The beauty of chess is that, with a little practice, you can play the opening moves like a grandmaster, giving your opponent no advantages and entering the remainder of the Game on par or even ahead. Below you can find the best chess openings for beginners.
A Collection of the Best 10 chess openings for beginners
If you want to improve your chess opening abilities, i recommend studying the following chess openings for beginners.
1. Ruy Lopez Opening
The Ruy Lopez, often known as the Spanish Game, is among the oldest chess openings. It was initially played by Ruy lopez de Segura in 16th century and that’s why it is called Ruy lopez.
It starts with the move 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 These are one of the most popular and best starting moves in chess.
By playing 3.Bb5, White’s idea is to put pressure on the c6 knight which is defending the black’s e5 pawn so that white can first capture the c6 knight and then capture the e5 pawn.
This opening leads to diverse pawn structures and situations. You will get simple position to complicated positions and from strategical positions to attacking positions also.
2. Italian Opening
This opening was first played in 1620 by Portuguese players. White’s strategy in this opening is very simple: white wants to quickly develop his kingside pieces and get castle as soon as possible. This is what makes it one of the best chess openings for beginners.
It starts with the move 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4
White develops his light squared bishop to c4 to target f7 pawn in black’s position. White wants to quickly castle on the kingside and then develop his queenside pieces.
Most popular plan in this opening at club level is to simply develop the queenside knight to c3 then push the d-pawn to d3 and develop the dark squared bishop to g5. This simple plan gives white a good position.
3. London System
London system is easy to learn and that makes it is one of the best chess openings for beginners. You don’t need to learn a lot of theory to start playing this opening. This opening is played not only at beginner levels but you will see this opening at the grandmaster level also.
It starts with the move 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4
Your idea is to develop the dark squared bishop outside the pawn chain before playing 3.e3 .
Then you start building a pyramid in the centre by playing pawn moves to e3 and c3, after that you develop your kingside knight to f3, queenside knight to d2 and light squared bishop to d3.
Now you are ready to go castle with your king and start moving your pieces forward in the middlegame. It is an ideal chess openings for beginners.
4. Queen's Gambit
It is one of the most popular gambits in chess. In this opening, you sacrifice a pawn on the queenside and that’s why it is called Queen’s gambit.
It starts with the move 1.d4 d5 2.c4 It is considered to be one of the best starting moves in chess.
Note that it is not a real gambit because if black captures the c4 pawn then you can immediately play Qa4+ and regain the pawn on c4.
White’s idea in this opening is to immediately put pressure on black’s centre. It is considered to be one of best opening chess moves.
Black has many ways to deal with it
If black captures the pawn on c4 then it becomes Queen’s gambit accepted.
If black plays …c6 to defend the d5 pawn then it becomes Slav defense.
If black plays …e6 then it becomes Queen’s gambit declined. It is one of the best opening chess moves from black.
This opening has been played by almost every top players in their career. Having this opening in your opening repertoire will improve your overall understanding of the game which makes it an ideal chess openings for beginners.
5. King’s Indian Attack
King’s Indian attack is relatively less explored opening which makes it a surprise weapon for your opponent and that’s why I have included in best chess openings for beginners section.
It starts with the move 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.0-0 Be7 5.d3
White’s idea is to develop his kingside quickly and safeguard his king first. Then you develop your queenside knight to d2 and attack in the centre with pawn to e4.
With this opening, many times you will get direct attacking chances in the black’s kingside and best part about this opening is that you can play it against any of black’s defense. It does not matter how black responds, you can develop your pieces in the same way which makes it one of the best chess openings for beginners.
6. Caro-Kann Defense
Black’s piece placement is this opening is pretty simple: light square bishop goes to f5 or g4, queenside knight goes to d7, kingside knight goes to f6 and dark squared bishop goes to e7 or d6.
This opening gives you a weakness free position and all of your pieces are on good squares which makes it one of the best chess openings for beginners.
7. Queen's Gambit Declined
This opening is played against white’s first move 1.d4. It is the Rolls Royce of chess openings because it regularly played at the top grandmaster level and world championship matches. That’s why i included it in top 10 chess openings for beginners. You will get a solid position out of this opening and you can be assured that you are not going to get checkmated within first 10 moves.
It starts with the move 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6
On second move white offers us a pawn on c4 but we don’t need to take the pawn. We play 2…e6 to solidify our centre and decline the white’s gambit and that’s why it is known as Queen’s gambit declined.
Blacks strategy in this opening is to maintain the central pawn on d5, develop kingside pieces first then develop queenside pieces and attack in white’s centre by …c5 move.
8. Slav Defense
Besides Queen’s gambit declined, Slav Defense is another solid chess openings for beginners against white’s 1.d4. In this opening, black chooses c-pawn to solidify the d5 central pawn instead of using e-pawn.
It starts with the move 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6
Advantage of using c-pawn to defend the d5 pawn is that your light squared bishop is open, you can develop it on f5 or g4 before playing …e6. Disadvantage of this opening is that you are delaying the development of kingside pieces.
This opening is suitable for players who don’t want to take a lot of risk and want to get an equal position from the black side which makes it a suitable chess openings for beginners.
9. Sicilian Defense
Black’s idea is to control the d4 square with his c5 pawn. Whenever white plays d4, black will capture it with his c5 pawn so that black has two central pawns vs white’s one central pawn. It is one of best opening chess moves which allows you to play for win from black side.
In the middle game, black will use his extra central pawn to get upper hand in the game. This opening will help you develop counterattacking skills and you will learn to play unbalanced dynamic positions.
10. King’s Indian Defense
This is one of the most aggressive chess openings for beginners to counter white’s 1.d4. In this opening, black’s idea is to completely give up the control of the centre and focus on rapidly develop his kingside pieces and then counter attack white’s centre with pawn moves like …e5 and …c5.
It starts with the move 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6
Many times, this opening leads to closed centre where your natural plan is to attack on the kingside. You will get opportunities to sacrifice material and play for direct checkmating attack on the opponent’s king.
This defense can be used against white’s various first moves like 1.Nf3, 1.c4, 1.b3,1.f4 etc. you don’t need to learn different openings to counter these moves which makes it one of the best chess opening moves for beginners.
If you have little time to study chess openings then you can choose London system as your main weapon from the white side because you will learn it quickly without investing a lot of time and for beginners it is one of best starting moves in chess.
From the black side, against 1.e4 you can choose caro-kann defense because structure wise it is similar to London System.
Against 1.d4 or any other white’s move, you can choose Queen’s gambit declined. This defense can be used against white’s various first moves like 1.Nf3, 1.c4, 1.b3,1.f4 etc. you don’t need to learn different openings to counter these moves which makes it one of the best chess openings for beginners.