An important part of a chess game is the opening. Without a good opening, it is difficult to excel in the middlegame and endgame. A few popular openings are the Ruy Lopez, Sicilian Defence, Giuoco Piano, Queen's Gambit Accepted and Queen's Gambit Declined.
The Ruy Lopez, also known as the Spanish Game, is popular at all levels. White begins with 1. e4 and black replies with 1...e5. White follows with 2. Nf3 and black with 2...Nc6. White then plays 3. Bb5.
In the Sicilian Defence, white plays 1. e4 and black counters with 1...c5. In this defence, black immediately attempts to develop counterplay.
The Giuoco Piano, also known as the Italian Game, is less popular than the Ruy Lopez at the highest levels. The reason is that it is considered an opening that often ends in a draw. The first two moves for white and black are the same as in the Ruy Lopez. In this opening, white plays 1. e4 and black replies with 1...e5. This continues with 2. Nf3 ...Nc6 which is followed by 3. Bc4 ...Bc5.
In the Queen's Gambit, white opens with the queen pawn. White plays 1. d4 and black replies with 1...d5. Now white plays 2. c4. The goal of the opening is to sacrifice the c-pawn to gain control of the centre. White wants black to play dxc in order to play e4 on the following move. If black replies with 2...dxc, this is called the Queen's Gambit Accepted. However, if black replies with 2...e6, this is the Queen's Gambit Declined.
The moves 1. e4 and 1. d4 are common opening moves for white. With these moves, popular openings such as the Ruy Lopez, Giuoco Piano and Queen's Gambit can be played. However, other opening moves are also popular such as 1. Nf3 and 1. c4. The moves 1.e4, 1.d4, 1. c4 and 1. Nf3 are definitely the most popular opening moves for white. A good opening is essential for success in chess.