Awesome Chess Openings to Surprise Your Opponent
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Awesome Chess Openings to Surprise Your Opponent

Never lose during the opening of a chess game again!
4.8 (9 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
853 students enrolled
Created by Greg Vanderford
Last updated 7/2017
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Current price: $10 Original price: $195 Discount: 95% off
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Play various chess openings with confidence
  • Respond strongly to the chess openings of your opponent
  • Get a strong chess position out of the opening in every game
View Curriculum
  • Basic knowledge of how the chess pieces move

Awesome Chess Openings to Surprise Your Opponent is my response to the many requests that I have had to create a follow up to my first chess openings course, Learn to Play Chess Openings Like a Master.

Chess openings are a critical part of the game of chess because without a deep understanding of the many ways to start a game, you will get blown off the board and lose before the game ever really begins.

In this chess openings course, you will learn openings that start with 1.d4, including the Queen's Gambit, Queen's Gambit Declined, Nimzowitsch Defense and many others. In addition, you will learn more ways to respond to common 1.e4 openings such as aggressive openings like the King's Gambit, Evan's Gambit, and the all important Sicilian Defense. We will also go into more detail regarding how to play the many classical Spanish Opening variations. 

In addition, you will learn more ways to respond to the French Defense as white so that you don't fall for the many tricks embedded in this strong opening for the black player.

More Chess Openings for the Modern Player will help you to become a stronger chess player, and win more games by giving you a strong understanding of the very critical area of chess strategy that is the opening phase of the game.

Who is the target audience?
  • People who love chess
  • Serious students of the game of chess
  • Chess players that want to expand their opening reportoise
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Curriculum For This Course
16 Lectures
Course Introduction
1 Lecture 11:00

In this introduction lecture you will learn what we will cover in the course and how important it is to be well versed in chess openings if you seek to become a strong chess player. With some openings completely new and others expanded upon that were covered in my previous course, Learn to Play Chess Openings Like a Master, this new course offers plenty of new insights and critical chess openings knowledge.

Preview 11:00
Important 1.d4 Chess Openings
5 Lectures 01:16:15

Learn how to play the Queen's Gambit and gain a superior position to your opponent. In addition, you will a particularly dangerous trap as white that can lead to a quick material advantage and also help you to avoid danger when playing as black.

The Queen's Gambit Accepted

Learn how to play the Queen's Gambit Declined and achieve a solid opening as both white and black. As one of the most common openings for players that prefer to play 1.d4, this position will arise in your games often, so it is imperative to understand how to play the first several moves.

The Queen's Gambit Declined

The Nimzowitsch Defense is a favorite among strong Grandmasters for it's simplicity and powerful effectiveness. Understanding how to play this opening as black can give you a big advantage against the less well prepared chess player.

The Nimzowitsch Defense

The Slav and Semi-Slav Defenses are two ultra solid openings to play against white's choice of 1.d4. Learning how to play both openings is a must for the chess player that aspires to graduate to an advanced level. In this lesson, you will learn the critical moves and positions that lead to success in the Slav and Semi-Slav Openings.

The Slav and Semi-Slav Defenses

The King's Indian Defense is another popular 1.d4 opening that will arise in a large number of games. Understanding how to play these positions is critical to the aspiring chess player and also leads to many of the most exciting games that you will play in your chess career.

The King's Indian Defense
Aggressive 1.e4 Openings
5 Lectures 54:15

The King's Gambit is perhaps the most famous of the so-called "romantic" chess openings, which have been dubbed thus due to their popularity during the 19th century when aggressive attacking chess was the favored style of play. No longer used much at the highest levels of chess by super grandmasters, the King's gambit is still relatively popular at the amateur level and remains one of the most exciting openings to play for both sides. In this lesson you will learn how to attack aggressively with the sacrifice of a pawn in the King's Gambit.

The King's Gambit

The Schliemann Gambit is an old opening that has recently gained attention due to its use in high level competition by former world champion Vishy Anand. It can be used as a surprise weapon against 1.e4 as very few players know how to properly respond to this choice by black in the seemingly innocuous positions that the Spanish game often lead to. In this lesson, you will learn how to use the Schliemann Gambit effectively to get a crushing attack on the white king in one of the most popular opening positions in chess.

