How to Choose a Chess Opening | Tactical/Positional Chess Openings Theory Explained | Opening Ideas

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About this video:
Choosing a chess opening can be tough for beginners and intermediate chess players. In this video I show you the different types of chess openings that are available, and why you might choose one over another. I talk about setup-based openings (also called positional openings), and theory-based openings (also called tactical openings). I give examples of each chess opening, including the London system, King’s Indian attack, Slav defense, Scandinavian defense (Icelandic gambit) and the King’s gambit. I give you the basic chess opening ideas and strategies for each type of chess opening, and give you chess tips and trick to choose the perfect chess opening for you.


  1. Another amazing video! You're the best Nelson. So money is tight for me and I'm trying to economise, so last week I cancelled my paid membership! But I have just activated my paid membership again. I will find other ways of economising. You are so good I want to financially support you. Along with Robert Ramirez, imo, you are the best chess youtube teacher. In fact, don't tell him, but you are even slightly better than Robert Ramirez! (Do you make your money exclusively through chess now?). Keep up the wonderful work! 😀

  2. I play at a level where i will never be able to predict what moves my opponent will make next (<1000) , don't know if it's even worth the time learning an opening at that point

  3. This sounds good, except: Unless you're playing daily games (as opposed to live games) or against a computer, it's not legal to reference a book or database, so in order to play an opening 5 times, you need to learn it. So, in a sense, you're recommending that we learn lots of openings before we choose one. If we all had a ridiculously great memory like Magnus Carlsen, that would be fine, but few of us do. Am I missing something here (besides Carlsen's memory, of course)? Thanks.

  4. The London system is exactly what I was looking for. A consistent, blunder-free way to get all of my pieces developed. I had no idea that so many setups used a 2nd rank knight; I assumed that was a bad idea.

  5. Here are the openings I use:

    Evan's Gambit
    Sicilian Defense
    Dutch Defense

  6. The first opening I learned is Queens gambit and it's true that it's really hard for to switch to another opening once you get used to it.

  7. . D4 Nf3 g3 Bg2 O-O go brrrrrrr hanged Knight and pawn

  8. I play a positional opening with white, but with black I play avery sharp gambit and I love all two opening. Im a positional or a tactical player?

  9. Ahh yeah, Nelson Lopez. The son of Ruy Lopez….

  10. One thing that isn’t talked about is there’s so many defensive moves to play against London. U can always ignore the trade off and attack right away before they fully set up with the London

  11. Since I'm impatient and tend to blunder a lot, I'd rather play the tactical aggressive openings to give my opponent the same problems.

  12. Try as many as you can before you get stuck with one. Really insightful guy.

  13. If you’re a beginner, I’d say go for the positional openings, and if you really want to gain ELO fast, study a wide variety of tactical openings while playing a positional opening. Don’t study a ton of openings against e4 as black, study an opening for e4, then one for d4, etc. Maybe you play the London for a while while studying the Vienna.

  14. As someone who got to 1700 with the bongcloud, I can confirm it is the best opening in chess

  15. 1:52 Bf5 in this position is a mistake (according to Ben Finegold), he explains in the slav video why that's the case.

  16. how to choose the opening
    video: u choose the opening by choosing it

  17. You are my fav teacher ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  18. Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line

  19. This really helps a lot, I made the mistake of playing kings gambit as black instead the defensive strategies. That can help me improve further

  20. I need advice , what opening that good to play for newbie??
    I want learn 1 or 2 of them first

  21. Note, I believe the mainline of the king's gambit is the Kieseritzky which is without a knight sacrifice

    What was played is similar to a position you'd get in the Fischer defense

    Technically, what was played was a transposition to the wild muzio gambit which should be handled with extreme care

  22. When you get to 0:49 seconds and go WOAH! SLOW DOWN… then realize this video is NOT for you yet xD.

  23. Thanks man this helped me out a lot. I'm just a beginner in this game so I'm research everything that I can to become atleast decent. Just started playing chess last week and plan on going to tournaments after 3months or so of training.

  24. Like tactical cause i can create an advantage or imbalance position but its hard to remember everything

  25. Bongcloud being an opening but creating a huge disadvantage for you just makes no sense

  26. the Scandinavian Defense, I prefer to take the pawn with my queen and if he pushes knights I give check and he block with either bishop or knight doesn't matter actually I develop my light squared bishop on the defending piece to have an attack again on the king -doing this leads to the king be in-castleable near

  27. Another reason to love the French defense. Can usually play d5 no matter what their second move is, and it dictates a lot of the flow of the match. Very complicated, though.

  28. Hey There,
    I was wondering whether you can help me out here in understanding something. I always hear people saying that they were going to “play” X opening, but I never understand what that even means. Because doesn’t the opening which is “played” depend 50% on what moves your opponent is going to play – meaning that you really never have 100% control going in, even if you think – ‘Today I am going to play the Spanish opening’… Let’s say your opponent doesn’t respond rationally (assuming that there is always a 100% BEST and only move to respond to the first move in the sequence to “play” the Spanish opening) so therefore, you aren’t playing that opening, as the game has now gone off-script/theory – and/or transposed into another opening, etc.
    In addition, if you are playing black, what would it even mean to “play” an opening, since every move you are making is responding to what white did? Does black have different specific openings which they would want to “play” in response to what white is trying to do?
    These are exactly the reasons why I don’t believe in “playing” openings. To me, there are certain principles which I want to follow, as far as what I want to achieve in my “opening” (from the standpoint of how I want to play and coordinate my pieces) from a positional standpoint – but I wouldn’t memorize lines – since I want to actually see what I am doing.

    Could you please help me out in understanding this?! (Sorry, if I sound like a novice. I don’t really play games of chess that often, but I periodically study the game. For example, I was just studying about the different player types: activist, pragmatist (both tacticians); reflector, theorist (both strategic/positional players). I have also studied tactics (fork/double attacks; pins; skewers) in the past; and I recently started studying strategy – positional understanding, for example, where the best places on the board are for knights, bishops, rooks, queens, etc.

    I hope you can help me out with these questions about the opening.

  29. I am nine hundred I need opening for white

  30. Another TERRIFIC video! As a beginner I can't pretend to understand even half of this stuff, but it's coming. Thanks for the great content.

  31. „d4 leads more often to positional play and e4 openings tend to get tactical.”

    And then there’s me trying to learn the Queen’s Gambit, the Italian game and the Caro-Kann.

  32. i am a really impatient but creative person, after i watch this video, now i know why i mostly lose the game every time i use setup base opening. i hate the game with slow pace movement and every space locked by the other piece.

  33. Such a great video! I’ve been looking for a way to understand openings and this video was perfect for that

  34. I'd reccomend the bird opening, cause it can also be mixed with the another opening, its really hard to explain, but its really good, i have proved it myself, im 820 elo, and it works 700-900 elo matches most of the time i havent figured it out if it can work in 1000 elo matches but ill get there, the bird opening is the best ong, with the right moves and the right moments, i forked so many pieces and discovered check the king multiple times

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