# Everything you need to know about the chess openings

Hello dear chess friends! 🙂 My name is Marko Makaj. I’m a FIDE Master from Croatia. And today in our lesson, I’ll try to explain
to you some basic principles of chess. Let’s start and see what happens in our first
position (starting position). If you look carefully, you’ll see that I’ve
marked four squares on the chessboard with a green mark. These squares are e4, d4, d5, and e5. These are four central squares on this chessboard. Now let’s see why those four squares are so
important in our chess game. First, with White, we can try to play for
those four central squares, mainly with two options. The first one is to play 1.e4. Playing 1.e4 can control basically two squares. First square is e4 and the other square is
d5. If we go back and play 1.d4, we also control
two main squares in the centre: d4 and e5. If we go back and try to play something like
1.e3, we need to see why this is a worse move than 1.e4. Now you can see that with 1.e3, we only control
basically one square in the centre, d4. We can also see that this bishop on c1 will
be very difficult to play on some of the squares like g5 because the e3-pawn does not allow
him to take advantage of this g5-square. So you can see that 1.e4 or 1.d4 are two main
ideas to start the chess game. So let’s see what happens if we play 1.e4. What do you think can be the best answer for
Black? And also if we go with some logic, you’ll
be able to see that if White wants to control the centre, Black is the side who does not
allow him to do so. And if White plays 1.e4, the very best move
for Black will be 1…e5. Playing e5 stops the advancing of moving the
e4-pawn further, and also try to take the control of two squares in the centre. Now we can tell that Black controls e5 and
d4 squares. If we can also play something besides 1…e5,
we may play something like 1…e6. With this move, Black also does not also want
to control the centre and with pawn on e6, he only controls the d5-square. So eventually, the c8-bishop, like White’s
bishop on c1, will not be able to play on this diagonal that easily because the e6-pawn
does not allow it do so. After 1…e5, position in the centre is very
equal. Like we said, Black control two squares and
White also controls two squares. Now we go to second half of our journey today. 🙂 This is the VALUE of the piece. Value of the piece is very controlled and
it’s very important even during the beginning of the game. Why is it so? Let’s see what we can tell about this g1-knight. This g1-knight can now go to h3, f3 or e2. So we can tell that this knight now only can
go to three squares. 2.Nf3 is a very good move because White also
fights for the advantage and for the initiative in the centre because he mainly attack two
squares in the centre. First, this pawn on e5 and also White controls
the d4-square for something like advancing the d-pawn later. If we speak about the value of the position,
when our knight is on g1, it only controls mainly three squares. Now when we play 2.Nf3, we can see that it
controls much more squares than when it was on g1. By developing the knight, we can tell that
we are better and that this knight goes onto the better square and control much more squares
in the centre and also in some other places (g5 and h4). We can see that the f3-knight controls eight
squares. They are g1, e1, d2, d4, e5, g5, and h4. So this knight now controls eight squares
and is much, much more powerful than the knight from g1. Now Black also needs to do something about
his position because now White would push the pawn in the centre and with second move
Nf3, he wants to control the centre later on. The best move for Black is 2…Nc6. Similar to f3-knight, c6-knight before goes
to c6, control only two squares. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3, now we can see that this knight
from b8 controls only two squares, a6 and c6. When we put our knight to c6, we not only
control this e5-square, but we also several other squares: b4, a5, a7, b8, d8, e7, e5
and d4. This knight is now, similar to f3-knight,
developed and he controls much more squares on the board. We can now go further and try to see how we
can now try to take the initiative with White. Which squares do we need to attack and how
can we do so? Now we have one move. We can try to take the initiative in the centre
by playing 3.Bb5, we can indirectly want to take the e5-pawn. Why so? Because the c6-knight which supports the e5-pawn
is now attacked and needs to be protected or this pawn on e5 will fall and White will
establish clear advantage in the centre. Now let’s go back and see what happens with
first move 1.d4. Similar to 1.e4, Black played 1…e5 and tried
to take the control in centre. Here, Black can play 1…d5 and mainly, he
also controls two major squares in the centre. This fight for the central squares can now
go in the similar pattern, but a little bit different than the play with 1.e4. Here, White is able to play 2.c4. With this move, White also plays for the attack
in the centre. Here with c4, we can see that he also attack
the pawn on d5. Now if Black takes this c4-pawn, we can see
that White with very next move 3.e4, can basically control every square in the centre. Now White seize a very big initiative and
has covered all four squares in the centre of the chessboard. So the c4 move is very, very powerful and
the best way for Black to play, and try to hold on in this game, and try to be very,
very good in the centre, he needs to protect this pawn on d5. He can do this in two separate ways but the
best way is to protect this pawn with the pawn. Why so? Let’s see what happens if Black tries to protect
this pawn with Nf6. Now after taking this pawn, and Black taking
this pawn, next move can be e4 and we now, can see that this d5-knight is attacked, it
cannot be protected and he need to go away from this central square d5. After Nb6, we also can see that our two pawns
can control all four squares in the centre of the board and we can tell that White seize
a very big initiative in the centre. So let’s go back and see how Black can protect
his position. First, he can play something like move 2…e6. This pawn on e6, controls d5-square and does
not allow White to take very serious advantage in the centre. If now, let’s say, White takes on d5, after
exd5, we have very symmetrical position in the centre. And our pawn on d5 controls two squares: c4
and e4. White does not want to allow Black to control
the centre so easily and that’s why, he also wants to bring his first piece into play. 3.Nc3 is a very good move because not only
developing the knight, he also tries to expose the threat in the centre by taking cxd5 later. Now we can see that pawn on c4 and c3-knight
try to seize the initiative in the centre. Like in the first advise, we can also try
to do something like 3…Nf6. With this knight on f6, we also control the
d5-square and does not allow White to take the initiative and to take the advantage in
the centre. We can now see that White mainly has only
one pawn in the centre and this is the d4-pawn, and only square he controls is e5. And similarly, Black’s d5-pawn controls e4-square. So White and Black are equal in the centre. And with this, we can tell that White and
Black are close to equal in this game. White has a little bit advantage because he
has more space and may be little bit more active pieces but Black score his goal and
he eventually manage to stay very confident in the centre. And this play in the centre is very equal. Now besides this play in the centre, what
we should see now is some major value of the piece. And when I say that, why and what is this? So let’s go back for the initial position
of the game and it’s very important to know the value of the piece. And see the realistic picture of who is better
and worse and to play according to this later on. Because as the game progress, value of the
piece is changing. And we can say that constant relative value
of the pieces. And by that, I mean if you look now at this
chessboard, you’ll see that the g1-knight relatively does not value much because he
only can score two squares. They are f3 and h3. But later on with development, if we put,
say this knight on c3, now this knight controls much more squares than the knight from g1. This means that we need to DEVELOP the piece
and also try to go with those pieces as quickly as we can into play and also these pieces,
as more as they play in the centre, they are more attacking, they have more control of
squares and more rooms for play later on. When you play with White, then you always
want to try to seize the initiative in the beginning of the game and that’s why you have
a little bit more squares and a little bit more rooms to play. For Black, the goal is to try to survive and
try to stay very comfortable in the centre and try to develop the pieces on the very
best squares.

## One thought on “Everything you need to know about the chess openings”

1. mischatal says:

He is misusing the word ' control ', contesting seems more accurate. 1.e4 at best can only be described as controlling d5, as ever simply hangs. Beginners should not be confused by such obvious failings. kiss ( keep it simple stupid ) is a good lesson from school.