Top 18 Helpful Chess Opening Tips That Will Improve Your Game

18 chess opening tips

Some tips and advice that was given to me when I was trying to learn chess are to keep on playing… ๐Ÿ™‚  

Sound advise, but not helpful for me…   I lack the basic knowledge of chess openings and what I need to learn about that type of chess openings.  

I tried teaching my daughter about some advanced chess openings – I do hope she can remember all the tips we both learned together.   And I want to share the helpful chess opening tips with you…  

Note: Chess notations are used in explaining some of the moves.

Top 18 helpful tips for seven chess opening that will improve your game

Don’t forget to check out this article:
Win chess games by using some of this ideas here!

In this article, we are going to look at some of my favorite chess openings and most played chess openings at a master level. ย 

If you are a beginner and planning to learn or use some of the chess openings below- I will be sharing with you essential tips for each opening as a reference to improve your chess game. ย 

We are going to look at chess openings of the King’s Gambit, Queen’s Gambit, English Opening, Ruy Lopez, Sicilian Defense, Caro Kann, and the Fried Liver Attack.

Also read: Top 19 Tips You Need To Follow To Win More Chess Games

King’s Gambit Chess Opening Tips

This opening is played if you are white.   It starts with 1. e4 e5 then, 2. f4 (pawn sacrifice)…  

This chess opening has been played by Grandmasters like Boris Spassky, which he defeated Bobby Fischer at Mar del Plata in 1960. And there are other notable grandmasters who are very successful in using the King’s Gambit.  

Here are some tips I’ve learned and why you should use the King’s Gambit chess opening:

1. Weaken your opponent’s Kingside

If you want a chess opening that can weaken your opponent’s Kingside early in the game.  

Learn King’s Gambit…  

When you play King’s Gambit, this chess opening aims to weaken the Kingside’s pawn structure almost all the time. It’s because Black will tend to protect the Gambit, eventually not giving much-needed attention to the pawn structure of the Kingside.

2. Develop your center control

If you want to dominate the center position with your pawns d4 and e4 use the King’s Gambit.  

The King’s Gambit is a sacrifice of your pawn in the “f file” (moving that pawn to f4).  

Once your black opponent captures your pawn f4, you can move d4. You have developed a full center control with your pawn d4 and e4.

3. Develop an active open file

If you want to put your rook into an active open file, then you need to open up a file in your Kingside (obviously…lol!)  

You can do that with King’s Gambit – moving the pawn in your “f file” (which is the Gambit).  

This, in turn, can have an available open file for your King’s Rook and will be ready for defense or an attack. Just be careful leaving your Kingside pawn vulnerable for attack from the Queen.

Queen’s Gambit Chess Opening Tips

Most of the popular chess openings that you may encounter are a pawn to e4, but you can also move d4.  

When I was learning chess with my dad, it was always pawn to e4 – if I do not play e4 sometimes he immediately reacts and correct my move or sometimes he makes sure that I lose if I don’t follow… ๐Ÿ™‚  

Till he taught me the pawn to d4 move of the Queen’s Gambit, I immediately went on to play the Queen’s Gambit with my friends and even in tournaments before.  

Here are two important tips I’ve learned playing Queen’s Gambit:

4. Be aware of blocking minor chess piece

Playing Queen’s Gambit main lines – you may encounter one of your minor chess piece the dark-squared Bishop to be blocked by your e3 pawn.   You may or may not want to move your Bishop but be sure that you’ll be able to easily unblock the path to avoid having a problematic chess piece.  

It’s always good to have your Bishop move first before moving the pawn blocking your Bishop.

5. Recognize black’s Gambit mistake

Most of the time when Black accepts the Queen’s Gambit or captures the pawn, Black tends to hold on to the Gambit…

Which can be a huge mistake for black.  

I just learned about this simple mistake by pawn – the move is black’s pawn c6… What happens is by mistake black removes a defender or protection to its Queen’s Rook. And the White Queen can easily move to f3 and have multiple attacks.  

Whenever the black accepts the Queen’s Gambit, more or less black will have a difficult game.

