Best Chess Openings for Beginners

chess openings for beginners

Did you start playing chess just a little while ago? Are you looking for good chess openings for beginners like you that are easy-to-learn and not too complicated to play? We’ve got you covered! In this article you will find 3 great chess openings to play with White, and 3 great openings to play with Black. Ready? Because the ride is about to start.

Chess Openings for Beginners – White

To start with, let’s review three good chess openings to play with White.

Italian Game

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4

The Italian Game is probably the most beginner-friendly chess opening out there.

Even though it is a highly tactical opening, when you play the Italian you only have 2 or 3 main lines to learn, which makes it a very accessible opening.

The most played Italian Opening line goes like this:

1.e4 e5 

One of the most played chess openings in the world. Both sides occupy the center with their e pawns.

2.Nf3 Nc6

White threatens with taking the pawn, and Black defends. 

3.Bc4 Bc5

Natural development of both Bishops to the center of the board.

4.c3 Nf6 

Quiet move by White, preparing to play d4 later. Black keeps developing their pieces.

5.d3 d6 

Another waiting move by White that supports the pawn on e4. The move 5…d6 by Black frees the light-squared Bishop.

6.O-O

White finishes the first part of the opening with a short castle that puts the King in a safe spot.

London System

1.d5 d5 2.Bf4

The London System is another extremely easy-to-play chess opening for beginners because the player with White can pretty much play the same structure over and over again with good results.

Let’s take a look at the main line of the London System:

1.d4 d5 

2.Bf4 Nf6 

The deciding move for the London System is already in place: Bf4! 

3.e3 c5 

The move e3 opens up the diagonal for the light-squares Bishop, and Black decides to strike out in the center immediately with …c5.

4.c3 Nc6 

With c3, White supports the pawn on d4. Black keeps developing pieces.

5.Nd2 Bf5 

Black has decided to play a mirror move with …Bf5.

6.Ngf3 e6

The first moves of the London System have already been played. 

As we said earlier, White can play this same system against almost anything that Black decides to play, and there lies the true beauty of this chess opening, ideal for beginners.

King’s Indian Attack

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 

The King’s Indian Attack is another example of a chess opening for beginners that can be played vs virtually everything your opponents decide to do.

1.Nf3 Nf6 

The move Nf3 is very flexible because it allows White to play a whole range of openings. In this case, we will play the King’s Indian Attack.

2.g3 d5 

Now it is very apparent that White intentions are to play the KIA.

3.Bg2 c6 

White prepares to castle, Black supports the pawn on d5.

4.O-O Bg4 

Before it’s too late, Black frees their light-squared Bishop.

5.d3 Nbd7 

d3 and later Nbd2 are typical supporting moves in the King’s Indian Attack.

6.Nbd2 e5 

White keeps developing and Black strikes out in the center.

7.e4

To avoid …e5, White plays e4.

Chess Openings for Beginners – Black

Now let’s review some of the best chess openings for beginners when playing with Black.

Scandinavian Defense

1.e4 d5

In the Scandinavian Defense, Black decides to immediately challenge the center with 1…d5, threatening White’s pawn on e4.

This is a great chess opening for beginners because it forces the other player to come out of their comfort zone and play an opening that they are probably not used to play.

After that, play usually continues with 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa4.

Even though Black breaks the golden rule of not moving the Queen in the opening, there is absolutely no problem because after 4.d4 c6 and 5.Bd2, the Queen can simply move to c7 or d8 and everything will be fine, with an equal position.

Petroff Defense

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6.

In the Petroff, Black mirrors White moves in the first moments of the game.

3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4

This is an easy opening to learn and it’s great to play if you are trying to have a quiet game instead of an eruptive one.

Slav Defense

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6

The Slav Defense is one of the best choices against the Queen’s Gambit.

It’s solid, it’s reliable, and you will make it really hard for White to actually get an advantage against you. 

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