Chess is a very complicated game and chess openings are no different. Openings are few initial moves made in the game of chess that decides the future course of the game and how game is going to progress. Openings have played very important role in the development of the modern chess and many grandmasters as well as club players and amateurs alike study many opening systems. Although theoretical study of the openings is not a modern concept and some openings like Ruy Lopez or Spanish game are almost half a millennium old when it was first analyzed and studied by a Spanish priest in year 1561.
It is very unclear where the opening ends and the middle game begins in the game of chess but it is believed that moves up-to 5 to 10 is considered the opening period of the game though opening theory in few openings have developed as deep as 25 moves with many variations and major lines to play.
There are many kind of different openings, and hundreds and hundreds of named variants of these openings included in the chess encyclopedias. Chess openings are categorized and refereed by their ECO codes starting from A00 ending in E99. The Oxford Companion to Chess is a reference book on chess written in the style of encyclopedia by David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld. It has 1,327 named openings and variants described briefly.
Opening is the first phase of the game of chess and so also the most important part of it others being middlegame and endgame. Middlegame and endgame depends lot upon the skill of the chess player and how experienced and good he or she is at the game but openings are slightly different in that sense. Even without the deep knowledge of endings and middlegame strategy and tactics amateurs, club players and even beginners can master openings by just memorizing known theory about openings and studying them from books.
Sequence of this opening moves are also refereed as book moves or simply ‘book’ in chess literature, chess engines and popular culture. Many grandmasters and players have their own Chess Opening Repertoires that they play and practice regularly. All the opening and other moves in opening theory is recorded in algebraic notation, opening trees or theory tables.
Player is said to be “out of book” when he or his opening plays unusual opening move that is not included or studied in the known and documented opening theory so far. In some opening lines, particularly in Sicilian depgnse, the moves considered best for both sides (both players with white pieces and black pieces) have been worked out for 20 to 25 moves or even more extending them well into the middlegame.
Analysis goes even deeper in few openings like King’s Indian Depgnse where study is already done for both sides up-to 30 to 35 moves and it goes well into the endgame analysis. Professional chess players like grandmasters and so called super grandmasters with ratings above 2700 elo points in FIDE ratings spend years studying openings, and they continue to do so throughout their careers as chess players, partly because of the continues development in the opening theory and to included more and more known openings to their opening repertoire to master the opening theory.
Aims in the opening:
- To get better position as white and to equalize as soon as possible as black player.
- Openings decides strategic plans that both sides are going to adopt during the middlegame and modern theory also supports the plans of both sides to create dynamic imbalances in the openings to take advantage of.
- To lure your opponent into kind of positions that you are more comfortable with and have more knowledge of theory and position.
- Mobilize your pieces to useful squares as early as possible and to control central squares of the board.
- Castle as soon as possible in most of the openings to make your king more safer on the flank hidden behind the pawns rather than in open center where pawns are already moved to control the center.
- Try to prevent pawn weaknesses such as isolated, doubled and backward pawns that may arise in certain type of openings. Some unbalanced openings for black like Dutch and Sicilian depgnse creates this kind of pawns for both sides.
- Get as space advantage as possible for easy maneuver of pieces and better piece co-ordination.
- Take the aid of transposition to get into the position that you are more comfortable with than your opponent.
- Avoid unsound openings like Danish gambit and few similar openings which are refuted by theory and stands no good in the longer games though may work in blitz and bullet chess.
- Avoid unsound sacrifices in the opening that may hurt you in the middlegame as well as in the endgame.
Names of few major known and studied chess openings:
After playing chess professionally or as a club player for few years one realize that he or she is more comfortable in certain type of position and can play better than most of other equally strong players in similar situations. Chess opening theory may help him or her to achieve such position more comfortably with advantage.
This is one of the major reasons why opening theory developed a lot in the last century and has helped many of the strong masters as well as common players who want to achieve certain kind of positions in the middlegame.
The set or group of openings a player has specialized in is called an opening repertoire in chess. The main elements a good chess player needs to consider in a repertoire are:
- As White, whether to open with most sound lines of 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4, or 1.Nf3
- As Black, a well prepared and studied depgnse against any of these openings by white
Narrow repertoire can give you more deep knowledge and understanding of a certain opening but may help your opponents as well to prepare against you in the games as they know you play only certain kind of opening.
It also gives you less options to play as white if you have a limited repertoire. The main openings in a repertoire should be more reasonably sound and they should lead to playable positions even against optimal counterplay by the opponent.
Gambits sometimes work as surprise especially refuted ans unsound gambits are used as a weapon against weaker players but should not be considered as a part of sound repertoire against equal or stronger players.br> Follow us on Google+