Top 10 Best Chess Openings for Your Opening Repertoire

To those who are not much familiar with the word repertoire, a repertoire is the whole body of items that are regularly performed. But since we are talking about opening repertoires when it comes to chess terms, they are basically 'book moves' or 'moves known and implemented in opening theory' that are frequently made by the players many times that the players just won't stop using them. Therefore, that's a opening repertoire and Bobby Fischer's Sicilian Najdorf as black and his Ruy Lopez as white has been used many times by the man himself that they're all in his opening repertoire. I not only make this list as a fun attempt for the sake of making interesting yet mind-boggling information to all, but rather I want to help new chess learners learn, understand and implement these simple openings in their games to see which one fits their style the most and what opening they feel comfortable in the most. However, I can't resist sharing a bit of history behind these openings. Sometimes, unpredictable players like me don't usually follow his opening repertoire/ opening arsenal. Instead, I make unpredictable yet random moves at times in the opening. I lost most of these games with almost all of my weird unpredictable arsenal. Nonetheless, they are useful for surprise towards your opponents and it takes the right moment and time to deliver surprise to your opponents. This is my unorthodox way when it comes to playing chess though most of the time I am quite of a principled e4 player.
The Top Ten
1 Ruy Lopez

Despite being the most heavily analysed opening only a tiny fraction of the Ruy Lopez has been mapped out.

Watch out for the Noah's Ark trap, it's everywhere, a crucial element to the theory the Ruy Lopez.

The Rotary-Albany Gambit is literally the most complex variation of the Ruy Lopez.

2 Sicilian Defense

This is my favorite defense for responding to e4 as black by moving my pawn to c5 (simply 1. e4 c5). Unlike traditional openings like e4 e5 d4 d5, this defense controls the center with a flank pawn. The Sicilian Defense has historical roots, having been used since the late 16th century by Italian chess masters Giulio Polerio and Gioachino Greco. It wasn't until 1813 that English master Jacob Henry Sarratt translated and renamed it the Sicilian, which in older Italian writings was called "il giocho siciliano" ("The Sicilian Game").

This is an excellent chess opening for black, not just because of its statistically proven effectiveness, but also because it leads to unbalanced play that often turns in favor of black. It provides great attacking chances for black, yet ironically, white also has many great attacking opportunities in the main variations (such as the Yugoslav Attack). It's quite a theoretical opening and has proven to be the most popular response and defense when facing e4. Despite the wealth of theory behind it, it is an excellent choice for an opening repertoire. It leads to complex play for your opponent if you implement the moves correctly. Therefore, a bit of opening theory is advised to maximize your attacking chances.

3 Italian Game

This starts out with 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4. This is also one of the oldest openings which it's been used more frequently today. This is rather a very easy opening to learn from and a great opening for beginners as it makes developing quite easier which gives them rapid castling just like in the Ruy Lopez. This opening was been used a lot by Italian masters back in the 16th century and this is a pretty good opening set up because other than rapid development and castling early it creates natural play (surely naturally for both tactical and positional players) and simply controls the center yet the Bishop on b4 can be easily exposed and black has lots of options again the Italian game. Nonetheless, this opening will serve you well as a beginner because of it being a very natural set-up and how it gains rapid castling and development. This used to be my huge opening repertoire back at the time and the reason I won't stop using it is because of tricks and traps behind this opening like the fried liver attack. Reason I stopped using this as my repertoire is because It's very tiresome to deploy same tricks with little to no success.

4 Nimzo-Indian Defence

This starts out with 1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4. A classic hypermodern opening created by the father of hypermodern chess himself Aron Nimzowitsch who's a brilliant innovator and theoretician who has contributed hugely to modern chess as his openings are still being used to this day! In his honor, his chess philosophy: 'first restrain, then blockade and finally destroy' will always remain important and quite timeless when it comes to style of chess. I don't care if naysayers say this opening and other hypermodern stuff isn't for beginners, I love this opening and as a 3 month beginner (somewhat intermediate like), I quite benefit nicely from this opening as black because of its fluid and positionally sound way of defense. Beginners could learn quite a lot from this as it can be for both advanced players and beginners like I including the fact it develops your pieces rapidly and makes you castle early. However it comes at a price of white having complete control of the center and having the bishop pair where you possibly will lose one of your bishops. So if you're a pretty passive player who prefers playing defensively, I strongly don't recommend this opening to y'all as it's a pretty aggressive opening where it would at least restrain white's activities at a cost of a bishop and giving up the center. Which it's the whole point which is tricking white in the process as it's a quiet yet a very aggressive positional opening.

