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8 Types of Chess Openings

In a game of chess, the opening few moves can lead to a variety of outcomes. Will the game be a fast-paced, tactical battle? Will the game be silent, slow, and positional? Or is it somewhere in the middle? The way you start the game will have a big impact on how the rest of it goes.

Many chess openings are well-known. Openings can be classified into broad categories based on common criteria. In this article you will be able to learn more about the chess openings in a new light and how they affect the middle game.

Chess Openings of Various Types
Studying the various sorts of openings will help you enhance your overall understanding of chess opening theory and will be a valuable addition to your chess opening knowledge.

All openings that begin with the moves 1.e4 e5 are referred to as open games. The name “open games” comes from the fact that the center will generally open up relatively quickly, giving both sides more tactical options.

 

Chess Openings in an Open Game

All openings that begin with the moves 1.e4 e5 are referred to as open games. The name “open games” comes from the fact that the center will generally open up relatively quickly, giving both sides more tactical options.

Typically, open games lead to positions such as:

  • Both sides place a premium on the pieces’ quick development.
  • Early fights occur in the center, with both sides vying for control of important squares.
  • Early pawn trades in the center can lead to fairly open positions very rapidly.
  • Because the pieces may move around more freely–due to the open design of the center–tactical combinations abound.
  • Both sides must move their king out of the center as soon as possible, or risk a surprise attack if the center opens.

Games with a Semi-Open Format

The following opening type is known as a Semi-Open Game if black reacts to 1.e4 with anything other than 1… e5, thereby breaking the symmetry. The center will be partially open because only one player will have a pawn in the center at first, hence the name “semi-open games.”
Semi-Open Games indicate that the symmetry has been broken, and the situation is consequently uneven. Both sides benefit from the disruption of the equilibrium since it provides them with unique and diverse chances. The goal is usually to show that your approach is more effective than your opponent’s.

Closed Games

All openings that begin with the moves 1.d4 d5 are referred to as closed games. The center will generally be closed, partly due to the fact that both sides have a pawn in the center that is already defended by the queen–implying that these pawns are less likely to be attacked or exchanged easily, resulting in a closed center.
Because it will take at least one extra move to develop the bishop on the f-file, both sides will postpone casting for at least one step as a result of the initial movements 1.d4 d5 (should white want to castle king-side).
It’s also worth noting that the d-pawns are already defended by their respective queens, implying that neither side can make immediate threats to the central pawn (as is the case in 1.e4 e5 openings). Closed Games are less tactical than Open Games in part because of these factors.

Semi-Closed Games

The following opening type is known as a Semi-Closed Game if black answers to 1.d4 with anything other than 1… d5, breaking the symmetry. It’s dubbed a “semi-close game” because one player, but not both, will have a fixed piece in the center–implying that the center will be partially closed, but not fully.
In contrast to Semi-Open Games (where the asymmetries are more tactical), Semi-Closed Games usually result in circumstances where both sides rely on strategic operations and incremental position improvements rather than quick attacks.

Openings that are symmetrical

Black seeks to retain the equilibrium for as long as possible in symmetrical openers by using the same setup as white. This is a common strategy for black to equalize in the opening; nonetheless, in symmetrical openings, white will always have the advantage of “having the move.”

Opening Systems

An opening system is a specific piece & pawn formation. This formation can usually be achieved through different move orders.

Advantages of Opening Systems
A chess opening system is easy to learn and can help you get a decent position against many different responses.

Disadvantages of Opening Systems
The downside of an opening system is that it isn’t tailored against black’s unique responses. And since white isn’t fighting hard to obtain an advantage, it is relatively easy for black to equalize the position.

Gambit Openings

A gambit opening is one in which one (or more) pawns are sacrificed in return for certain positional advantages.
Gambit openings are often used to accelerate your progress while slowing down your opponent’s. Before the opposite side can consolidate their position, the side who surrendered the piece must play aggressively. The player with the extra pawn will either strive to keep his material advantage or will return the piece in exchange for some initiative.

Counter Gambits

A counter gambit is an opening in which a player aggressively reacts to an opponent’s gambit by providing one of their own.
Counter gambit openings usually lead to difficult, high-risk positions that depend substantially on excellent mathematical abilities and/or a superior understanding of the counter gambit’s variations.

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