Beginners Chess Opening TIER LIST with Hikaru and Levy | Part 1

GM Hikaru Nakamura and IM Levy Rozman use @tiermaker to rank chess openings from the point of view of a beginner (800-1300). (We will rank openings for club level players later)

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0:00 Intro
1:00 Accelerated Dragon
2:29 Advanced Caro-Kann
4:22 Nc3 g4 Ng2 var
4:30 Regular var
5:45 Advanced French
7:45 Alapin Sicilian
9:10 Alekhine’s Defense
10:26 Benko Gambit
11:35 Benoni
13:21 Berlin Defense
16:20 Bird’s Opening
16:55 Fool’s Mate Kindergarten Nationals Story
19:03 BongCloud
20:07 Budapest Gambit
21:13 Caro-Kann
23:13 Catalan
24:51 Closed Sicilian
26:28 Danish Gambit
30:04 Dragdorf
31:45 Dutch Defense
34:39 English
37:03 Englund Gambit
39:28 Evan’s Gambit

#gmhikaru #chess #gothamchess


  1. Can i please ask as beginner and even most likely an ignoramus… how the hell do you remember all those different names for the moves and even all those different variations of sequences!? Its baffles me! I love chess and want to learn more but find all this overwhelming! Do you have any tips on how to train to remember opening variations?
    Love the channel and much respect!

  2. Berlin defense into fishing pole is super OP low tier

  3. Advanced french has to go in legendary. It gives white a +.50 on the 2nd move

  4. 28:06 levy: should we teach chat how to defend agains it? (the danish gambit)
    hikaru: no, of course not ( beacuse I am a greedy bastard and chat should give me money to teach them that, because I cant win any decent tournament, not even the rapid and blitz championship and my chess career is based on profit out of twitch)
    Thankfully, chat can learn that anywhere else on youtube for free 🙂

  5. Levy: i think this is legendary
    Hikaru: this is garbage
    Levy: yes sir

  6. Berlin – Really Bro …… yet ….. Plays Berlin in Berlin 😀 😀

  7. The story about the same kid getting mated in like 4 moves twice in a row is hilarious. It sounds so embarrassing to happen in a public game and also like something that I'd do

  8. I think these guys need someone dumber to translate to me lol. They talk about all this stuff like I just know all the terminology

  9. Just from the intro, seems I play at or below kindergarten level… only upwards from here! LMAO

  10. A new opening: Dragon sicilian

    Dragon these nuts across your face sicilian

  11. “I don’t disagree” is such an “I’m better than you but I agree” kind of phrase.

  12. Strange that Gotham hates the bird so much but loves the dutch. It's literally the same but as white you got the tempo…

  13. Are these guys purposely ignoring the Colle System suite of openings in their opening tier list videos??? The Colle includes the standard Colle, the Zukertort, Koltanowski, Phoenix Attack variations, and aligns well with the London and Torre as well. Many great coaches recommend these openings for beginners because there is so much less theory to learn, and it's fairly easy to get your opening setup and transition to the middlegame in a position you understand. So guys, why the snub?


  15. Levy said that alpha zero plays the Evan’s gambit, but I think the games when it played that had pre-arranged openings. Correct me if I’m wrong. I’d be really interested if Alpha Zero actually plays this.

  16. Them: Beginner (800 – 1300)
    Me who’s 700

  17. You missed my favourite opening The Scandanivian

  18. imagine teaching f3 for a kindergardener…. what crack was that teacher smoking cause even regular crack wont do that

  19. Those who like chess will also like draughts

  20. Teach me some openings oh wise chess sage Hikaru. And levy too lol. Im a little sick of playing the philidor defense. Like everytime haha 😝😜😵😖

  21. Sorry im a noob but are all of these strategies from whites perspective since they go first? It confuses me why they are playing as both players to demonstrate the opening lol

  22. Damn. I really want to use the English opening when I finally get back into chess. I mean, I'd pair it with castling the king regardless, but I might have to merge it with something else. Preferably something that focuses on using the knights (my favourite pieces).

  23. I'm surprised at the hate for Bird's opening. You only need to learn about 5 moves to stop From's. I suck pretty bad but I recently switched to Bird's and my rating has been been climbing ever since. I'm sure a higher rated player would wreck me, but that isn't who I'm playing against. Lol

  24. I started learning chess a week ago and Bird's Opening was the first one I saw so I learned it. I'm so glad I learned that is sucks now so I don't continue to use it lmao

  25. Clicked the vid because i saw "beginner" and "openings" since i recently started getting into this and then proceed to see a HUUGEE list of possible openers

  26. With white I play E4 every time, and with black I know several defenses, that's enough for me.

  27. Beginners should only play e4 or d4 and e5 or d5. Stop with this nonsense for beginners Hikaru.

  28. If Hikaru did this whole tier list series by himself it would have 2x the view count. GothamChess is so cringe.

  29. Queen's gambit isn't on the list? That's the only opening i know well.

  30. Objectively the best opening is the one that gets recommended by the top chess engine.

  31. You guys talk and move the pieces far too fast for me. As a beginner I would not label this video as beginner level

  32. Had great success with Bird's opening in OTB tournaments. Cause nobody prepares for it lol.

  33. No diplomacy at all with the tier decision making process. Poor Levy.

  34. OMG I learn so much! Bird's opening…Savage!

  35. Ok have you ever considered allowing this stuff down or not labeling it for beginners

  36. Caro kann is legendary at the beginner level for sure that’s so raw

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