In this article, you will learn about top 5 best chess openings for black against white’s various first moves. These openings are objectively sound and regularly used by top chess players. For complete opening preparation, also read: Top 5 Best chess openings for white.
Sicilian defense (1…c5)
Sicilian defense is the most aggressive and of best chess openings for black against e4 when it comes to counter e4. Sicilian defense is the top choice of grandmasters as well as club level players.
you get unbalanced pawn structure from the beginning and resulting position of this opening are sharp and double edged which allows you to play for win from the black side.
Black has many variations in the sicilian defense. let’s look at the most popular variations.
This is the most sharpest and aggressive variation of Sicilian defense and it’s a favourite of attacking players like Bobby fisher and Garry Kasparov.
It starts with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6
This variation usually leads to opposite side castling situations were both players start the pawn storm attack and try to checkmate opponents king.
It starts with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf2 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6
This variation has gain popularity in recent path thanks to Magnus Carlsen who has employed this variation in numerous tournament games which successful results.
It starts with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5
In this variation black develops his pieces according to classical opening principles. First developing both the knights to best squares and then developing bishop and go short castling.
It starts with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6
King’s pawn defense (1…e5)
King’s pawn defense (1…e5) is classical and best chess openings for black against 1.e4 where black first aims to neutralize whites advantage and achieve equality and then play for the win.
When black players don’t want to take a lot of risk to counter 1.e4 they play 1.e5, it does not mean that give will not become sharp and complicated but black first priority is to achieve equality and then later when game becomes complicated you can play for the win.
White has many options against this best chess openings for black. let’s look at some of the most popular options
when you play 1…e5 you will face Ruy lopez frequently. white wants to eliminate black c6 knight and capture the if e5 pawn. Against it, either you can play popular a6 move or you can try schilmen’s gambit. If you want to create best chess openings for black repertoire then you need to prepare against this line thoroughly.
It starts with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5
it’s a favourite opening of club players and it can get tricky if you don’t know how to play against it. Here you can play first bishop to c5 and then develop your knight to f6 and go short castling.
It starts with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4
white immediately break the centre and developed pieces rapidly. It starts with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4
Against it you can play 3…cxd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 immediately attacking the d4 knight.
Four knights opening:
Its relatively quiet opening, it starts with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nc6 Against it, you developed your bishop to 4…Bc5 and go short castle.
Queen’s gambit declined
It starts with the move 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6
Black’s idea is to play 2…e6 to solidify the centre. Black is not accepting white’s gambit by playing 2…dxc4 that’s why it is known as Queen’s gambit declined.
It is super solid and one of the best chess openings for black against 1.d4 Black’s strategy in this opening is to quickly developing kingside pieces first and then develop Queen side pieces and attack in opponent centre by pawn moves like c5.
Black has many variations of Queen’s gambit declined. Let’s look at some popular lines.
when white plays 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 it becomes exchange variation. Pawn structure becomes static and slow manoeuvring of pieces are required in this line.
In this variation, black plays …b6 to fianchetto the light squared bishop to develop it on b7. It occurs after the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg5 0-0 6.e3 b6
This is one of best chess openings for black against 1.d4.
In this defense, Black plays …Ne4 to exchange pieces and to simplify the position. This defense leads to easy play from the black side. It starts with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 Ne4
Cambridge spring defense:
This leads to position where black is immediately putting pressure on whites c3 knight. Black plays …Qa5 to immediately put pressure on white’s position. It starts with move 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.Nf3 c6 6.e3 Qa5
King’s Indian defense
For players who like to attack, king’s indian defense is aggressive and one of the best chess openings for black against 1.d4. Is starts with the move 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6
This hyper mode on opening is a favourite of attacking chess players like Bobby fisher and Garry Kasparov.
In this opening, black gives up the control of the centre to white and focus on quick development of kingside. Once the pieces have been developed then black focuses his attention on attacking white centre by playing the pawn moves like …c5 and …e5.
Many times this opening leads to close enter where white plays on the queenside and black attacks on the kingside. You will get opportunities to sacrifice material and play for the direct check mating attack on white’s king. you will improve your attacking skills with this opening and that’s why it is one of the best chess openings for black.
This opening can also transpose to benoni defens structure where white has a pawn on d5 and black has long open diagonal for the bishop. If you are an aggressive player and you are looking for best chess openings for black then you should definitely give the opening a try.
Slav defense starts with the move 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6
when it comes to solid chess opening, the slav defense is one of the best chess openings for black against 1.d4.
Black strategy is to protect the d5 pawn with the c-pawn leaving the diagonal of light squared bishop open then black will develop the bishop to g4 and play e6. Black will get a solid triangle in the centre.
When the black has completed his development then black’s plan is to counter attack in the centre with pawn moves like …e5 and …c5.
Against 1.e4 you can choose 1…c5 Sicilian defense if you want to aggressive chess or you can choose 1…e5 if you want to play solid chess. Both of these are best chess openings for black.
Against 2.d4 you can choose King’s Indian defense if you want to play aggressively or you can choose Queen’s gambit declined / slav defense if you want to play solid chess. These are best chess openings for black against 1.d4.
Against 1.c4, 1.Nf3 or any other white move also, you can play king’s Indian defense setup or Queen’s gambit declined setup.