5 Scotch Game

This starts out with 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d5. I don't play this opening quite a lot but rather sometimes whenever I feel like it. Most beginners will probably prefer the scotch game over Ruy Lopez because of its simplicity behind it since it doesn't have a lot of theory which the scotch game is one of the openings that controls the center after Nc6. There's nothing more than the fact it controls the center very well and has space advantage whereas tension will be ignited early as black will gain back and dominate space advantage and the center. So a pretty aggressive opening. But to those who want more action and are aggressive players like me who find the main line uninteresting, I recommend the Scotch Gambit as it could be quite fun to play with. This opening was long underappreciated centuries ago because of its lack of depth in strategic play until Kasparov revived the opening and played it mostly with success in several world championship rounds. Nowadays you see grandmasters playing it including current world champion Magnus Carlsen and even Levon Aronian.

6 Caro-Kann Defence

This starts out with the simple c6 move after e4. If a positional player is looking for a great opening to start off with, this is definitely for them. This freely creates an early pawn chain for black and gets at least some development by freeing their light square bishop. As an aggressive player myself, this is rather one of my least favourite openings to encounter with yet I do what I can and accept the fate that the opening has been unleashed regardless if I'll win or lose. However this will lead in slow development and white getting most space. Yet that might be the whole point of the Caro-kann which is undermining their power of the center so that they could develop positionally and then they would annihilate. Sorta similar to steinitz's positional philosophy excluding the hypermodern ideas. While it may seem passive, don't heavily underestimate it especially to those who use it lethally on the board like Anatoly Karpov!

7 French Defense

Bit of an passive opening yet a positionally sound opening as it's a favourite among positional players. It's indeed one of the most popular responses to e4 as it advances its own d pawn to create a pawn chain on its kingside while white on the other hand may have plans to attack on the queenside. Passive it may be, don't heavily underestimate this opening because it's a sharp counteattacking defense for black and it will be very tough to face in th middlegame when wielded in the hands of an expert.

8 Pirc Defense
9 Vienna Game

A very sound alternative to Nf3 which the Vienna game instead is with response Nc3 protecting its own e pawn and not attacking black's e pawn. As passive it seems like and sounds, it's a pretty aggressive opening where you have ideas of fianchettoing one's bishop or even placing your bishop to c4 (one square above the knight). But the aggressive line of all when it comes to the Vienna game is the Vienna Gambit. Let's just say for example black plays the Falkbeer Variation where the knight is also protecting its own e pawn. After the knight is deployed in the same manner as white, then white will deploy the very aggressive f4 move where it transposes to the Vienna Gambit. I can't say behind the ideas that much except if the flank pawn is accepted then white's attacking chances are even greater where black middlegame will be torture. And th best thing is it doesn't have lot of theory compared to the Ruy Lopez and avoids the drawish Petrov defense.

10 Philidor Defence

Reason I put this at last is because this is such a conservative opening for me and I pretty much dislike this defense as I see it every now and then while playing blitz online. It's pretty much easy to beat as long as you get used to it and see the tactical patterns behind it. But this is a pretty solid opening and not bad at all. It's just not very unique but rather boring pawns defending one another and all. Lots of people like me love to see minor pieces (like knight for example) developed on a nice square instead of d6 but it is how it is. Rarely most players including advanced players use this opening but it's not a really had opening. It's just a very passive yet somewhat playable opening. But it could be good for those who want to avoid theoretical openings with this opening though it's not the best..

The Contenders
11 Scandinavian Defense
12 Queen's Gambit Accepted
13 Petrov's Defence
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