Saturday, November 25, 2006

Chess Opening Understanding

Chess Opening Understanding

Copyright © Lee Leong
Chess Opening Understanding

A thorough chess opening understanding is crucial for the success of any chess player. In fact, the more in depth chess opening understanding a player has, the better player he or she will become. There are many terms used in relation to chess openings. Some of the common terms are Game, Defense, Gambit and Variation. Some of the less common terms used along with chess openings are System, Attack, Counterattack, Countergambit, Reversed and Inverted.

Regardless of it's terms and terminology, the importance of chess opening understanding can not be under estimated. One of the most important success secrets of the Grandmasters is an in depth and thorough chess opening understanding. Very often, the Grandmasters are the ones who came up with the unique and winning chess opening moves.

With that said, let's talk about chess opening. Chess openings or defenses means the first moves of a chess game. These moves are collectively known as the 'opening'. There are many types of openings available in chess. Chess openings different hugely in character, from quiet positional play to wild tactical play.

Sometimes, a player can choose to start off with a sequence of opening moves which is considered standard. These moves are referred to as the book moves. At other times, a player may choose an opening which is an improvisation on a standard book move. The moves may be different, but the purpose is the same - to get off to a solid start and get into an aggressive position from where to launch an attack on the enemy's King.

In chess, one needs to make the best use of their chess opening understanding by putting their pieces in strong positions from where they can launch an assault on the enemy successfully. At the beginning of the game, it is not clear on which part of the board the pieces will be required. Hence, it is important to retain effective control over the squares in the central area of the chessboard, so that specific pieces can be moved with minimal problems whenever required. The best way to retain control over the central areas of the board, according to the classical theory, is to place Pawns on d4 and e4.

However, the modern school of chess theory has a different chess opening understanding. It advocates a different approach for effective control with the opening moves - control the centre from a distance with pieces breaking down the opponent's centre. Accordingly, the King is placed at the middle of the board. This makes it easy for both players to castle in the opening or to bring the King to the side of the board via artificial castling.

Normally, chess openings try to avoid the creation of Pawn weaknesses. Pawn weakness means the presence of isolated, doubled and backward Pawns, or the cluttering together of many pawns in the form of a Pawn Island, etc. Some sacrifice at the endgame considerations for a fast attack on the enemy's position. There is another way out - sacrifice pawns at the beginning to create a fast attack on the enemy at the end game stage.

Besides all these, other strategic plans used in the middle-game can also be used with chess openings. These include preparing pawn breaks to create a counterplay, creating weaknesses in the enemy's Pawn structure, seizing control of key squares, and also making favorable exchanges of minor pieces.

Different chess players have different chess opening understanding depending on their experience. Some claim that it is White set's task in the opening to preserve and increase the advantage by moving first, while the task of the Black set is to equalize the game. However, as many of us may know, not all chess openings by the white set are always aggressive. It is sometimes possible for the Black set to be aggressive in the initial stages and take the initiative away from the White sets.

Chess Opening Understanding

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Lee Leong is the owner of Understanding Chess Tactic
which specializes in providing 100% Free chess tactics
and strategies for chess players of all levels
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