Learn to Play Chess Openings: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

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Welcome to the ultimate beginner’s guide to chess openings! In this guide, we will explore the fundamental chess opening principles that will help you establish a strong foundation in chess openings. By understanding these principles, you can gain an advantage over your opponents right from the start.

In this video lesson, we will discuss key concepts such as controlling the center, developing your pieces quickly, castling your king early, seizing the initiative, and understanding your opponent’s moves.

Chess openings lay the foundation for a successful game. By adhering to these fundamental chess opening principles, you can enhance your chess skills and gain an advantage over your opponents.

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► Chapters

00:00 How to Play Chess Openings (Beginner’s Guide)
00:13 1st Rule: Control the center
00:24 Eg-1: Why control the center?
02:18 Eg-2: Importance of the center
04:20 Eg-3: When you don’t control the center
06:21 Eg-4: Queen’s Gambit Accepted (giving up center)
09:01 2nd Rule: Develop (minor) pieces quickly
09:14 Eg-1: Not developing minor pieces
11:15 GREAT NEWS!
11:58 Eg-2: Pawn sacrifice for a quick development
13:57 Puzzle of the day: Find the best move
14:07 Eg-3: Gambit style for a quick development
15:44 3rd Rule: Castle your king early (in 5-10 moves)
15:53 Eg-1: When you don’t castle early
17:28 Eg-2: Preventing your opponents from castling
18:04 Tip: Do not overeat pawns in chess
19:44 Eg-3: Cons of delaying castling
21:25 4th Rule: Seize the initiative
21:41 Eg-1: Creating little threats along the way
23:30 People crack under pressure
24:28 Eg-2: Seizing the initiative early in the opening
26:26 5th Rule: Ask “Why they played this move?”
27:20 Eg-2: Thinking about your opponent’s plans
28:02 Eg-3: Do not react quickly to your opponent’s moves
28:43 Summary of chess opening crash course

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87 Comments

  1. I would say: Na2+ if he takes with the knight Nb3#, if he takes with the rook the same

  2. @13:59 mate in two, the best move 4 white should be
    Kxa2 check – Rxa2
    Kb3 checkmate

  3. Nd3+ > BxNd3 > NxBd3+ > King Moves > Discovered attack and pick up the rook. if they don't take, they still lose a rook.

  4. 19:34 "And there is no way for black to defend it…[the checkmate]". How about Ka6, which defends the pawn. The queen is still pinned or rook is dead. Checkmate averted.

  5. The Queen Gambit example shows why I avoid this opening as black 🙂

  6. thank you Igor, for all your work and free content

  7. GM Smirnov, can we play opening using this opening principles without following famous opening method like gambits and traps?

  8. Anna Cramling's cow opening would not like this video

  9. Thanks a lot teacher Igor. Your videos and explanations are great even for non English speakers.

  10. 15:50 – "You want to castle in the first five moves, or at least the first 10 moves."
    Meanwhile, GM Igor Smirnov also teaches us the London. There were games I have seen that – at least felt like – castling didn't happen, or happened near the end of the game as an attacking move to connect the rooks on the King side.

  11. Κωνσταντίνος Δαφνομήλης says:

    Igor, for me you are the best chess teacher. God be with you.

  12. ► Chapters

    00:00 How to Play Chess Openings (Beginner's Guide)

    00:13 1st Rule: Control the center

    00:24 Eg-1: Why control the center?

    02:18 Eg-2: Importance of the center

    04:20 Eg-3: When you don't control the center

    06:21 Eg-4: Queen's Gambit Accepted (giving up center)

    09:01 2nd Rule: Develop (minor) pieces quickly

    09:14 Eg-1: Not developing minor pieces

    11:15 GREAT NEWS!

    11:58 Eg-2: Pawn sacrifice for a quick development

    13:57 Puzzle of the day: Find the best move

    14:07 Eg-3: Gambit style for a quick development

    15:44 3rd Rule: Castle your king early (in 5-10 moves)

    15:53 Eg-1: When you don't castle early

    17:28 Eg-2: Preventing your opponents from castling

    18:04 Tip: Do not overeat pawns in chess

    19:44 Eg-3: Cons of delaying castling

    21:25 4th Rule: Seize the initiative

    21:41 Eg-1: Creating little threats along the way

    23:30 People crack under pressure

    24:28 Eg-2: Seizing the initiative early in the opening

    26:26 5th Rule: Ask "Why they played this move?"

