Beginners Chess Opening TIER LIST with Hikaru and Levy | Part 1

GM Hikaru Nakamura and IM Levy Rozman use @tiermaker to rank chess openings from the point of view of a beginner (800-1300). (We will rank openings for club level players later)

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0:00 Intro
1:00 Accelerated Dragon
2:29 Advanced Caro-Kann
4:22 Nc3 g4 Ng2 var
4:30 Regular var
5:45 Advanced French
7:45 Alapin Sicilian
9:10 Alekhine’s Defense
10:26 Benko Gambit
11:35 Benoni
13:21 Berlin Defense
16:20 Bird’s Opening
16:55 Fool’s Mate Kindergarten Nationals Story
19:03 BongCloud
20:07 Budapest Gambit
21:13 Caro-Kann
23:13 Catalan
24:51 Closed Sicilian
26:28 Danish Gambit
30:04 Dragdorf
31:45 Dutch Defense
34:39 English
37:03 Englund Gambit
39:28 Evan’s Gambit

#gmhikaru #chess #gothamchess


  1. The egg on my face for playing the bird 🕊️ 🤣

  2. I wonder what they think about the Ponziani? I'm a beginner and really like it but idk

  3. 16:34 as a beginner myself, i LOVE the birds opening. Its wonderful.

  4. Ty man now iknow what to teach my students

  5. hey, as a beginner i wonder why can't we play e4-c6-e5 against caro kann ? if he goes d5 en passant and if they attack the pawn just d4

  6. Hikaru not giving a single opinion in this video

  7. at intermediate level and some tournament play i play the french and the advance is actually my favorite variation to play against as black

  8. Really useful video guys. I am 1230 rated on Rapid, without knowing openings, it's time to learn. I feel like I am a good beginner. I did learn Gioco Piano a long time ago, I kind of base everything on that, I need to know more opening now, I like Ponziani for white.

  9. as a 2700 rated player this makes me so sad 🙁

    But I unfortunately I have to agree with the decisions for a beginner player. I always play unorthodox openings, and I NEVER lay e4 or d4. but I have learned them at a professional level, so I can play them and get away with it. other beginners have to be careful with what they play until they are at a high level of rating.

  10. Why do these guys suck but I can’t stop watching them?

  11. 3:50 I just couldn't help but notice some dude suggesting the "nigerian opening" where you flood the center with promising emails 🤣

  12. Disagree re Danish. Everybody 1200 and over seems familiar with that and easily comes out with an edge in the middle game. It's just too common.

  13. Kid is never gonno play chess again 😂😂

  14. I m remember few years back on 1 of yours streaming someone asked you, what you think about Siciliana Dragon defense..? You said it's trash and that got stock in my ahead and now you said it not really…🤷‍♂️🤭👋

  15. Levi is wrong on the englund Gambit and hikaru was right

    Levi is explaining the trap but white does not fall for it its bad

    While englund in general is not bad you give a pawn for tempo

  16. I disagree abt the Tal variation. Other than that, good list

  17. I love how you said they belong in the garbage👍

  18. When I have pigs on 7th I play “Boys are back in town”

  19. You guys skipped back and forth from evaluating openings for White and then for Black, so the tiers are a bit chaotic.

  20. Cow opening should definitly be in here! :p

  21. Legendary:
    Evans Gambit
    Advanced French
    Caro Kann
    Danish Gambit

    Advanced Caro Kann (Nc3 + g4 + Nge2)

    Closed Sicilian
    Englund Gambit
    Alapin Sicilian
    Dutch Defense

    Really, bro:
    Accelerated Dragon
    Berlin Defense

    Tricks Only:
    Budapest Gambit

    Advanced Caro Kann (Regular)
    Benko Gambit
    Advanced Caro Kann (h4)
    Alekhine's Defense
    Birds Oppening

  22. Beginners need not learn any openings as in opening lines or by name. They should learn the principles of opening play and then just play. Memorising lines will not do anything for beginners. I have never seen a beginner benefit from learning one opening over another. They are all equally good at that level. A beginner wins and loses by tactics, not strategy.

  23. So, I came back here to say that one of my friend literally got mated in the same exact moves as the kid in Levy’s story. It was his first chess game playing as white too. When I see f4 I always go for From’s gambit (f4 e5) then my friend plays g3 and before thinking about how my friend would feel I (instinctively) immediately attempted to premove the mate even though premove isn’t allowed on the board. And despite see me trying to premove he still took the pawn on f4 and get mated.

  24. "No of course not" I thought that was sarcastic and then they'd tech us how to defend against it but NO. Totally serious? But said sarcastically? Huh? Very confused rn ngl (Regarding the danish gambit)

  25. D4:
    31:35 Dutch Defense for ( Legit ? Tier 3 )
    37:03 Englund ( Legit 2nd Runner Up / Legit 3 )

  26. I am stuck in 1300 elo i practice daily but stuck in same rating how to improve

  27. I used to play alekhine's just cause it was funny, when I won it would be cause I went pawn up and grinded it down to an endgame but when i lost it was cause i got smothered. Learning the sicilian properly for both sides is the most valuable time you can spend learning openings as you see it from white and black very often.

  28. lol i have a 60 percent win rate in the Birds. i like the shapes i get and have beaten 1950 with it. i NEVER see theoretical lines from my opponents and its also the way i can tell if they are cheating online Neimann style. i won with the Barnes yesterday agaiinst a 1600 . ill do what i want., i like to think and when i ponder theory too much it doesnt work. thanks guys but ill do what i want when i want. that said id never do it regularly against a sound patient player or Pia. MORE important is to know your opponents tendencies. and be ULTRA sound in tactics . that is achievable . to know when to do it AND to know when its being done to you. a sense of danger. LETS not over emphasize openings and teach us middle game and defense strategies. and end games. WHY is the opening so over emphasized at the cost of learnin to think in chess. thats where i need help.

  29. After reviewing this video I played the closed silcilian opening and absolutely destroyed my opponent thanks for the content

  30. ..all things considered i must admit your Tier List absolutelly su cks. maybe for "teachers and GMs" it is "fine" but I can tell you your approach is too robust. Chess is a flexible game!

  31. 7:00 Danya says the french is meme tier at this point, id love to hear your response to that

  32. I was supposed to meet with my girlfriend. But I saw you uploaded. So she has to wait.

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