I am a beginner in chess. I am finding it difficult to learn the openings. There seems to be tons of opening games in chess. Is there a way to learn them easily? Is there any website that has a collection of all the openings in chess?


First you should make sure you master the fundamental concepts of opening play. Once you understand those concepts most openings can be universally understood just based on those concepts alone. It's unnecessary (and impractical) to try to classify every opening as having "x - y - z" specific ideas related to it, especially if you're a beginner.

But I believe it's a counterproductive approach to try to "learn openings". You're better off just learning Chess, and the openings will simply come naturally. Yes, there are repeating themes in certain openings, but if you want to truly master the openings those themes should always be readily explainable by general understanding.

Only then do you research the specific lines of an opening and commit them to memory. As for a roundup of all the available openings, you can always just look at Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_opening

  • 1
    +1 for : I believe it's a counterproductive approach to try to "learn openings" : Good Opening Principles need to be mastered WAY before even worrying about learning any opening beyond 4-5 moves.
    – shivsky
    Nov 30 '13 at 22:16

Best way to learn openings as a beginning player: Don't.

You are a beginner. You should be just playing. As in go, lose your first 100 games before you begin studying. Studying openings now will give you a very "easy" sense of how to play the openings, assuming you are playing the lines you study and you opponent agrees by playing the moves too. But, that is NEVER the case at that level. NEVER. It's never the case up to Category A.

Play everything and see what you like, see what feels good.

Don't get bogged down by openings. It is the fastest way to getting stuck.

Just play.

Best advice I heard here was not to study openings, but study BASIC opening principles, and play by those guidelines in a very Steinitzian manner.

Follow this guideline and you'll be ok. Basic Chess Opening Principles


One option is to learn one opening at the time. If you are a beginner in chess, you should also consider to learn endgames, because you need a solid endgame to bring home the victory points. That being said, openings are indeed a big world, with many interesting jewels to be found. My advice would be to learn one opening at a time. Learn and apply in practice in your games, that is the method. One place that tries to list and discuss all chess openings is this one (http://www.chess.com/openings/). Another tip is to find an instructive chess book on openings and start there. The general idea of openings is to develop your pieces and follow the ideas in the positions that arise. Learn those ideas from games played by grandmasters, from books and apply them in your own games. The more you invest in an opening system (e.g. French, Spanish, Sicilian) the more ideas you will know, the better results you will get.


I think you need a balance between what other people are trying to say here. Half of the answers are telling you to go ahead and memorize openings, and to use them when you play. Others are telling you to just play, and learn that way.

I feel like you need a balance. You should definitely memorize some 3/4 move openings, such as 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6. Some openings are very common, such as this one, and you should know the ones that begin with e4, d4, or the knights (at least).

But you have to take these openings and study them. Understand the weaknesses of such openings for both sides, understand the strengths of each opening for both sides. Each opening leads to a different style of play (e4/e5, or the King's Pawn opening, which usually leads to a king-side game, will often lead to quick attacks and a quick game, whereas d4/d5, or the Queen's Pawn opening, usually leads to a queen-side game that is built upon developing pieces and optimizing the best structure before launching attacks and tactics). It is up to you as the player to find whichever style fits you the best, and you can often play those.

Note that better players are good with both king-side and queen-side openings, whether they are white or black. This is optimal if you want to succeed with playing tournament matches, as you'll have to adapt to other player's tactics well.


I think one of the best way of learning an opening is to buy a book about it and read this book. In general, opening books are written by great chess players. Therefore, you could save general ideas and some good hints of the opening by means of good comments of the writer on various positions.

  • Note however: while there are many good opening books, there are also many bad opening books. One should be careful when buying chess litterature in general, and for a beginner, I would recommend against buying opening litterature, as there is a serious risk of just wasting their money.
    – Scounged
    Jun 16 '16 at 17:45

When I was beginning I studied every book on the openings I intended to play. I had limited playing opportunities then, but today I would recommend playing those openings and using either human help or a computer analysis program to tell you where you went wrong.

Study, Play, Get Feedback. Wash, Rinse, Repeat!

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