Chess Traps and Openings
A chess opening or simply an opening refers to the initial moves of a chess game. The term can refer to the initial moves by either side, White or Black, but an opening by Black may also be known as a defence. There are dozens of different openings and hundreds of variants.
The Scotch Game, or Scotch Opening, is a chess opening that begins with the moves: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 Ercole del Rio, in his 1750 treatise Sopra il giuoco degli Scacchi, Osservazioni pratiche d’anonimo Autore Modenese, was the first author to mention what is now called the Scotch Game.
The Center Counter Defense is one of the oldest recorded openings, first recorded as being played between Francesc de Castellví and Narcís Vinyoles in Valencia in 1475 in what may be the first recorded game of modern chess, and being mentioned by Lucena in 1497.
While the Queen's Gambit Accepted was mentioned in literature as early as the 15th century, it was the World Chess Championship 1886 between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort which introduced the first modern ideas in this opening. Black's play had, until then, centred on holding on to the c4-pawn. Steinitz's plan was to return the pawn, but inflict White with an isolated pawn on d4, then play to exploit the weakness.
Despite an early debut in 1896, the Budapest Gambit received attention from leading players only after a win as Black by Grandmaster Milan Vidmar over Akiba Rubinstein in 1918. It enjoyed a rise in popularity in the early 1920s, but nowadays is rarely played at the top level. It experiences a lower percentage of draws than other main lines, but also a lower overall performance for Black.
Playing 2...e6 releases Black's dark-squared bishop, while obstructing his light-squared bishop. By declining White's temporary pawn sacrifice, Black erects a solid position; the pawns on d5 and e6 give Black a foothold in the centre. The Queen's Gambit Declined has the reputation of being one of Black's most reliable defences to 1.d4.
The Sicilian Defence is a chess opening that begins with the following moves: 1. e4 c5. The Sicilian is the most popular and best-scoring response to White's first move 1.e4. 1.d4 is a statistically more successful opening for White due to the high success rate of the Sicilian defence against 1.e4.
The King's Gambit was one of the most popular openings for over 300 years and has been played by many of the strongest players in many of the greatest brilliancies, including the Immortal Game. Nevertheless, players have held widely divergent views on it. François-André Danican Philidor (1726–1795), the greatest player and theorist of his day, wrote that the King's Gambit should end in a draw with the best play by both sides
Today, the Philidor is known as a solid but passive choice for Black and is seldom seen in top-level play except as an alternative to the heavily analysed openings that can ensue after the normal 2...Nc6. It is considered a good opening for amateur players who seek a defensive strategy.
The original idea behind the Vienna Game was to play a delayed King's Gambit with f4, but in modern play White often plays more quietly (for example by fianchettoing his king's bishop with g3 and Bg2). Black most often continues with 2...Nf6. The opening can also lead to the Frankenstein–Dracula Variation.
The Caro–Kann is a common defence against the King's Pawn Opening and is classified as a "Semi-Open Game" like the Sicilian Defence and French Defence, although it is thought to be more solid and less dynamic than either of those openings. It often leads to good endgames for Black, who has the better pawn structure.