The Ruy Lopez Opening: How to Play It as White and Black

Ruy Lopez Opening

Introduction to the Ruy Lopez The Ruy Lopez, also known as the Spanish Game, is one of oldest documented openings in chess – and amazingly, still one of the most popular and powerful to this day. Dating back to at least the late 1400s, the seemingly endless supply of rich, interesting positions have made the […]

The Ultimate 1.d4 Chess Opening Guide

A 1.d4 opening, or queen's pawn opening to a chess game.

Tl:dr: A whirlwind tour through the 1.d4 opening universe, covering common systems and responses, the concepts you need to know, helpful resources to optimize your study, and an immortal 1.d4 game to inspire you to queen’s pawn opening greatness. Introduction: The Ultimate 1.d4 Opening Guide There are some choices you have to make in this […]

Essential Chess Opening Principles for Absolute Beginners

Essential Chess Opening Principles for Chess Beginners Principles for Chess B

We get it. Chess can be tough, especially as a beginner. Lost in a sea of potential decisions, crushing doubts, and with no guiding light to show the way, many chess beginners end up randomly moving pawns and getting stuck in a losing position within the first few moves. Maybe you’ve come here after a […]

How to Learn a Chess Opening Properly

Minority Attack

Studying chess is certainly time-consuming. In addition to studying strategic concepts and practicing your tactical skills, there are some positions and sequences that you simply have to memorize, such as certain checkmate patterns and endgame techniques. But nowhere is this more relevant than the opening. Why memorize openings? Well, I am not advocating for wrote […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Philidor Defense

What is the Philidor Defense? The Philidor Defense arises after the moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 Black reacts to the threat against the e-pawn by defending it with another pawn. The Philidor Defense has a reputation of being solid but passive for Black. This is partly because Black’s dark squared bishop is locked in on […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Sicilian Dragon

What is the Sicilian Dragon? The Sicilian Dragon is one of the sharpest and most popular of all variations of the Sicilian Defense. Amongst its practitioners throughout history, there are illustrious names like Bent Larsen, Anthony Miles, and Kiril Georgiev. In recent times GMs Vladimir Malakhov and Gawain Jones have been some of its most […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Bogo-Indian Defense

Bogo-Indian Defense

What is the Bogo-Indian Defense? The Bogo-Indian Defense is a opening for Black to meet 1.d4 2.c4 3.Nf3, which arises after the moves: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ The Bogo-Indian Defense If White had played 3.Nc3 then 3…Bb4 would have been the Nimzo-Indian Defense, which we covered earlier in the series. A lot of players […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Nimzo-Larsen Attack

What is the Nimzo-Larsen Attack? The Nimzo-Larsen Attack starts with the unassuming little move, 1.b3. It also know as The Larsen Attack, The Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack, the short 1.b3 and sometimes even the descriptive Queen’s Fianchetto Opening. White does indeed intend to fianchetto the queen’s bishop and this piece will be extremely relevant in the vast majority of […]

Chess Opening Basics: The King’s Indian Attack

What is the King’s Indian Attack? The King’s Indian Attack (sometimes shortened to ‘KIA’ in chess literature) is an opening for White in which the first player utilises a popular black defense, but with an extra move. The King’s Indian Defense typically arises after the moves: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 The […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Classical Sicilian

What is the Classical Sicilian? The Classical Sicilian arises after the moves: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 It is also possible to switch the moves around with 2…Nc6 and 5…d6. The Classical Sicilian As the name suggests, Black wants to develop the minor pieces in classical fashion rather than spend […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Scotch Game

What is the Scotch Game? The Scotch Game is an alternative for White instead of the Ruy Lopez (or Spanish Game) or the Italian Game. The Scotch Game arises after: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4   The Scotch Game A Short History of the Scotch Game 3.Bb5 would be the Ruy Lopez and 3.Bc4 leads […]

Chess Opening Basics: The Pirc Defense

What is the Pirc Defense? The Pirc Defense is an opening for Black against 1.e4, in which the second player allows White to build a strong centre in the hope of breaking it down later. Black has to accept a spatial inferiority, at least in the initial phase of the game, but the position holds […]