Chess opening

openingopeningsopening moveschess openingsopening theorychess opening theorylineopenedopening gameopening lines
A chess opening or simply an opening refers to the initial moves of a chess game.wikipedia
475 Related Articles

Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings

ECOECO codeECO'' codes
Opening moves that are considered standard (often catalogued in a reference work such as the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings) are referred to as "book moves", or simply "book".
It is presented as a five-volume book collection (now also a computer database) describing chess openings.

Chess theory

theoreticiantheoryopening theory
When a game begins to deviate from known opening theory, the players are said to be "out of book".
The game of chess is commonly divided into three phases: the opening, middlegame, and endgame.

Chess

chess playerchess gamewestern chess
A chess opening or simply an opening refers to the initial moves of a chess game.
One of these, Chess960, incorporates standard rules but employs 960 different possible starting positions, thus negating any advantage in opening preparation.

King's Indian Defence

King's IndianKing's Indian DefenseIndian Game, West Indian Defence
Some analysis goes to thirty or thirty-five moves, as in the classical King's Indian Defense and in the Sveshnikov and Najdorf variations of the Sicilian Defense.
The King's Indian Defence is a common chess opening.

Sicilian Defence, Najdorf Variation

Najdorf VariationNajdorfNajdorf Sicilian
Some analysis goes to thirty or thirty-five moves, as in the classical King's Indian Defense and in the Sveshnikov and Najdorf variations of the Sicilian Defense.
The Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence is one of the most respected and deeply studied of all chess openings.

Chess middlegame

middlegamemiddle gamemiddlegames
In addition to referring to specific move sequences, the opening is the first phase of a chess game, the other phases being the middlegame and the endgame.
The middlegame in chess refers to the portion of the game in between the opening and the endgame.

Chess opening theory table

ECO'' tabletheory tabletheory tables
Reference works often present move sequences in simple algebraic notation, opening trees, or theory tables.
Chess opening theory tables are commonly published in opening books with annotations by experienced chess players.

French Defence

FrenchAdvance VariationFrench Defense
For example, in the main line of the Winawer Variation of the French Defense (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3), White will try to use his and advantage to mount an attack on Black's, while Black will seek simplifying exchanges (in particular, trading off one of White's bishops to blunt this advantage) and counterattack against the weakened pawns on White's ; both players accept different combinations of advantages and disadvantages.
The French Defence is a chess opening characterised by the moves:

Fianchetto

rule the diagonal
1) Development: One of the main aims of the opening is to mobilize the pieces on useful squares where they will have impact on the game. To this end, knights are usually developed to f3, c3, f6 and c6 (or sometimes e2, d2, e7 or d7), and both players' king and queen pawns are moved so the bishops can be developed (alternatively, the bishops may be fianchettoed with a maneuver such as g3 and Bg2). Rapid mobilization is the key. The queen, and to a lesser extent the rooks, are not usually played to a central position until later in the game, when many minor pieces and pawns are no longer present.
The fianchetto is a staple of many "hypermodern" openings, whose philosophy is to delay direct occupation of the center with the plan of undermining and destroying the opponent's central outpost.

Benko Gambit

For example, Black obtains active play in return for a pawn in the Benko Gambit; amateur players may have trouble defending against Black's activity, while masters are more skilled at defending and making use of the extra pawn.
The Benko Gambit (or Volga Gambit) is a chess opening characterised by the move 3...b5 in the Benoni Defence arising after:

Gambit

chess gambitgambets
Unsound gambits are sometimes used as surprise weapons, but are unreliable for a stable repertoire.
A gambit (from ancient Italian gambetto, meaning "to trip") is a chess opening in which a player, more often White, sacrifices, usually a pawn, with the hope of achieving a resulting advantageous position.

Transposition (chess)

transposetranspositiontranspositions
6) Create positions in which the player is more comfortable than the opponent: Transposition is one common way of doing this.
Transpositions are particularly common in the opening, where a given position may be reached by different sequences of moves.

Ruy Lopez

Berlin DefenceBerlin Defence of the Ruy LopezMarshall Attack
Ruy Lopez's disagreement with Damiano regarding the merits of 2...Nc6 led to 3.Bb5 (after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6) being named for him as the Ruy Lopez or Spanish Opening. The name given to an opening is not always that of the first player to adopt it; often an opening is named for the player who was the first to popularize it or to publish analysis of it. Eponymic openings include the Ruy Lopez, Alekhine's Defense, Morphy Defense, and the Réti Opening.
The Ruy Lopez, also called the Spanish Opening or Spanish Game, is a chess opening characterised by the moves:

Castling

castlecastledcastles
3) King safety: The king is somewhat exposed in the middle of the board. Measures must be taken to reduce his vulnerability. It is therefore common for both players either to castle in the opening (simultaneously developing one of the rooks) or to otherwise bring the king to the side of the board via artificial castling.
Castling is an important goal in the opening, because it serves two valuable purposes: it moves the king into a safer position away from the center of the board, and it moves the rook to a more active position in the center of the board (it is even possible to checkmate with castling).