English Chess Opening Tips

This is one of the chess openings that I’ve never played before…   And I found out that it’s one of the most successful chess openings for white – It has been played by Garry Kasparov, Bobby Fischer and other Grand Masters of today.  

The opening uses a lot of positioning of minor pieces before you attack. That means if you like to play a long and slow strategic game, then you should learn English Opening.

6. Immediately attack the center square with White

English opening starts with 1. c4…  

It’s what they call a “flank opening” – your pawn c4 immediately attacks the light square of d5. This is the common theme of the English opening, basically trying to put pressure on light squares and prevents black from moving its pawn to d5.  

Flank opening in chess just means that it is outside of the d and e files (the opening is not starting from d or e files).  

Use this only after studying it and practically applying this in your chess games.

7. Develop Knight and Bishop early on the game

This is generally a simple tip in every chess game…  

But the reason in doing this using English opening is to apply pressure to d5 using fianchetto Bishop (g2 Bishop on light squared), and next is to develop your Knight to attack the Black’s center pawn.  

This gives you control and gives way for your King to castle on the Kingside.

A lot of chess experts are saying to master this for white opening, and they are saying that you can improve your chances in winning a chess game using the English opening.

Ruy Lopez Chess Opening Tips

I never really had a chess coach, and my only chess coach is my dad.   And every time I play chess games in a tournament or with friends, I often hear the Ruy Lopez…even at chess tv programs…  

I got interested and learned that the Ruy Lopez chess opening was named after a Spanish Priest Ruy Lรณpez de Segura.  

This chess opening is considered to be one of the most analyzed chess openings, and this type of opening is perfect for chess players who want to play in an open game.

8. Use Bishop to pin your opponent’s Knight

After Black moves Knight to c6, immediately you can pin the Black Knight with your light-squared Bishop on b5.  

This is a good move because it gives you the ability to hold the Black Knight in its place because it is pinned to the Black King (most of the time).  

Although Black can easily defend the Black Knight – you do have the option to capture the Black Knight or just pin the Knight and develop your minor chess pieces.

9. Avoid exchanging your light squared Bishop

Like I said on this eight tip, Ruy Lopez opening can immediately pin down the Black Knight and have the option to capture the Knight.  

But in Ruy Lopez, it is advised that you should avoid exchanging your light squared Bishop – especially early on in the game.  

The light-squared Bishop is considered to be a strong minor chess piece for a white player. So, you have to be very careful in exchanging your light squared Bishop.

10. Apply pressure in Kingside

The Ruy Lopez puts the center into a lot of trouble in the opening game.   The other thing you might want to do is apply pressure on Black’s Kingside, and you can do that with Ruy Lopez.  

The light-squared Bishop can attack the weak pawn in f7, holding it in place and possibly pinned down to the Black King if castled.  

This can become a considerable problem for Black in the middle part of the game.   The Ruy Lopez is extremely popular, and this is one of the chess openings that you should learn how to play with as a beginner.

Sicilian Defense Chess Opening Tips

As a kid, I memorized the Queen’s Gambit and Ruy Lopez chess opening for white.   But I’ve never really like playing Black in chess…

I know that’s a weakness in my part while still learning chess.   And I decided to learn some brilliant chess openings for Black.  

One of them is the Sicilian Defense, which has been played successfully by Grand Masters.   The Black starts with pawn to c5…more or less compared to the English opening, but this time it’s black.

11. Takeaway center control right away with Black

Having center control is one of the most crucial parts of a chess game…   And white has the privilege of taking control of the center with its first move.  

However, Black can move its pawn to c5 and what it does is it takes away the center control of white by exchanging its Black pawn with White Pawn.

12. Stop forward thrust move of a pawn

As white continues to develop its minor pieces – your next move is to stop the forward thrust move of the white’s center pawn.   You can do this in Sicilian Defense…  

You just need to move your pawn to d6…this will stop the white’s center pawn e4 from moving to pawn e5. This should be top of mind when using the Sicilian Defense as there are different chess variations for white that breaks the Sicilian Defense and Black loses the game.

13. Develop fast with white’s capture mistake

When playing Sicilian Defense, you exchange your c pawn to white’s d pawn…  

If white doesn’t have it’s Knight or another chess piece to capture the black pawn besides the White Queen, then it will be a big mistake from white if it uses its Queen to win the Black pawn.  

