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The 25 Best Chess Openings For Beginners

Written By Light

Last updated May 24, 2023

The 25 Best Chess Openings For Beginners

by | Board Games, Chess, Games | 0 comments

The opening of a chess game is a critical phase. It sets the tone for the rest of the game, and a good opening can give you a significant advantage. This post will explore 25 of the best chess openings for beginners, explaining what they are and why they are beneficial.

1. King’s Pawn Opening

This opening, also known as the “e4 opening,” is the most popular opening move in chess. It allows for quick development of the queen and bishop and lays the groundwork for castling on the king’s side.

2. Sicilian Defense

In response to the King’s Pawn Opening, the Sicilian Defense (1.e4 c5) is a powerful defensive strategy that aims to control the center with pawns and prepare for a counterattack.

3. French Defense

The French Defense (1.e4 e6) is a solid and somewhat passive opening that focuses on building a strong pawn structure. It’s best for players who like to counterattack in the midgame.

4. Caro-Kann Defense

Caro-Kann Defense (1.e4 c6) aims for a solid pawn structure. It’s a bit more flexible than the French Defense and offers several lines that lead to various types of positions, giving players plenty of strategic options.

5. Ruy Lopez

Ruy Lopez is an aggressive opening that directly targets the knight that is defending the e5 pawn. This opening aims for quick development and control of the center, often leading to a very tactical game.

6. Italian Game

The Italian Game begins with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4. The main idea is to control the center quickly with your knight and bishop and then castle to safety.

7. Queen’s Pawn Opening

Queen’s Pawn Opening (1.d4) focuses less on early king safety and more on controlling the center of the board. It’s a versatile opening that can lead to many different types of game positions.

8. King’s Indian Defense

In the King’s Indian Defense, black lets white control the center with pawns, while developing the knight and bishop and preparing to undermine white’s center control.

9. Nimzo-Indian Defense

The Nimzo-Indian Defense begins with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4. Black aims to control the e4 square and encourages white to create weaknesses that black can attack later.

10. Queen’s Gambit Declined

Queen’s Gambit Declined is a very solid opening that aims to control the center and give black the potential to launch a counterattack.

11. English Opening

The English Opening is a flexible and strong choice that focuses on controlling the center with pawns. It often transposes into other openings, such as the Queen’s Gambit Declined.

12. Scandinavian Defense

Scandinavian Defense begins with 1.e4 d5, immediately challenging white’s control of the center. After white captures the pawn, black can recapture it with the queen.

13. Pirc Defense

Pirc Defense allows white to establish a large pawn center. Black then aims to challenge this center with pawn moves and piece pressure.

14. Slav Defense

The Slav Defense is a solid opening that allows black to maintain the integrity of its pawn structure while developing its minor pieces.

15. London System

The London System is a safe and solid opening, where white aims to control the center with pawns and avoid any tactical complications.

16. King’s Indian Attack

King’s Indian Attack is a highly aggressive opening system, often used against the French Defense. It’s flexible and allows for many different lines of play.

17. Grunfeld Defense

Grunfeld Defense is a hypermodern opening where black allows white to build a big pawn center and then aims to undermine it using tactical piece play.

18. Alekhine’s Defense

Alekhine’s Defense is a provocative opening where black tempts white to overextend their pawn structure early in the game.

19. Modern Defense

Modern Defense focuses on allowing white to control the center while preparing for a counterattack. It often leads to asymmetrical and dynamic positions.

20. Dutch Defense

Dutch Defense is a hypermodern opening that can lead to very sharp play. The main focus is to control the e4 square without committing the pawn to e6.

21. Benoni Defense

Benoni Defense is a risky opening that often leads to sharp and highly tactical positions. The main aim is to disrupt white’s control of the center and push for a queenside majority.

22. Nimzowitsch Defense

Nimzowitsch Defense is a less common but still viable hypermodern opening that focuses on control of the center with pieces rather than pawns.

23. Hungarian Defense

Hungarian Defense is a solid but somewhat passive opening that emphasizes development and king safety over immediate confrontation.

24. Scandinavian Gambit

Scandinavian Gambit starts as the Scandinavian Defense, but instead of recapturing the pawn immediately, black develops a knight to increase piece activity at the cost of a pawn.

25. King’s Gambit

Finally, the King’s Gambit is an aggressive opening that sacrifices a pawn early in the game for rapid development and an attack on the black’s position.


These are some of the best chess openings for beginners. However, the key to a successful opening is understanding the principles that underlie it: control of the center, rapid development, and safety of the king. Remember, the best opening is the one that suits your style of play and that you understand well.

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