5 Best Beginner Chess Openings
One question that comes up again and again when considering effective chess training is about the best beginner chess openings. For beginners, the most important goal in the opening is to get a good middlegame position. As IM Lilov points out in his video, it is essential to focus on classic principles like controlling the center and developing the pieces.
Moreover, all the openings he suggests are based on a few key ideas, not memorization of endless theory. In practical games it often happens that you forget the theoretical lines you studied weeks ago. As long as you understand the underlying concepts of your opening, however, it is still not too difficult to play good moves. In this new free video/post, IM Valeri Lilov introduces the 5 best beginner chess openings.
If you want to transform your opening repertoire and get good positions early in the game, consider the following best beginner chess openings:
Opening Ideas for White
According to IM Lilov, if you’re White you’ve got three strong moves at your disposal to kick off a game. If you choose to play the move 1.e4, one of the most often played openings by Black in response is the Sicilian. The Sicilian Defense often leads to a sharp, double-edged struggle with both sides in a race to be the first to breakthrough with their attack. If you keep in mind some key concepts, however, you’ll have good chances for success.
The game could start with the following moves: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 (see the diagram on the right). White has been fighting for the centre from the very first move.
Against this type of Black setup, IM Lilov suggests a simple approach. The main goal is to develop your pieces and control the centre quickly. Consequently, White should follow up with the following sequence of moves: 6.Be3 e6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.f4 0-0 9.Qf3 Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Qc7 10.g4 (see the diagram on the left).
White has managed to develop all their pieces and castle in order to bring the king to safety. Moreover, White has reached a good middlegame position with a clear plan. White wants to play on the kingside, to open files in front of the Black king and finally prepare a mating attack.
In order to do this, White can start by playing g4, g5, driving the Black knight (an important defending piece for Black) away. Later, they can continue by pushing the h-pawn forward in order to create serious weaknesses in Black’s camp on the kingside. Due to the fact that all of White’s pieces are placed so well, they have great chances to succeed.
Opening Ideas for Black
If you’ve got the Black pieces, you need to find a suitable opening against White’s most common move – 1.e4. Against the move 1.e4, IM Valeri Lilov suggests the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence. The basic opening principles for Black stay the same. A major guideline to follow is to try to place as many pieces as you can around the centre. This approach is easy to remember and very successful.
Just as in the example above, the game starts with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6.
After White plays the move 6.Be3, Black starts to drive White’s pieces away from the centre by playing 6…e5. The game could continue with the moves 7.Nb3 Be7 8.f3 Be6 9.Qd2 0-0 10.0-0-0 Nbd7.
Again, it is of paramount importance to make sure that your pieces are well developed. Following these moves, Black achieves the 3 main goals of any opening: control of the center, rapid development, and preparation for castling to safety.
In this type of position, as long as you understand the most important elements of the position, it doesn’t matter too much if you forget the theory. Black wants to go for an attack on the queenside. Black could follow up with Rc8, Qc7, b5, Nb6 (with the idea to place the knight on c4) and Rd8.
All of Black’s pieces are well developed and participate in the game. If you want to get to know more ideas and plans in these positions, we definitely recommend you watch IM Lilov’s free video.
In this article, we could only present 2 out of the 5 key chess openings for beginners which are analyzed by IM Valeri Lilov in the video. If you want to get more ideas on strong beginner chess openings, you definitely need to watch the whole video.
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