Skip to main content

There have been debates around the theme of chess opening defenses in chess circles for a long time, and chess observers have been tussling against each other to decide on a set of defenses considered the finest. You will most likely receive six separate replies if you ask six different chess professionals what their preferred chess opening defense is.

In fact, when you consider the best defense in chess, you will have to consider a host of factors – the type of chess player a person is, how that person likes to learn the game, and who they are competing against. So, while some chess openings take little time to learn and execute, there are many more that a chess player takes years to understand before successfully integrating into their gameplay.

Once a player digests the following chess openings for black, they would be geared for some severe challenges coming their way in real competitions.

This article will closely examine the top chess opening defence techniques when playing with black chess pieces. These popular defensive moves will help the learner determine which ones are suitable for their style of play and which require further perusal before application in an actual match.

10 Best Chess Opening Defenses

The Caro-Kann Defense

The Caro-Kann Defense is perhaps the most popular of all chess openings for black, and it has a particular solidity to it and, at the same time, undermines the opening advantage of white. Here, once white opens the game by moving its e-pawn to e4, black intentionally places its c-pawn to c6.

The French Defense

One of the widely played chess opening defenses, the French Defense is a favourite of several past and present grandmasters. The current Dutch number one chess grandmaster, Anish Giri, thinks this move by black is correct and compact, and he also believes that this technique has a combative element.

The Sicilian Defense

One of the most respected and used chess openings for black is the Sicilian Defense. A powerful and feared opening technique, the Sicilian Defense has been played by some of the greatest chess players in history. Even though it is a preferred choice of the game’s most brilliant minds, playing it correctly takes years of patience and practice.

There exist not one but a few Sicilian Defense openings – the Dragon, the Najdorf, the Taimanov, the Kan, the Kalashnikov, the Classical, the Scheveningen, the Four Knights, the Sveshnikov, and the Modern Scheveningen, making this move one of the most complex chess openings to master.

The Scandinavian Defence

The much-liked Scandinavian Defense has been witnessing an upsurge in popularity in recent times, thanks to the fresh brigade of serious chess enthusiasts looking to stop an advancing white’s attacking range. The Scandinavian Defense is initiated by the chess player behind black pieces after white plays the e-pawn to e5. At this juncture, black moves up its d-pawn to d5.

The Double King’s Pawn Game

Anyone who has played chess for a while will undoubtedly be knowledgeable about our next chess opening defense – the Double King’s Pawn Game. This happens to be one of the most used responses to white’s 1.e4 opening move. A highly-praised technique that is employed by beginners and experts alike, the Double King’s Pawn Game neutralizes the incoming threat from white in the earlier rounds.

Once black deals with white’s e4 by moving its e-pawn to e5, it allows for the game to take any turn from there onwards.

The Queen’s Gambit Declined

This is an essential defensive technique for anyone who gets into a fit of bother playing with black. The Queen’s Gambit Declined is actually a befitting reply to the Queen’s Gambit, a standard opening move by white.

The sequence of moves that leads to this defense begins with white making the d4 move. Following this, black places its own d-pawn forward to d5. In the second round, white places its c-pawn to c6, to which black responds by moving its e-pawn to e6.

The Dutch Defense

If you are looking for black chess opening defense move, then one of the options out there is the Dutch Defense. This technique comes very handy when white does not begin a match with e4. In most cases, the Dutch Defense comes into effect after white plays d4 and black moves its f-pawn to f5.

The Slav (and Semi-Slav) Defense

When you want to add one more effective chess opening move to your arsenal that is both defensive and gives black a strong presence in the centre of the chess board, then the Slav and Semi-Slav Defense should be your go-to opening move.

The Slave Defense comes to the fore after white plays d4 and c4 in succession, to which black responds with d5 and c6. By sending both its d-pawn and c-pawn to the center of the board to counter white’s onslaught, black manages to put up a strong defense against any further incursions into its territory early on in the game.

The Nimzo-Indian Defense

As the name suggests, the Nimzo-Indian Defense is a type of Indian defensive style applied by a player controlling black pieces that allow black to build a strong position at the earliest phase of a chess match.

This move is reached after black proceeds to place one of its knights on f6 and moves its e-pawn to e6. Black then makes an intelligent decision of moving the dark-squared bishop quite early into the game and uses it to check one of the advancing white knights.

The King’s Indian Defense

Our final chess opening defense while playing a chess game with black is the King’s Indian Defense. In this particular type of defensive play, black brings out one of its knights in reply to white’s d4. A clever move from black, the Indian Defense sees black trying to build a fortification around its king by using a procedure called the ‘fianchetto‘.

Now that we have come to the end of our discussion around the best chess openings for black, it is high time you keep learning about the various chess openings applied in chess.

Like the best chess openings for black, there exist best chess openings for white. To become a better chess player, everyone must learn the best chess openings for both black and white. There are more robust chess openings, and they are known to follow a particular pattern. On the other hand, there exist other chess opening defense moves that are more toward aggressive play.

In a similar vein, someone learning the tricks of the trade could find a few chess opening defenses movements simple to master, whereas that same person may get confused after tackling a few other chess openings.
The best way to improve your overall gameplay is to practice as much as possible. You can do that with your friends and family or at a chess club with fellow learners. Also, to help you in your quest to level up in chess, bring home a brand new SquareOff automated chessboard. SquareOff’s chessboards are the best in its class and have been awarded prizes for their outstanding performance.