List of chess openings named after places

namednamed for geographic places
The oldest openings tend to be named for geographic places and people.
The Oxford Companion to Chess lists 1,327 named chess openings and variants.

Giuoco Piano

Giuoco Pianissimo
A few opening names are descriptive, such as Giuoco Piano (quiet game).
The Giuoco Piano (Italian: "Quiet Game"; ), also called the Italian Opening, is a chess opening beginning with the moves:

Réti Opening

RétiRéti system
The name given to an opening is not always that of the first player to adopt it; often an opening is named for the player who was the first to popularize it or to publish analysis of it. Eponymic openings include the Ruy Lopez, Alekhine's Defense, Morphy Defense, and the Réti Opening.
The Réti Opening is a hypermodern chess opening whose traditional or classic method begins with the moves:

Scotch Game

Scotch
Consider some of the openings named for nationalities: Scotch Game, English Opening, French Defense, and Russian Game—the Scotch Game and the English Opening are both White openings (White chooses to play), the French is indeed a defense but so is the Russian Game. Game : Used only for some of the oldest openings, for example Scotch Game, Vienna Game, and Four Knights Game.
The Scotch Game, or Scotch Opening, is a chess opening that begins with the moves:

English Opening

English1.c4English Opening, Symmetrical Variation
Consider some of the openings named for nationalities: Scotch Game, English Opening, French Defense, and Russian Game—the Scotch Game and the English Opening are both White openings (White chooses to play), the French is indeed a defense but so is the Russian Game.
The English Opening is a chess opening that begins with the move:

Sokolsky Opening

Orangutan
By then, most of the more common and traditional sequences of opening moves had already been named, so these tend to be unusual or recently developed openings like the Orangutan, Hippopotamus, Elephant, and Hedgehog.
The Sokolsky Opening (also known as the Orangutan or Polish) is an uncommon chess opening that begins with the move:

Hypermodernism (chess)

hypermodernHypermodernismhypermodernists
2) Control of the center: At the start of the game, it is not clear on which part of the board the pieces will be needed. However, control of the central squares allows pieces to be moved to any part of the board relatively easily, and can also have a cramping effect on the opponent. The classical view is that central control is best effected by placing pawns there, ideally establishing pawns on d4 and e4 (or d5 and e5 for Black). However, the hypermodern school showed that it was not always necessary or even desirable to occupy the center in this way, and that too broad a pawn front could be attacked and destroyed, leaving its architect vulnerable; an impressive-looking pawn center is worth little unless it can be maintained. The hypermoderns instead advocated controlling the center from a distance with pieces, breaking down one's opponent's center, and only taking over the center oneself later in the game. This leads to openings such as Alekhine's Defense – in a line like 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 (the Four Pawns Attack), White has a formidable pawn center for the moment, but Black hopes to undermine it later in the game, leaving White's position exposed.
Hypermodern openings include the Réti Opening, King's Indian Defence, Queen's Indian Defence, Nimzo-Indian Defence, Nimzowitsch Defense, Grünfeld Defence, Bogo-Indian Defence, Old Indian Defence, Catalan Opening, King's Indian Attack, Alekhine's Defence, Modern Defence, Pirc Defence, Larsen's opening, Sokolsky Opening, and to a lesser degree the English Opening.

Vienna Game

Mengarini's OpeningHamppe–Muzio GambitSteinitz Gambit
Game : Used only for some of the oldest openings, for example Scotch Game, Vienna Game, and Four Knights Game.
The Vienna Game is an opening in chess that begins with the moves:

Doubled pawns

doubleddoubled pawn
4) Prevention of pawn weakness: Most openings strive to avoid the creation of pawn weaknesses such as isolated, doubled and backward pawns, pawn islands, etc. Some openings sacrifice endgame considerations for a quick attack on the opponent's position. Some unbalanced openings for Black, in particular, make use of this idea, such as the Dutch and the Sicilian. Other openings, such as the Alekhine and the Benoni, invite the opponent to overextend and form pawn weaknesses. Specific openings accept pawn weaknesses in exchange for compensation in the form of dynamic play. (See Pawn structure.)
Several chess strategies and openings are based on burdening the opponent with doubled pawns, a strategic weakness.

Four Knights Game

4.Nc3Four Knights Game, Spanish VariationFour Knights Opening
Game : Used only for some of the oldest openings, for example Scotch Game, Vienna Game, and Four Knights Game.
The Four Knights Game is a chess opening that begins with the moves:

Semi-Slav Defense

Semi-SlavQueen's Gambit Declined Semi-SlavSemi-Slav, Stoltz Variation
These are openings intended to avoid a particular line otherwise available to one's opponent, for example the Anti-Marshall (against the Marshall (Counter) Attack in the Ruy Lopez) and the Anti-Meran Gambit (against the Meran Variation of the Semi-Slav Defense).
The Semi-Slav Defense is a variation of the Queen's Gambit chess opening defined by the position reached after the moves: