Danny's Top Ten: The Opening - Part 1

IM Daniel Rensch Apr 3, 2010 19685 reads
Top Ten Rules to the Opening! (Part 1)

By International Master Daniel Rensch

There are many rules and principles for the three different stages of a chess game: The Opening; Middlegame; and Endgame. The focus of today's article, however, is how to "get out of the gates" rollin'! If you combine the advice of this article with the recommendations of Top Ten Rules to the Opening Part 2, you should be in great shape to play in a real tournament.

Rule #1 - Develop Your Pieces!

Development, or to Develop, loosely translated to chess, means "to build and create". In the beginning of the game, instead of just looking at all your cute (and perfectly lined up, I'm sure Wink) little pieces on the back rank, you need to Develop them. Get them out! Start the party! It cannot be said enough, and you will see from my next two rules, that the MOST important thing to do in chess is to Develop, and use ALL of your pieces... Keep reading!

Rule #2 - Development of Your Pieces!

Wait a second, isn't that the same rule... Hhhhmmm, that's weird. Anyway, what I'd like to point out with rule #2 is which pieces you should be developing first. In general, your "Minor" pieces should come out first. The Minor pieces are your knights and bishops. They are the easiest to Develop, and because your rooks and queen can't really get out until later (see rules 5 and 8) you shouldn't be thinking about moving "the big guys" unitl the "little guys" are in the game.

Rule #3 - To Develop Your Pieces, or Not to Develop Your Pieces? DEVELOP!

Okay, that's it: Danny is totally off his rocker! That is the same rule three times in a row! Well, that's because development really is that important! Develop, develop, develop your pieces... Without the help of all your dudes, how can you expect to win? Below you will see a fun example of what, in a perfect world, might be the "best" way to develop your pieces: 


Rule #4 - Don't Move a Piece Twice Before Move 10!

Right on cue! After reviewing the first three rules and seeing an example of how you might want to complete your development before you "go chasing", this next step should be easy to understand. Just look at the last example, and imagine what kind of trouble someone would be in if they tried to battle white's entire army with one piece at a time. You've got to use them all! Below is one of my favorite examples of needing to use ALL your pieces, and quickly:


Rule #5 - Don't Bring Your Queen Out Early!

If either player is really following our first four rules, and has therefore Developed all of the Minor pieces, the LAST thing you would want to do would be bring your queen out too early. Think about it: The Queen is worth more than any piece besides the king. Some would say that the Queen is more important than your mother (just joking kidsLaughing). If the Queen starts mixing it up with the little guys, her chances of getting lost along the way are pretty good. Here is an example: 

Until next time Cool...