White Openings

There are many openings for White. Note that the very first move has to be a pawn or a Knight, as all of the other pieces are blocked in.

Diagram: White Plays e4!

The most common, and probably best moves, are e4 or d4. Move the pawn in front of the King or Queen up two squares. Those are the two main openings.

The main White openings are:

Some of the other less common but respectable and playable lines include:

Some rarely seen and obscure openings for White are:

Some of the starting moves to avoid as White include:

One point to note is that none of these White first moves are truly bad in the sense that they’ll lose the game. If White wastes time with the first move, then it’s like you’re playing Black instead of White (i.e. a reversed opening), which isn’t the end of the world either. So you could actually play some of the above “bad” openings as White and you’re still in the game with about equal chances. The average statistical win rate for White is usually cited at about 55% versus 45% for Black (with draws included), so if you reverse that by wasting White’s first move advantage, you’ve worsened your chances by about 10%.

Related Chess Openings Topics

Read more about these related chess openings, strategies, chess puzzles, and other chess topics: