Chess has been one of the most popular strategy board games for over a millennium. Since 1873, international championships have been held worldwide, with chess becoming classified as a sport. Despite the global popularity of the game, breaking into the top level of chess is no easy feat.
There are currently over 1700 people who have become chess grandmaster since the title became available in 1950. While these players are the best of the best, there are still numerous people aiming to achieve their own success within the game. To become good at chess, however, you must be able to play a strong opening, avoiding classic traps that players having been setting for centuries.
While there are hundreds of different chess openings out there, there are some which offer much greater success to players, giving more advantageous positions and allowing for greater exchanges. Whether it be to use them in catching your opponent off guard or to avoid falling into catastrophic and embarrassing traps, these are ten openings you should memorise to get a good footing in the game of chess.
10. Fool's Mate
The two-move checkmate is a speedy victory for black,
resulting in a rather embarrassing defeat for white. For this, white must open
by moving the pawn on F2; whether the pawn is moved to F3 or F4 makes no difference.
Black then responds by moving the pawn on E7, again either to E6 or to E5. This
opens up the black queen, giving her the ability to strike.
If white then moves the pawn on G2 to G4, they have sealed their fate. Black can simply move their queen from its starting position on D8 to H4, giving check along the diagonal to the white king. From this position, the black queen cannot be taken or blocked by any of whites pieces, with the white king completely pinned in. This variation can also happen if white opens with pawn to G4, and then plays pawn to F3 or F4 on their second turn; black, however, must open with pawn to E6 or E5.
Knowing the details of fool’s mate is essential, whether you are playing as white or black. Being able to identify whites mistake can lead to a quick and easy victory for the black player. As white, knowing the failings of this opening can save you from an embarrassing loss.