The importance of opening sequences in chess
Chess is a fluid game where every move is very important, and a story in and of itself. But roughly speaking, every chess game can be divided into three important phases – the opening phase, the middle game phase, and the end game phase. Of course, you know by now that all three phases of the chess game are very important, and if you wish to get good and proficient at chess, you will need to study all of them. How you deal with every phase will decide how your chess game will end.
But what makes the opening phase so important? This is the phase of chess that’s composed of the first few moves that each player makes while playing the game. If you don’t know how to play, then you may make some nonsense moves like advancing your far side pawns with the intention to get the rooks out. We mention this scenario because that’s exactly what the author of this article was doing at the start of his chess career. But this is a wrong sequence of moves – non-efficient, non-effective, and it leaves you at a very bad position when you face your opponent. The entire game will be coloured by your blunder that you have made in the opening, and no matter how good you are at middle game and endgame – the opponent will still be able to dominate you in the entire game after your opening blunders.
So, what do you do? Modern chess theory holds that the smartest thing to do would be to fight for the centre, while developing your pieces at the same time. One of the most classical opening moves is to move the pawn above your king, two squares vertically. In this way, you stand your ground in the middle of the chess board, and you open up the potential movement of your queen or kingside bishop. Then, depending on what your opponent plays, you may put the queen pawn at the centre, further cementing your hold on the centre of the table. Then you may start developing you knights and bishops then – all towards the centre of the board. Of course, there’s the so-called fianchetto opening, where you develop your bishops near the end of the table. This too is a sound strategy – but if you’re a complete beginner then you may want to opt for something along the lines of the Italian opening, or the so-called Ruy Lopez opening, where you go towards the middle.
Of course, there are dozens, if not hundreds of different opening sequences, all different from one another in their strengths and weaknesses. What you need to figure out for yourself is what kind of chess player you are. Are you an attacking player? Or you prefer to defend yourself until your opponent blunders and then lets you move in for the kill? Depending on your style, different opening sequences will suit you differently. Study as much as you can of them, and implement what you find useful – and you will see that your chess skill improves significantly as a result of this.