Chess Opening Moves
first 10-15 moves are said to constitute the "opening" phase of the
game. Next comes the "middlegame" and eventually the "endgame", when
only few pieces are left on the board. Of course a game may end
prematurely, for example due to a big blunder in the opening.
This is the most basic principle that applies in the opening. A piece
is developed when it is moved from its initial position to another. As a
result, its mobility is increased, as does the number of squares it now
controls. It may threaten some enemy piece as well, which puts some
pressure on the opponent. Before any plan can be put to work,
development has to be completed. Failure to complete the development
will almost certainly lead to a passive position with bad prospects.
This is also very important, since most tactical battles take place
in the center. A centralized piece is definitely very well placed since
it controls many squares and can exert pressure. Pawn moves usually help
control the center. This is why central pawn moves are preferred to side
pawn moves. Control of the center may also be assisted by normal piece
development. For example, developing the Kg1 to f3 gives control to the
central squares d4 and e5.
Castling should seldom be postponed. Castling increases the king's
safety and also helps the rook develop. There are rare cases in which
one should consider to not castle at all. Short castling is normally
much safer. Failure to castle may give the opponent an opportunity to
attack the king directly or indirectly; in each case defensive problems
You should try to mentally formulate a simple plan, then also try to
follow it. The plan should give a general idea of where the pieces are
going to develop and what pawn moves are intended. Move order is also
important and should be examined as well. Generally speaking, pawn moves
are made first (to gain control of the center), knight moves come next
(because they have few possible squares to develop) and then bishop
moves (because bishops can be developed on several possible squares one
may be uncertain which one is best). Castling should be done early, if
possible, and finally development of the heavy pieces can also be done.
Early queen moves are not recommended, for the opponent may take
advantage by threatening the queen while developing his own pieces.
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