The opening, or the first few moves of the game, is very important. It establishes your position and gets your pieces ready to be put to use. If your opponent has a lot of pieces ready to use, and yours are all immobilized, you will undoubtedly end up playing defense, which is rarely a good thing in chess. During the first few moves, try to open your pieces up so that they can control the 4 central squares (d4, d5, e4, and e5) and so that they can get around the board as easily as possible. Also be careful not to overextend yourself. It is very difficult in the beginning to keep from being outmaneuvered if you spread out your pieces too far.
It is important to get your pieces out into play as early as possible, because the way to conduct a successful attack in chess is by using multiple pieces together.
Each piece has its own strengths and weaknesses. These, and some good ways to use each piece, are discussed in the section for each piece. Click on the links above to read about each one.