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As the game developed, through the centuries, players and

students of chess have developed several basic principles chess


opening. These principles were developed with the aim of
achieving certain specific strategic goals.

It is of utmost importance that chess players keep these principles


in mind if they want to succeed in chess. Most standard book
openings justify their moves according to these principles. So in
addition to being a necessary component of success, these
principles help us to understand the logic behind the openings and
thus to fully appreciate and enjoy the games played by chess
masters at tournaments.

Generally speaking the main strategic goals aimed at during the


opening are; gaining control of the central squares, effective and
quick development of chess pieces, creation of a strong pawn
structure without unnecessary weakening of the pawns, and
ensuring the safety of the King. Some students of the game point
out that broad opening aims of two sides can be slightly different;
White aims to consolidate and augment the first move advantage,
while Black will aims to even out that advantage.

We will now look at each of the aims.

Pieces placed on the central squares of the board (e4, e5, d4, and
d5) can control and target larger number of squares than pieces
placed elsewhere. They also confer high mobility to pieces placed
there. In addition centrally placed pieces will cramp the mobility of
the opponent. Due to these reasons players should take control of
the center and while making room for their own pieces prevent
opposing pieces from doing the same. In most openings this is
done by advancing the central e and f pawns. Usually creating a
pawn center by placing pawns on e4 and d4 (or e5 and d5 by
Black) will allow the player to dictate how the game will proceed.
However it is important that such a pawn center be adequately
defended to gain the full benefit. The player who cannot establish
such a center must try to undermine it. In some of the modern
openings Black aims create such undermining threats to the
center from the first, instead of trying to establish or prevent a
pawn center as in more classical openings.

Quick and effective development of chess pieces to their most


effective positions during the opening is important because such
placement allows the player to seize the initiative, control the flow
of the game, and to hamper the attacks of the opponent. The
most potent positions and sequence of piece mobilization differ in
each opening. However, usually Knights are best placed at c3 and
f3 (or c6 and f6 for Black), or in some cases at e2, e7, d2, and
d7. In order to allow the Bishops to develop e and d pawns are
advanced. In some modern openings Bishops are fianchettoed to
b2 and g2 (or to b7 and g7) by advancing the b and g pawns to
third rank.

A pawn defended by another pawn cannot be captured without


loss of material. As such the creation of a strong pawn structure is
an important part of the opening. However pawns moves should
be kept to a minimum during the opening and player should
concentrate on development of pieces. Openings should not result
in weak pawns, such as isolated, backward, or doubled, pawns.
However some openings might intentionally risk such weakness to
gain other advantages; Black in Sicilian for instance.

Since advance of central pawns will leave the King vulnerable


openings will usually involve transference of the King to either
flank, usually through castling. Castling also develops the Rook

By following the opening principles player will be well placed for


tactical and positional play in the middle game and to take
advantage any weakness on the part of opposing side.

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