Learn Chess Openings in Several Ways

How to learn chess openings is a question many beginner players ask during their early career, and for good reason—chess openings dictate the tone of the game. Dominating the start of any chess match is always good as it provides you the advantage of strong positionings and enables you to be in a good place to start attacks on your opponent’s king. Learning chess openings can be equally challenging and rewarding and it often results in improved games and higher win ratings.

A lot of people stick to one or two opening variations, making it difficult for them to switch to playing another tactic. This said, asking yourself how to learn chess openings time and again will help you expand your repertoire and give you a deeper understanding of valuable pawn structures as well as middle and end games. Here are ways to help you learn new chess openings:

  • Develop a mental list of tactical themes and strategic ideas. Opening games revolve around tactical and strategic themes that follow certain sets of principles and structures. When you study new openings, make a mental mote of common pawn breaks, piece movements and maneuvers, as well as tactical shots. This way, you will be able to recognize similar patterns and ideas in your own games. This will also cause you to actively look for such patterns as you practice or as you go through actual games. Familiarizing yourself with tactical motifs and common strategies is a great way to learn new opening strategies.
  • Play training games and actively learn from them. It’s been said that to improve in chess, you need to play as much as you can. This is also true when trying to learn new openings. Playing training games geared towards improving your opening strategy is also a smart way to hone your skills and way of thinking, as well as studying classical games played by grandmasters.