Over the last year, chess has seen a significant increase in popularity. This all started when Chess.com launched their inaugural PogChamps competition on Twitch in 2020, which quickly gained popularity due to the efforts of broadcasters like as Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, xQc, and Ludwig, among others. This has led to the tournament becoming more popular outside of Twitch, with celebrities like Gregor Clegane and Rainn Wilson taking part in the competition in recent years.
1. Game of the Italians
As a result, it is thought to have developed in the 15th century, making it one of the oldest apertures still in widespread use today. With the e pawn push, both White and Black gain some control of the center and create more room for their queens and bishops, respectively. Both players develop their knights as Black protects the e5 pawn that White is attempting to take advantage of.
The move Bc4 serves a variety of functions. It applies pressure to Black’s vulnerable f7 square, enables White to develop a minor piece, aids with the control of the center of the board, and allows White to castle on the next round. Keep an eye out for the move Ng5, especially if you are playing as Black in this situation. By doing so, White threatens to capture the f7 pawn, thus forking the queen and rook. The Fried Liver Attack is the term used to describe this.
2. Ruy Lopez
This game is identical to the Italian Game, except the bishop is placed on B5 instead of C5 in the Ruy Lopez. A strong beginning, much like the Italian Game, in which White has good control of the center with their pawn and knight, as well as the ability to castle with their next move.
This is a situation where the most frequent answer for White is a6, which leaves White with the decision of what to do with their bishop. It may be tempting to grab the knight since it doubles Black’s pawns. However, this is not a good idea. However, this is a questionable tactic since, on average, bishops are somewhat better than knights in terms of combat performance.
On the surface, it seems that if Black plays a6, White may capture Black’s knight and then use their knight to grab the dangling pawn on e5 after the bishop has been recaptured. However, this would open the door for Black to play either Qe7 or Qg5, which would provide difficulties for White.
3. Sicilian Defense
The Sicilian Defense has become the most frequent answer to the e5 move, therefore it is well worth your time to get familiar with it as both White and Black. However, when it comes to chess theory, the Sicilian Defense is a minefield — whole volumes have been written on it.
Therefore, the ideal approach to use when confronted with an opening is to adhere to the fundamental principles of opening design. Control the center of the board, develop pieces, and build a castle as soon as it is possible.
The rationale behind Black’s c5 is that it would prevent White from playing d4, which is their preferred move. In this situation, the most frequent move for white is to play Nf3, with the intention of pushing d4 on the next move. If White plays cxd4, he has the option of making the move Nxd4.
4. French Defense
The French Defense is the third most often seen answer to e4, with e5 being the second most frequently encountered response. With the d5 move, Black hopes to negate White’s dominance of the center and challenge White for control of the center as soon as possible. As a rule, it leads to tight situations in the middle of the game, making it a good move for Black. This comes in useful while learning the game or when playing against a higher-rated opponent in a competitive setting.
The rise in defense, on the other hand, presents a problem on the attacking side. The most important one is that Black will most likely struggle to develop their light-squared bishop since Black’s pawn structure will prevent them from doing so effectively. After 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3, the most frequent continuation is to defend the e4 pawn with the knight, which is the most common continuation from this situation.
When it comes to e4, the Caro-Kann is the fourth most common answer. Its fundamental concept is similar to the French Defense in that Black want to play d5 on their next move in order to challenge the e4 pawn on the other side of the board. It is advantageous for Black to play the Caro-Kann because it guarantees that they will have an easier time developing their light-squared bishop. It does, however, come with its own set of issues. As a result, Black’s Knight can no longer be developed to the c6 square, where it would be most logical to put it.
The most frequent continuation from this situation is the same as the French Defense: 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3. This is the most common continuation from this position. White has grown their knight while also protecting the e4 pawn, which is a rare feat in chess.
6. Scholar’s Mate
The Scholar’s Mate is not a very good opening to study if you want to enhance your chess skills, but it is useful to know in order to avoid being defeated by it. Due to the fact that Black’s king cannot escape White’s queen, White has effectively checkmated Black in this situation. meantime, White’s bishop prevents the capture of the bishop by black.
Fortunately, there are a few methods to deal with this as a Black character. For openers, Black may play Nf6 on move 3 in order to protect the f7 square while also developing a minor piece at the same time. It also stops White from putting their queen to h5, which would be another method of delivering the early checkmate to the opponent. If White plays 3. Qh4 in the depicted situation, the most frequent reaction for Black is to play g6, thus removing the queen from the game. Because of the difficult placement of White’s queen in the middle game, opening in this manner is not a viable tactic for White to use in the middle game.
7. Queen’s Gambit
A variation of the Queen’s Gambit is an opening that novice players may wish to master after seeing the television series of the same name. New players may find this move perplexing, since Black is free to capture the unprotected c4 pawn on the other side of the board. White, on the other hand, is more likely to win the piece. The most frequent method for White to regain control of the pawn is with the move e3, which allows the bishop to capture the pawn of the opponent. Despite the fact that Black can continue to protect the pawn, they will almost certainly find themselves in an uncomfortable situation.
If Black does not capture the pawn, the advantages for White include reasonable control over the middle of the board. During this time, they are free to begin building their pieces while their king is generally safe from harm.
8. King’s Indian Defense
The King’s Indian Defense is a popular reaction to White’s d4 and c4 movements, and it is a variation of the French Defense. Black wants to play g7 within the next few moves, which will enable them to castle and gain some center control using their pieces rather than pawns, rather than sacrificing them. In general, this opening enables both players to comfortably begin developing their minor pieces within a short period of time. It also makes it possible for them to castle within the first 10 moves with little difficulty.
3. Nc3 Bg7 is a popular continuation position from this situation. four. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 e5 e5 The move e5 challenges the center, while White is preparing to castle the situation.
9. London System
When it comes to learning new moves, the London System is a popular choice since it enables White to develop their pieces in a safe manner and establish a strong position as they go through the opening phase of the game. In this situation, a popular tactic for White is to play e3 on their following move; this protects White’s dark-squared bishop while also enabling the light-squared bishop to grow, allowing White to castle kingside.
Following this move, a frequent continuation is 3. c5 4. e3 Nc6 5. c3 e6 6. Nbd2 Bd6, which puts both players in a strong position to begin the mid-game.
10. King’s Indian Attack
The only opening on this board that does not begin with e4 or d4 is the King’s Indian Attack, which is played on a4. Similar to the previously described King’s Indian Defense, but with White possessing an additional tempo, this opening is very popular among chess players. The move has comparable advantages to the King’s Indian Defense in that White holds the center while developing pieces and can also castle within a few moves after placing their light-squared bishop to f2 (the second rank).
The most often seen continuation from this situation is 2. Nf6 3. Bg2 c6 4. O-O Bg4. Black still has some work to do in order to castle in this position, but for the time being, their king is in a fairly secure position on the board.