The Schliemann Gambit

The Evans Gambit is another popular romantic opening like the King's Gambit. However, this opening remains popular and is still used from time to time by the best chess players in the world as it has been found to be more solid than the once more popular King's Gambit. Another exciting and fun opening to play, you will win many games out of the opening by using the moves that you will learn in this lesson.

The Evan's Gambit

The Sicilian Defense while always popular has if anything grown in popularity over the last few years and is now the most widely used opening in chess at the amateur and professional levels. This popularity makes it a critical opening to know how to play for both the white and black pieces. This is especially true due to the large number of variations that arise out of this opening depending on the move choices of your opponent. In this lesson you will learn some different variations of the Sicilian Defense for white, especially how to successfully attack black's castled king.

The Closed Sicilian

The Ponziani is one of the most effective surprise weapons against the Ruy Lopez and Italian setups for white. Varying from the main lines on the third move will catch your opponent off guard and lead to a very nice initiative in most games. It's also really fun to play!

The Ponziani
Solid Openings for a Strong Middle Game Position
4 Lectures 41:05

In this lecture we expand upon the information that was shared in the previous openings course of this chess series and look more deeply at the ever popular Ruy Lopez opening. A critical opening to know, with many variations, in this lesson you will learn various ways to setup your pieces as white, depending on black's move choices.

The Ruy Lopez as White

The Ruy Lopez may be the most common opening for white at the amateur level, so knowing how to respond to it as black is critical if one aspires to become a strong chess player. In this course you will learn the best ways to react to white's choice of 1.e4, and setup your position for a long strategic game that will lead favorable results.

The Ruy Lopez as Black

Another old and still popular opening is the French Defense. This is one black's favorite ways to combat 1.e4, which makes knowing how to play against it as white extremely important. In this lesson you will learn the ins and outs of the opening, including a dangerous trap to set for your less experienced opponent.

The French Defense as White

The French Defense continues to be one of the most successful openings to play as black against 1.e4. As such, we should become well versed in this opening, which can often lead to quick advantage for black if white makes even the slightest error in move order during the first several moves of the game. In this lesson, you will learn how to get an excellent position against 1.e4 no matter what your opponent throws at you.

The French Defense as Black
1 Lecture 04:31

In this course conclusion we will re-examine on final time the critical elements of the opening that must be mastered if one seeks to become a strong chess player. You will learn some general rules of thumb for the opening that if followed, will immediately increase your ELO rating strength by at least 100 points.

Everything We Learned in a Nutshell
About the Instructor
Greg Vanderford
4.5 Average rating
554 Reviews
10,594 Students
30 Courses
Teacher and Entrepreneur

My courses are designed based on my many years as a teacher and student of education and business. I hold a master's degree in curriculum and instruction and have been designing curricula for over a decade.

The business, language, and chess courses that I have built on Udemy are a reflection of this experience and dedication to education. My goal is to reach as many people as possible with my courses, which is why I have chosen the internet and the Udemy platform as my ideal mode of delivery.

The following is a little more about my expertise and background. I was born and raised in Sandpoint, Idaho. I attended the University of Idaho where I earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 2004. After a few years in the work force as an account manager I moved to Vietnam where I lived for over 5 years.

While in Vietnam I taught English as a second language for almost 2 years to students of all ages and backgrounds. For the 3 final years that I lived there I opened and ran a sports training company called Saigon Sports Academy. We coached sports such as soccer, chess, tennis, and basketball as well as ran large sporting events such as tournaments and leagues. My positions while at the company included Director of Strategic Initiatives as well as Director of the Chess Program.

While living in Vietnam I became fluent in the Vietnamese language and developed a deep love for teaching and traveling internationally. I then came back in the United States to work on a masters degree in education so that I would be an even more effective teacher in the future. It is my wish to be a positive force for education in the world, and to inspire my current and future students to be the best that they can be in whatever they do.