The opening move e4 is known as the Kings Pawn and is the most popular opening move in chess with some calling it ‘best by test’. The second most popular is d4 which is the Queen’s Pawn Game and you don’t see much else apart from these two opening moves which follow the opening principle of taking control of the centre.
In response to e4 the most popular reply now is c5 which is the Sicilian Defence which is meant to be the strongest opening response but here we look at e5 which is the Open Game and is more commonly seen amongst beginners and juniors, e6 would be the French opening for the completeness of a third option!
The reason for that is it adopts the strategy of mirroring white if you don’t know what else to do! Mirroring is not a sustainable long term strategy in the game but you will get away with it for a few moves which is why you see it so often when people haven’t practised a particular opening.
You can see that by far the most popular response to this is Nf3 (look at the percentages just under the board) which we’ll look at in the next post as a continuation of the Open Game.
Well that’s the first post as the purpose here is to cover opening moves in short sections that you can refer to by reference to the category or tags. It also makes it easier to write! See you in the next post for white’s second move.