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Normally I wouldn't start a guide about chess with openings, but atomic is a little different. For example:
As you can see, the Open Game (1...e5) and Sicilian (1...c5), both very common in standard chess, cause black to immediately lose in atomic. (1.e4 is an unusual first move, but these examples are just meant to demonstrate how easy it is to make a fatal mistake.)
I'll cover a few frequent openings here, just to demonstrate the basic ideas.
This is one of the most common first moves. The imminent threat is 2.Ne5 – any move that fails to prevent it loses immediately:
This move is probably so often played because there is only a single good response from black. First, we will look at the only other one that doesn't lose either a queen or the game, 1...e5:
The only reason I mention this opening here is to point out the trap that white might fall into by playing 2.Nf7. Otherwise, there are several continuations after black's only reasonable move, f6:
I will only cover a single line in this section for now.
This is a highly divisive opening in the atomic community, mostly because of how boring many players consider it to be. Many of black's moves are forced or the only reasonable option, so when white plays this opening, the resulting game can feel "standard" and uninteresting.
Even if you don't plan on playing it, it's still good to be aware of (if only because of the apparently-ridiculous move 7.Qb6). There are also ways for black to avoid it (e.g. 2...Qf6, 2...Nc6) and slight variations (e.g. 7...Kf7), but I won't go over those yet.
Future articles will cover these openings in more detail in addition to other common openings.
Hopefully by looking at a few prototypical openings, you've gotten an idea of the general ideas involved (especially the role of the knight and queen). In the next section, which covers basic tactics, I'll describe them in more detail.
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