August 14, 2009

ECO Codes of Main Openings

[*See: Chess Openings for Beginners - All Lessons]
[**See Outside: Chess Endgame Puzzles]


As chess beginner, you should have a general idea about the ECO Code system of chess openings. Also, you must know the ECO Codes of the main chess openings and their variations... The Introduction section of this lesson is to convince you why you must know, while the next section to provide you with the main ECO Codes.

I. Introduction

From this site, you will be given special chess opening videos, some chess opening pdf ebooks, and special chess opening .PGN files to effectively learn main chess openings. Producing this stuff takes time... Meanwhile, in the next lesson via Chess Links Directory at www.chesselo.com you will be given the best Internet link where you can download on weekly base the PGN files with the latest games of chess masters.

Each such .PGN file includes 3000-4000 chess masters' games. Each chess opening within this .PGN file is recorded by an ECO Code. For example, if you want to learn Bishop's Opening, just find within the .PGN file ECO Codes C23-C24. Then open the chess games in question to replay. Do you remember that you need an PGN Viewer Program to open .PGN files? In Lesson 16, you can find how to download a decent freeware PGN Viewer Program...

This method is good because you will visually see:
• how chess masters play chess openings;
• how chess masters explore the chess opening positions;
• how chess masters connect the opening phase with the middlegame;
• when chess masters stop developing and begin attack, and the like.

Besides, you should know the ECO Codes of the Main Chess Openings because of the following... To effectively learn a chess opening, it is important to create a database of the chess games on the opening learned. Preferably, the database must include the games of chess masters because they know how to correctly play the chess opening in question. You will need the database to replay the games (on the chess board) for memorizing, analyzing, and understanding...

It may be a computer database, opening card database in writing, or both... You may find many games on the Internet. The chess openings of the games found will be marked by the ECO Codes. If you know the ECO Codes of Main Chess Openings, you will quickly find the chess games needed... But be aware that one ECO Code may be one opening; one ECO Code may be also many openings. In the latter case, check also the designated moves of the openings to select correctly.

II. The ECO Codes of the Main Chess Openings and Their Variations

A. ECO Codes of Open Game Chess Openings:
(Open Games begin with 1.e4 e5)

King's Gambit, ECO Codes C30-C39
1.e4 e5 2.f4
Note: ECO Codes C30-C39 are only King's Gambit.

Bishop's Opening, ECO Codes C23-C24
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4
Note: ECO Codes C23-C24 are only Bishop's Opening.

Latvian Gambit, ECO Code C40
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5
Note: ECO Code C40 is not only Latvian Gambit.

Vienna Game, ECO Codes C25-C29
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3
Note: ECO Codes C25-C29 are only Vienna Game.

Center Game, ECO Codes C21-C22
1.e4 e5 2.d4 ed 3. Qxd4
Note: ECO Codes C21-C22 are not only Center Game.

Philidor Defense, ECO Code C41
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6
Note: ECO Code C41 is only Philidor Defense.

Petrov Defense, ECO Codes C42-C43
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6
Note: ECO Codes C42-C43 are only Petrov Defense.

Ruy Lopez, ECO Codes C60-C99
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5
Note: ECO Codes C60-C99 are only Ruy Lopez.

Italian Game, ECO Code C50
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5
Note: ECO Code C50 is not only Italian Game.

Scotch Game, ECO Codes C44-C45
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4
Note: ECO Code C44 is not only Scotch Game.
Note: ECO Code C45 is only Scotch Game.

Two Knights Defense, ECO Codes C55-C59
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6
Note: ECO Code C55 is not only Two Knights Defense.
Note: ECO Codes C56-C59 are only Two Knights Defense.

Four Knights Game, ECO Codes C47-C49
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6
Note: ECO Codes C47-C49 are only Four Knights Game.

B. ECO Codes of Semi-Open Chess Openings:
(Semi-Open Games begin with 1.e4 {other than e5})

Caro-Kann Defense, ECO Codes B10–B19
1.e4 c6
Note: ECO Codes B10–B19 are only Caro-Kann Defense.

French Defense, ECO Codes C00-C19
1.e4 e6
Note: ECO Code C00 is not only French Defense.
Note: ECO Code C00 is also the Lengfellner System opening (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d6).
Note: ECO Code C00 is also the St. George Defence opening (1.e4 e6 2.d4 a6).
Note: ECO Codes C01-C19 are only French Defense.

Sicilian Defense, ECO Codes B20-B99
1.e4 c5
Note: ECO Codes B20-B99 are only Sicilian Defense.

Alekhine's Defense, ECO Codes B02-B05
1.e4 Nf6
Note: ECO Codes B02-B05 are only Alekhine's Defense.

Scandinavian Defense, ECO Code B01
1.e4 d5
Note: ECO Code B01 is only Scandinavian Defense.

Pirc Defense (Ufimtsev Defense or Yugoslav Defense), ECO Codes B07-B09
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 (g6)
Note: ECO Codes B07-B09 are only Pirc Defense.

C. ECO Codes of Closed Game Chess Openings:
(Closed Games begin with 1.{other than e4} any)

Queen's Gambit, ECO Code D06-D69
1.d4 d5 2.c4
Note: ECO Codes D06-D69 are only Queen's Gambit.

Queen's Gambit Accepted, ECO Codes D20-D29
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dc
Note: ECO Codes D20-D29 are only Queen's Gambit Accepted.

Queen's Gambit Declined or Orthodox Defense, ECO Codes D30-D69
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6
Note: ECO Codes D30-D69 are only Queen's Gambit Declined.

Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Countergambit, ECO Codes D08-D09
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5
Note: ECO Codes D08-D09 are only Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Countergambit.

Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense, ECO Codes D07
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6
Note: ECO Code D07 is only Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense.

Queen's Gambit Declined, Slav Defense, ECO Codes D10-D17
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6
Note: ECO Codes D10-D17 are only Queen's Gambit Declined, Slav Defense.

Indian Defenses, ECO Codes A45-A79, D70-D99, E00-E99
1.d4 Nf6

Grunfeld Defense, ECO Codes D70-D99
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5

Nimzo-Indian Defense, ECO Codes E20-E59
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4

Dutch Defense, ECO Codes A80-A99
1.d4 f5

Budapest Gambit, ECO Codes A51-A52
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5

English Opening, ECO Codes A10-A39
1.c4

Reti Opening, ECO Codes A04-A09
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4

Bird's Opening, ECO Codes A02-A03
1.f4