match between Edinburgh and London in 1824. It was first mentioned by the author Ercole del Rio in his 1750 Treatise On the game of Chess, practical Observations by an anonymous Modenese Author.
The Scotch Game was popular in the 19th Century. However, it lost its popularity by 1900 because it was thought to allow Black to equalise without much problems and release the central tension too early.
However, it still remains very popular and a good choice for chess beginners, as explained by Grandmaster Naroditsky in his Sensei Speedrun:
Italian Game – 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4
The Italian Game is where White develops their bishop to c4 which attacks Black’s vulnerable f7-square. Black’s f7-square is only defended by his king and so there are a lot of great tactics that can happen in the Italian Game.
One of the most popular attacks by chess beginners is the Fried Liver Attack which follows the Two Knights Defense: 3…
Four Knights Game – 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6
Petrov’s Defense – 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6
Philidor Defense – 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6
Vienna Game – 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3
Bishop’s Opening – 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4
King’s Gambit – 1. e4 e5 2. f4
Centre Game – 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. Qxd4
Danish Gambit – 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3
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