You can develop your minor chess pieces faster if you saw this mistake from white – do that by attacking the Queen in the center (for example, moving your Knight).

14. Build a defensive attack

The Sicilian Defense is perfect if you want to build a defense at the same time slowly developing your minor chess pieces for an attack.  

When I play Black, I just defend every move the white makes, and I don’t focus on developing an attack.   But…   With Sicilian Defense, you can do both ways (defend and attack). ๐Ÿ™‚

Caro Kann Chess Opening Tips

Here’s another chess opening that you can use against white’s pawn e4…   The Caro Kann is said to be an excellent Black defense if you want a chess opening that is not easily attacked by white – you need to study the Caro Kann chess opening.  

The Caro Kann was analyzed by Horatio Caro and Marcus Kann (cool huh); this opening is considered to be useful in end games.  

It’s always nice to learn at least two chess openings for black, and you should include this in your list of black chess openings.

15. Build a strong defense slowly for Black

If you want to develop your minor chess pieces slowly but build a strong defense – you can use Caro Kann.   I recently came across this chess opening a few days back when I was researching this chess opening tips…

I like the Caro Kann as it develops my minor pieces slowly especially if I play Black.  

I understood that white couldn’t just directly attack the Black’s defense – the move starts with pawn to c6 and then attacking white’s pawn e4 by black’s pawn d5.

16. Minimize creating too many pawn islands early on the game

When you start playing Caro Kann, I found out that your pawn structure is much solid…   Depending on the variation, you just need to be aware of having too many pawn islands have at least two pawn islands if you are playing Caro Kann.  

The development of your pawn happens almost in the middle game, and you have a such an excellent defense that white will not notice you’re developing an attack as well.  

Let’s have a look at one of my favorite chess opening for white.

Also, read article about how to “improve your middlegame in chess

Fried Liver Attack Chess Opening Tips

This chess opening was introduced to me by my dad…   My eyes got bigger when I saw the Knights move in Black’s Kingside – this is an aggressive move by white, and I do play this most of the time besides the Ruy Lopez and Queen’s Gambit.  

I like to play aggressive sometimes with white and Fried Liver Attack chess opening is a “smooth killer”… ๐Ÿ™‚

17. Attack the weakest pawn

There are some excellent variations you need to memorize when you play the Fried Liver Attack.  

But the central theme is attacking the weakest pawn of Black which is the pawn at f7 ( for white is f2), the reason is that the King is the only protection of pawn at f7.  

With the Fried Liver Attack, you are going to use your Knight and light-squared Bishop to put pressure to Black’s pawn f7.

18. Move the Queen for potential checkmate

Move the Queen for a check, and if your opponent is not familiar with the Fried Liver Attack, you can potentially have a checkmate on the f7 square. I often play with my friends who love to move their Queen early on the game.  

My dad always told me that moving the Queen early for early checkmate sometimes leads to wasted move and poor development of your minor chess pieces.  

But…  

If you like moving your Queen for potential checkmate, you can do that with the Fried Liver Attack – this happens when your Knight has captured the pawn at f7 and the Black King’s Capture your Knight.  

As a beginner you should learn the main lines of Fried Liver Attack – I like this move, and I play this quite often with my friends (works great)… ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out to see ChessDelights chess resources. 

Wrapping Up

I’m still working on my chess opening at the same time teaching my daughter the theory (and love showing her the last chess opening “Fried Liver Attack”).  

The tips here are taken from each of the seven chess openings, this tips can also apply to other chess openings, the important takeaway is that each chess opening have a lot of different variations- you need to go through some different variations (don’t need to memorize everything) to improve your chess opening knowledge.  

It takes practice, time, dedication and helpful chess opening tips like this to improve our game… ๐Ÿ™‚  

Hope you like this article and have fun learning or teaching your kids chess!

Gary Flores

Hi there! I'm a dad with kids who loves to learn how to play chess by learning online - also, this is my way of refreshing my knowledge about this game of tactics & strategy. I created chessdelights.com to inspire people who are also learning, re-learning or teaching their kids the game of chess.

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