"Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast." -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

Opening Tips

OPENING TIPS:

1. Get your pieces out into the centre quickly. The opening is a race to see who can get their pieces out first while keeping at least a share of control of the centre. * This is the main point to remember; all the other rules are just footnotes to this one

OPENING TIPS:

2. More detail on winning the race:

  • Move pieces not pawns, and
  • move them to their best squares in one move if you can, and also
  • try to gain time if you can by aggressive moves.
OPENING TIPS:

3. Move minor pieces out first, not your Q or RRs which can be attacked and lose time

OPENING TIPS:

4. Get a firm foothold in the centre and don't give it up

OPENING TIPS:

5. Generally move Knights straightaway to f3/c3 or f6/c6

OPENING TIPS:

6. Move your king to safety at the side by castling King's-side (which also gets your Rook into play)

OPENING TIPS:

7. Complete your development before moving a piece twice or starting an attack

OPENING TIPS:

8. Keep your queen safe

OPENING TIPS:

9. Don't grab pawns or attack if you haven't completed development

OPENING TIPS:

10. What to do if there is a lead in development: * If you are ahead in development, start something going and open up lines for your better pieces * If you are behind in development, don't start anything and keep things closed until you have caught up

OPENING TIPS:

(Lasker) 1. Do not move any pawns in the opening of a game but the King and Queen pawns.

OPENING TIPS:

(Lasker) 2. Do not move any piece twice in the opening, but put it at once on the right square.

OPENING TIPS:

(Lasker) 3. Bring out your knights before developing your bishops, especially the Queen's Bishop.

OPENING TIPS:

(Lasker) 4. Do not pin the adverse King Knight (ie. by Bg5) before your opponent has castled.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 1. In the initial position White, because of the extra move, has a slight advantage. Consequently...

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 2. White's problem in the opening is to secure the better position, while...

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 3. Black's problem is to secure equality.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine)

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 1. Open with either the e-pawn or the d-pawn.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 2. Wherever possible, make a good developing move which threatens something or adds to the pressure on the centre.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 3. Develop knights before bishops.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 4. Pick the most suitable square for a piece and develop it there once and for all.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 5. Make one or two pawn moves in the opening, not more.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 6. Do not bring your queen out too early.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 7. Castle as soon as possible, preferably on the king's side.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 8. Play to get control of the centre.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 9. Always try to maintain at least one pawn in the centre.

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) 10. Do not sacrifice without a clear and adequate reason, eg.: <br>* it secures a tangible advantage in development <br>* it deflects the opponent's queen <br>* it prevents the opponent from castling <br>* it enables a strong attack to be developed

OPENING TIPS:

(Fine) Fine's two last questions to be asked before a move is made: * How does it affect the centre? * How does it fit in with the development of my other pieces and pawns?

OPENING TIPS:

(Nimzowitsch) 1. Development is to be understood as the strategic advance of the troops toward the frontier line (the line between the fourth and fifth ranks).

OPENING TIPS:

(Nimzowitsch) 2. A pawn move must not in itself be regarded as a devloping move, but merely as an aid to development.

OPENING TIPS:

(Nimzowitsch) 3. To be ahead in development is the ideal to be aimed for.

OPENING TIPS:

(Nimzowitsch) 4. Exchange with resulting gain of tempo.

OPENING TIPS:

(Nimzowitsch) 5. Liquidation, with consequent development or disembarrassment.

OPENING TIPS:

(Nimzowitsch) 6. The pawn centre must be mobile.

OPENING TIPS:

(Nimzowitsch) 7. There is no time for pawn hunting in the opening, except for centre pawns.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 2. Take advantage of every move.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 3. Do not make pawn moves without careful planning.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 4. Begin the game with a centre pawn, and develop the minor pieces so that they influence the centre.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 5. Develop flexibly!

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 6. Develop harmoniously! Play with all your pieces

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 7. Do not make aimless moves. Each move must be part of a definite plan.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 8. Do not be eager for material gain. The fight for time is much more important than the fight for material, especially in open positions.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 9. A weakening of your own pawns may be accepted only if it is compensated by a more active placement of your pieces.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 10. With the help of your pawns, try to get an advantage in space and weaken your opponent's pawn position.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 11. Do not obstruct your pawns by grouping your pieces directly in front of them; pawns and pieces must work together.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 12. During the first few moves, pay special attention to the vulnerable KB2 square on both sides.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 13. Remember that the poor placement of even a single piece may destroy the coordination of the other pieces.

OPENING TIPS:

(Hort) 14. With White, exploit the advantage of having the first move and try to gain the initiative. With Black, try to organize counterplay. This last point is worth particular attention, for, although it contains much wisdom, it is not always applied in current tournament practice. Unfortunately, we belong to a time when White usually tries to gain only a minimal advantage, because to try for more entails the taking of risks. Black, having no sure method of developing counterplay without risk, usually tries to minimise White's attacking possibilities. The game thus proceeds towards an endgame in which neither side has real winning chances."

OPENING TIPS:

Portisch on forming a repertoire: "Your only task in the opening is to reach a playable middlegame."

OPENING TIPS:

"...To all players I can recommend the following: simplicity and economy. These are the characteristics of the opening systems of many great masters... A solid opening repertoire fosters self-confidence." -- LAJOS PORTISCH