    27:20 Eg-2: Thinking about your opponent's plans

    28:02 Eg-3: Do not react quickly to your opponent's moves

    28:43 Summary of chess opening crash course

  13. This is a very good choice for a video GM Smirnov. I have learned some openings, but I am certain this will help me in them and expand my repertoire.

  14. Knight takes pawn A2, (Check and forced to trade) then followed by knight to B3 mate 🎉

  15. Puzzle:
    Nxa2 and after white is forced to recapture there comes Nb3#

  16. GM Igor Smirnov you have the knack of putting out the exact video I need every time. I have won many games with your strategies and ways of thinking about chess. And I play almost every day.

  17. Of all the chess streamers, these are simply the most clear and concise lessons! Thank you GM Smirnov!

  18. I'm an intermediate level chess player (~1200) and this is still good stuff.

  19. I'd love to say that I'm above this video but here we are! Lol 😭

  20. Isn't it a bit risky to castle too early though? I mean, if I castle too early, my opponent might relocate all his pieces to attack the side on which my king is castled, and if we both haven't already our development, he might develop differently to attack faster (for example, if I castle kingside, he might fianchetto his queenside bishop instead of moving it out through the centre). Unless I already have a ready attack right after castling, this might actually backfire; so I want to ask, how early is too early?

  21. Black to move, Knight takes A2 check, white Rook takes Knight, Knight to B3 check mate

  22. the video we've been waiting for… and for free?! stonks.

  23. wow love this🤩🤩 was about to quit chess but his vdieo changed my mind thanks a ton!🤗🤗

  24. Puzzle: people are talking about the knight when bishop is in threat,
    Move is Bd3 3x protection & if white takes lock your knight with the capture of his bishop b4k takes back

  25. Your videos are consistently excellent. Thank you!

  26. My guess is
    … Nxa2+
    and after its capture,
    … Nb3 ++
    Igor, your tutorials are first-cless. Thank you.

  27. All good principles, albeit sometimes in conflict with each other (acknowledged in the Rousseau Gambit example, but also the case in the King's Bishop's Gambit example since White forfeits the right to castle in return for other advantages). A couple of others I picked up from the books I learned chess from:

    In Al Horowitz's Chess for Beginners he recommends most of your points. He also recommends playing 1. e4 as White and 1. … e5 as Black if White has played 1. e4 (he doesn't say what to do as Black if White does something else). He reckons that you learn the principles of development more quickly in king pawn openings. For the rank beginner I'm inclined to agree, though soon enough players will figure out that playing something else can really mess with your opponent.

    There was a little booklet called Chess for the Beginner (probably originally published in the early 20th century based on the notation used; author uncertain since I no longer have it). In that book the author recommends that you develop your knights before their respective bishops (I think Horowitz also recommends this) but also that you develop both knights before developing your queen's bishop. Makes sense, because it puts priority on developing the kingside and castling quickly.

    Another one from that latter book was "never pin your opponent's king's knight before they have castled, particularly if you yourself have already castled on the kingside". No explanation is given but this is probably also a good principle for the beginner, since it has the potential to expose you to a dangerous attack on your castled king.

  28. GM Igor! How do I get a photographic memory??

  29. I am a strong intermediate player and even these tips help me a lot! Sometimes, I just dont follow the principals. Thank you❤

  30. answer to the puzzle: knight d3 sacrifice the first knight check. white can only take with bishop, or king d1. if bishop takes knight, then other knight d3 check again. forcing king d1 or king d2 doesn't matter which.. knight f2 reveals rook check along d file. king has to move, followed by knight takes rook.

    still works if bishop doesnt take first knight. because king still has to move to D file giving the revealed check when knight takes f2 revealing the rook check and attacking the h1 bishop

  31. Openings are easy to teach and easier to learn but not middle and endgames!

  32. Puzzle Answer: Nxa2+, Rxa2,Nb3#. 2nd variation: Nxa2+, Nxa2, Nb3#.

  33. hey igor can u do vids on basic openings itd be fun to watch u already cover on how to play against classic openings and traps etc but id really love to watch a vid on carokan it could be a 30-45 min vid

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