's Openings Database Covers almost 2 million Games by Chess Masters.


A first step toward learning chess openings is to learn and play several openings that are in opular use by good chess players. This is much better than stumbling immediately into unsafe territory and demonstrating to your opponent that you do NOT know how to open a game. It will also help you determine if your opponent seems to have sufficient valid opening experience. - Openings Study Plan For Intermediate Players


Learn 1.e4 openings


The following links represent the fundamental openings that suggests for intermediate chess players.


Ruy Lopez - Morphy Defense - Closed


Ruy Lopez - Marshall Attack


Scotch Game


Scotch Game - Mieses


Scotch Game - Classical


Scotch Game - Steinitz French Defense


French Defense - Exchange


French Defense - Winawer


French Defense - Classical


French Defense -- Tarrasch Variation


Caro Kann


Caro Kann -- Classical/Main Line


Caro Kann -- Advanced


Caro Kann -- Panov-Botvinnik Attack


Sicilian -- Open Variation


Sicilian -- Closed Variation


Sicilian -- Smith-Morra Gambit


Alekhine's Defense


Scandinavian Defense


The Pirc/Modern Defense


King's Gambit


Learn 1.d4 openings:


Nimzo-Indian Defense


Queen's Indian Defense


King's Indian Defense - KID


Grunfeld Defense


Benko Gambit Benoni Defense


Slav -- Botvinnik Semi-Slav


Learn 1.c4 and/or 1.Nf3 openings:


Open Catalin


Closed Catalan


English Symmetrical


Botvinnik - English Structure




3. After grasping the concept of how opening lines can tranpose into one another in chess, try to recognize how/where Transpositions occur in your own openings. Make sure you understand that sometimes an early board position can arrive from different move orders. Example: Slav 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 is exactly equivalent to English Opening 1.c4 c6 2.d4 d5


For several years I have had a basic (free) membership on, but I have never explored the benefits.


I would like to know whether the basic(free) plan may be adequate to meet the needs of students who participate actively in the Tasby/Conrad Chess Clubs, but I am not sure. I have found that you need to unlock Explorer to study the game database. Explorer is limited unless you have at least the Gold premium membership. I am beginning to see that the basic membership may not be good for much more than an opportunity to play online and improve one's rating. It looks like you cannot solve more than one tactics problem per day at the basic level.


At a recent Dallas Chess Club tournament, someone suggested that free benefits include the opportunity to play unlimited games online, develop a rating, play against the computer, and participate in tournaments. I do not know if the basic membership allows someone to access all the games (s)he plays (without having to download or save them individually) or to save a basic analysis of each game. says that basic members enjoy limited access to "some learning tools" (whatever that means). I would like for an interested player to try to assess the opportunities at the basic membership level and identify the shortcomings of basic membership: game limits, tournament limits, playing against the computer, chess lessons, game analyses, access to performance statistics, etc. Specifically, we need to determine the relative strengths of and Overall, I believe that is vague regarding the features at each membership level. Here are some comments that I have seen re. membership levels:


The Diamond Level videos are much better than those on YouTube (subjective).


Chess Mentor is GREAT (subjective).


Tactics Trainer is the best one on the net (subjective).


If you want the videos, go for Diamond.


Forget about Gold; don't waste your money (subjective).


Basic: No Tactics?, Unlimited Games and Tournaments?, No Lessons, No Game Analysis?


Gold: 25 Tactics per Day, 5 Lessons per Day, Some Computer Analysis


Platinum: Unlimited Tactics, 10 Lessons per Day, Deep(er) Computer Analysis


Diamond: More money, more or better features, more hype.



On March 30, 2018 I subscribed to a free, one-week Gold membership that will cost me $29 per year. My subscription will allow us to compare features with those of the basic membership. The gold plan allows five lessons per day, and 25 tactics problems per day (ChessTempo allows unlimited problems, even at the free membership level).