Chess Opening Principles

In this article, we’ll put down a set of ground rules for the game’s early phases and some things more about chess openings. While there are exceptions to every rule in chess, you must be a highly good player to properly understand which ones to violate. Until then, accept these guidelines as though they were natural laws; disobey them at your peril!

Work on your pieces

The very most critical rule of the opening is this. Development in chess refers to advancing your pieces away from their starting squares in preparation for war. Many players make the error of merely bringing out one or two pieces and maneuvering them about, then bringing in reinforcements only when the first few become stuck or captured. To have the best chance of victory at chess, you must have all of your pieces in play.

In the beginning, time is of the importance; you can’t afford to squander a single move. A player is considered to have a development lead if they can develop their pieces quicker than the other player. Being ahead in the game in terms of development is advantageous because whoever has their pieces ready first may attack. Because white has the initial move in a chess game, he typically has a minor advantage in development to begin with.

Is there a specific order in which you should develop your pieces? Knights and bishops, on the other hand, should appear before queens and rooks. Typically, you want to develop the knight and bishop on the side you wish to castle first, so you can castle rapidly. After 10 movements, you should make sure that none of your knights or bishops are remaining on their starting squares.

Make a limited number of pawn moves

To allow your pieces out, you must advance at least a few of pawns into the opening. Starting by shifting one of your center pawns two squares is usually a smart option. The ideal choice for beginners is to move the king’s pawn two squares, which opens lines for the queen and kingside bishop. Many players, on the other hand, squander time by making pawn plays that do not assist them develop their pieces.

Don’t expose your queen too soon

Isn’t it true that the first rule was to develop the pieces? Why not the queen, then? Remember that, aside from the king, the queen is the most precious piece, therefore you can’t afford to lose her (unless you can acquire your opponent’s queen in return). That indicates your opponent has fourteen pieces that are less valued than the queen early in the game. If you bring your queen out early in the game, your opponent will be able to develop his pieces while simultaneously attacking your queen. You’d then have to waste a move rescuing your queen when you might instead be developing.

Make sure you don’t move the same piece twice

It’s critical that you don’t spend any time building your parts. You’re wasting time if you start moving the same piece around while your other pieces are still on their beginning squares. Only when you need to capture an opponent piece should you move a piece twice.

Capturing an opponent piece other than a pawn is always worthwhile, although it’s occasionally best to focus on developing your pieces than wasting time capturing pawns in the beginning. Early in the game, while your pieces are underdeveloped, going pawn hunting might get you into problems.

Get to the castle early

When the pieces start to fall out, the king in the middle of the board will begin to feel vulnerable. You should strive to get your king castled early in the game to prevent being a victim of a rapid checkmate. This should happen before move 10. Castling also has the added benefit of moving one of your rooks to the center of the board, where it can threaten the opponent king if he has broken this rule!

The next game illustrates the consequences of leaving your king in the center for an extended period of time. In Vienna in 1910, it was performed by two masters, Richard Réti and Savielly Tartakower. It only goes to show that even the best players may be caught off guard in this manner, but there’s no reason to do it in your own games!

Work your way to the center

As your chess skills improve, you’ll realize that the most crucial area of the board is the center, which includes the squares e4, d4, e5, and d5. Consider these squares to be akin to the high ground. Controlling the high ground in chess, much like in actual combat, is frequently the key to success.

Even if they aren’t immediately in the center, all of white’s pieces contribute to dominate the board’s center. Of course, this is a fantasy position because your opponent will be able to move as well, and they will be attempting to dominate the center. You may not be able to place all of your pieces on the nicest squares, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it your all!

Connect your rooks and clear the rear rank.

We mean clearing space between your rooks so that they can defend each other by joining them. This may be accomplished by removing all of your pieces and castingling your king. Your rooks can easily travel back and forth along the rear rank, either for defensive purposes or to help a pawn drive, if the back rank is clear. Ideally, you should shift them to the center. Even though there are already pieces in the path, it is occasionally a smart idea to place a rook opposite the opponent queen.

Catherine Morales

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