Chess openings - Open Games

1.e2-e4 e7-e5

In chess the open systems are all openings which begin with the moves 1.e2-e4 e7-e5. Characterising them as open is historical in nature and not to be taken literally. For example, the main variation of the Ruy Lopez can lead to closed positions with a blocked centre.

In chess we talk of a Romantic period, which existed roughly at the same time as Romanticism in literature and music. Romantic chess was characterised by uncompromising, exaggerated sacrificial mating attacks and tactical sequences. In contrast to it there is the more sober and subtle positional chess in which the goal is the accumulation of positional advantages leading to a gain in material. The era of positional chess was ushered in in the middle of the 19th century by Wilhelm Steinitz.

In Romantic chess 1.e2-e4 was by far the most popular opening. A 1.e2-e4 was mostly followed by 1... e7-e5.

Subsequently click on the title of the openings to receive more detailed information.

Italian: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5

The Italian is one of the open games popular in the 19th century and at the moment it is experiencing a renaissance at the top of world chess. The simple and clear development of pieces in the Italian Game make it a very handy opening for beginners.

KingsGambit: 1.e4 e5 2.f4

The King's Gambit was amongst the most popular attacking systems in the Romantic era of chess. White immediately sacrifices a pawn to open lines. Today the King’s Gambit is considered double-edged and is rarely played in top tournaments.

Petroff: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6

In the Petroff DefenceBlack responds to the attack on his e-pawn with a counter-attack. The symmetrical character of the Petroff leads to open positions in which Black can equalise. In top chess the Petroff is considered a safe but drawish opening.

Spanish: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6

The Ruy Lopez was presented back in 1561 in a book by the Spanish priest Ruy López de Segura. It is a solid opening which, however, requires some theoretical knowledge and in the main variation can lead to strategically demanding positions.