# Introduction to chess: how it all begins

10.06.2009
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How it all beginsâ€¦
Chess is very old and wise game which was invented in India about 2000 years ago. In the very beginning, only Indian kings played this game. Instead of going to war two Indian shahs (kings) just set down with the chess board between them and decided whose land is whose and who is stronger. This way they saved their armies and lives of thousands of innocent people. The game of chess was called the game of kings.
The rules were almost identical to the modern chess. Queen was able to move only one square in each direction. There was no “castle” and “en passant”.

Openings – basic ideas
In the very beginning of the game two armies stare at each other through the empty space on a chess board. At the beginning of the game positions seem equal and kings protected. However, it’s not really true because white side has a right of a first move and therefore would try to dictate style and tempo of the game. Black therefore has
to follow what white dictates, until black takes over the initiative. Okay, let’s go step by step from here.
The most popular openings for white are 1. e4 or 1.d4. The “1.e4” means that we take king’s pawn from e2 and move it by 2 squares foreward on e4. That is why this opening is called “king’s pawn game”.
I recommend for all the beginners to play this opening a lot of times until they become very familiar with different variations appearing in games.
It is not a good idea for novice players to play 1.d4 openings because so called “queen’s pawn openings” are more complex and require deeper understanding of theoretical concepts than “e4” do.
The main idea of any opening is to develop chess pieces as quickly and effectively as possible. Generally, it’s not a good idea to move many pawns in the beginning because it usually weakens the king’s position and creates weak diagonals.
We should be very precise when dealing with placement of pawns and pawn structures because the pawn is the only piece which does not move backwards. Badly positioned pawns are very hard to fix.
Also, it is not recommended to move a piece more than once if you do not have very good reason for doing so. For example it is a good idea to move a piece more than once if it would result in gain of some advantage such as material, space or improvement in position.

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Updated 04.10.2023