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Four Common Chess Opening Strategies For Beginners

Over hundreds of years, Chess players have invented, mastered and modified hundreds of different Chess openings that are used to develop the game in so many different ways.

You certainly don’t have to memorize all of these openings, but it is important that you master some of the most basic Chess openings that have been played by Chess champions and amateurs alike.

It takes a lot to become an expert at opening theory, and the first step is to familiarize yourself with the basic moves and history of the following Chess opening strategies.

chess opening

Ruy Lopez

Named after Spanish priest Ruy López de Segura, who contemplated one of the oldest in the history of the game, the Ruy Lopez is considered the foundation move of classical Chess play.

It is also one of the most played Chess opening strategies since the double king’s pawn move is a very common opening.

There are several variants and defenses developed for the Ruy Lopez, which has the following starting position of 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bb5. It is one of the slower, more methodical approaches, but is a surefire way to gain advantage if you are a skilled player.

Sicilian Defense

The Sicilian Defense is also one of the most frequently played openings, especially by top-level players who want to pose an aggressive defense against the usual White’s e4 opening by playing c5 instead of the usual e5 by Black.


It is a counteroffensive move that threatens White’s claim for the center without the usual symmetry that puts black pawns at a disadvantage. Various lines of play may develop from the Sicilian Defense, including the Smith-Morra Gambit and the Alapin Variation.

French Defense

Less aggressive than the Sicilian Defense, but just as dependable as well, is the French Defense, which is one of the best openings against the common e4 opening by White. After White has made the common e4 opening, Black moves e6. Following this is typically 2. d4 d5, which immediately attacks e4, and so White is forced to make a move.

One of the challenges of the French Defense is that Black has to start with a somewhat restricted beginning because the queen’s side is blocked.

Common variations to the French Defense are the Tarrasch Variation and Exchange Variation.

Queen’s Gambit

Having been mentioned in the Göttingen manuscript of 1480, Queen’s Gambit, although not a true gambit, is one of the oldest Chess opening strategies ever known. However, it only became widespread during the 1873 Vienna Chess tournament. This opening has the following starting moves: 1. d4 d5 2. c4.

There are two categories for this opening, Queen’s Gambit Accepted and Queen’s Gambit Declined. Any other move aside from 2. dxc4 is a Queen’s Gambit Declined. If Black decides to accept the gambit, White should play 3. e3, which unblocks the bishop and provides a line of defense for d4. Queen’s Gambit is an excellent opening for daring players looking to lure their opponents into a trap.

There are many great books you can read on the topic of Chess openings, and you can even study your favorite chess opening strategies in great depth.

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