Knight First Move

Knights are the only pieces that can move on the first move of the game. You can either move pawns or a Knight. The other pieces are blocked in.

White Openings: Moving the King’s Knight (Nf3) is actually a well-regarded chess opening called the “Reti Opening”. It’s not very popular, but is quite good. White moving the Queenside Knight (Nc3) is not a common opening (the “Queen’s Knight Attack”), although if followed by "d4’ then it’s basically transposed into a Queen pawn opening with a “Bg5 Attack” plan.

Black Openings: For Black, the King’s Knight move is Nf6, and if done against "e4’ then it’s called “Alekhine’s Defence” or if it’s done against "d4’ then it’s got various names: King’s Indian Defence, Queens-Indian Defence, Old Indian Defence, Nimzo-Indian Defence, Benoni, Benko Gambit, and others.

If Black’s first move is 1..Nc6, then that’s called the “Nimzowich Defence”. It’s an uncommon and unpopular opening, but is reasonably sound, especially in club play or junior tournaments.

There is nothing actually special about a Knight’s first move. Knights can move forwards and backwards as much as you wish.