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For the last several years, there have been plenty of debates surrounding the theme of ‘best chess openings for black and white’ in chess circles. In case five separate chess players are asked about their favoured chess openings for white and chess openings for white, you will most likely receive five different answers.

Deciding upon the best chess openings for black and white can be a tumultuous affair. A handful of considerations go into the decision as to what the best chess openings for black and white are.

Separate parameters, such as what sort of chess player a specific individual is, the manner in which the player has been trained, and the kind of opponent someone is competing against, determine how the person would make the best chess openings for black and white.

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Chess openings for both black and white are orderly and less risky. On the other end, some chess openings can be highly aggressive. It all depends on how a player judges a particular situation and then takes a call on the way a game should be opened.

As far as mastering chess openings are concerned, some take less time than others to learn. On the other hand, chess openings may take a long time to understand. In this article, we have attempted to discuss the 10 most popular chess openings lucidly for black for your perusal.

You will find the chess openings for black explained in the following section so that it may help you integrate the same into your game.

After going through these chess openings for black, you will be able to take the call as to which ones will be easier for you to integrate into your game. When you are beginning your chess training, you will find these openings overwhelming.

However, over time they will start to make more sense, and you will be able to try them out during your matches.

The French Defence

The French Defence is held in high regard by chess circles around the world. According to Grandmaster (GM) Anish Giri of the Netherlands, this chess opening is “compact and correct” and is clearly one of the best for black beginners.

This move begins with black responding to white’s e4 with e6. This throws an immediate challenge to the white pawn for control of the centre of the chessboard.

The Caro-Kann Defence

Another popular move, the Caro-Kann Defence, is of those chess openings for beginners that is safe and solid. This opening follows from white playing its e-pawn to e4. Following this move, black counters by placing its c-pawn to c6.

This opening offers black a disciplined approach to the centre of the chessboard, and it also provides black with a position to mount a counterattack in case white launches one of their own in the first place.

The Scandinavian Defence

An opening move with a growing number of admirers in recent years, the Scandinavian Defence stems from white going for e4, to begin with. In response, black plays one of the best chess openings out there – d-pawn to d5.

This immediately cancels out some lethal ideas that white carries while going with e4 at the very beginning. A face-off in the central part of the chessboard commences following the first two moves from both sets of players.

The Sicilian Defence

One of the most played and respected chess openings for black, the Sicilian Defence is an aggressive opening move. It all starts when white plays e4 and is responded with a c5 by black. This opening move by black produces an imbalance in the centre of the chessboard, from which black aims to take advantage in the next moves.

The ablest chess players throughout the game’s history have relied on this technique to get the better of their rivals. The Sicilian Defence employed by black has been countered by white using a set of anti-Sicilian moves.

What is known as the Sicilian Defence is actually a term used to denote more than a single style of opening. In other words, there exists more than one form of this black chess opening move, such as the Classical, the Dragon, the Najdorf, the Four Knights, the Sveshnikov, the Kalashnikov, the Kan, the Taimanov, the Scheveningen, and the modern Scheveningen to name the most renowned ones.

The Double King’s Pawn Game

Counted among the most favoured chess openings for black, the Double King’s Pawn Game technique revolves around black playing its e-pawn to e5. This comes after white goes with e4 to start the affairs of the match.

Also called the ‘Open Game’, this is one of the best chess openings for beginners. This technique is famous for being versatile in nature. When black counters white’s e4 with its e5, it opens up a world of possibilities for both competitors to explore.

The Queen’s Gambit Declined

One of the most reliable chess openings for black, the Queen’s Gambit Declined is a prolific move routinely used in many chess games. It begins with white playing its d-pawn to d4, then black relying on d5.

Every chess player considering improving their overall game should know this opening set of moves well. The whole idea behind the Queen’s Gambit Declined is to resist the white’s advance onto the centre of the chessboard by gaining control over the same via the black d-pawn.

The Slav and Semi-Slav Defence

The Slav Defence, and its top variant – the Semi-Slav Defence, are other famous chess openings for black that come in very handy in important games. This, too, follows up from white starting a match by moving its d-pawn on to d4.

As white attempts, a Queen’s Gambit, black sets the ball rolling by resorting to two intelligent pawn moves – first d-pawn to d5 and then c-pawn to c6. The two black pawns support each other in the centre of the chessboard, thus putting the pressure back on white to come up with novel ideas.

The Dutch Defence

One of the best chess openings for black beginners, the Dutch Defence, can be played to counter the classic white opening move of d-pawn to d4. Noted for being an attacking first move from the side of the black contingent, the Dutch Defence makes for an exciting game of chess on most occasions.

The King’s Indian Defence 

Taking a somewhat different approach than the ones we have already talked about above, in the King’s Indian Defence, black goes for the improbable move of going with the knight in the opening round instead of one of the pawns. 

Known for its flexibility, this particular defensive style can be played under most circumstances and is considered a safe bet when battling for fresh ideas. The basic idea behind this move is to allow white to take control of the centre of the chessboard and then attack it with black pieces from the flanks.

The Nimzo-Indian Defence

Our final pick is the Nimzo-Indian Defence, which again depends on a black knight to make a positive opening in a game. This is one of the recently developed chess openings for black and is gradually gaining a foothold in the chess universe.

An intelligent defensive choice to white’s d-pawn to d4 first move, the Nimzo-Indian Defence allows black to play an open game with a host of options to explore the entire length of the chessboard.

So, that concludes our top 10 picks for chess openings for black. This list will help you become a better chess competitor. In the meanwhile, check out SquareOff’s marquee collection of AI-powered automated chessboards that are guaranteed to make heads turn your way!

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