The “Derek Walde” Chess Opening

Over the past two months, I have read articles like Best Opening Chess Moves and Chess Strategy For Chess Openings And Chess Principles or watched videos like Top 10 Chess Openings and Everything You Need To Know 2: The Opening! which have all brought me to developing my own opening strategy.

My strategy lies within the same principles as any other opening strategy and I would put it in the moderate aggressive category.  It is not as aggressive as the Ruy Lopez but not as defensive as the Sicilian Defense as it lies somewhere in middle.

My strategy is based on taking control of the middle with the pawns off the start, then bringing my knights into play early by supporting and protecting the middle while allowing protection for my bishops to move into play and pressure the King or Queen if possible.  My strategy is a bit reactionary, as the first three to four moves are the same every time, however, I will react or pounce on mistakes that the other team may give.  I try to get castled once I have moved all the pieces (2 pawns, 2 knights, 2 bishops) into position and none are under current threat.

I have yet to see if my strategy is a copy or named something different, but so far I have not, so I called it the “Derek Walde” (Please any chess specialists out there could you help me find out what it is called or just ridicule my opening would be helpful).  Another thing to keep an eye on, when looking at my how-to video or pictures, is the indicator in the top right corner on the side that keeps track who has the advantage and the moves used.  As you can see my strategy puts me in a strong position in all the cases below, some are stronger than others depending on the opponent’s moves.

Below is my How-To-Video on the Derek Walde Opening using

You can see my strategy is very dependent on the opponent, as sometimes my bishops are not so aggressively forward and maybe tucked in more due to the opponent.  A few examples below show the differences, as the opponent dictates where my bishops should go.

In the case above the queen and king are both a bit more protected, so I kept the bishops a bit closer to home as my opponent’s pawns on the left side are out and in a position to attack and if I were to move my bishop to b5 like I did in the how-to video, it would be under threat.  However, my pawns and knights are in the same position as only my bishop’s positions have changed.

In this picture, my pawns are a bit different because the computer got aggressive with their queen, by moving it to Qb6, so I put pressure on it with my pawn.  However, the core strategies are still there as my pieces control a large majority of the center of the board.  Usually, the knights and pawns move into the same spot every time on moves 1-4, as you can see by the move tracker, but moves 5-8 might change a bit.

I used my QuickTime Player to take a screen recording and take screenshots for my how-to video and explanations.  I really like using this app on my Mac because it is easy and simple to use.  Even though it does not have great editing features, as it is very rudimentary, it allows me to trim and crop if needed and do all I need to document my learning progress.

I continue to use, on the play against the computer tab, as my main opponent because it allows me to see how each move is gaining an advantage by the side tracker in the top right corner and also gives suggestions on what moves were the ‘best’ allowing me to understand and see the board better. Next week I might venture to a new platform, but for now, this is what I am comfortable with and still learning lots.  I find it a bit overwhelming right now trying to find videos to keep me learning something new because there are so many resources, which is giving me difficulties finding videos or websites that would help me the most or what exactly I need to learn next.

As I keep playing I will adjust and change my opening but for now, this is how I go about setting up my chess pieces in any game.

8 Replies to “The “Derek Walde” Chess Opening”

  1. What a fantastic explanation you provided in your video. I was able to follow really easily as you did an awesome job explaining the motives behind each of your moves and your strategy. I was curious to see how the game played out! Great work!


  2. Great work Derek, I have always wanted to learn how to play chess as well. Did you have any experience in chess prior to your learning project? How have you found you are progressing in playing against online opponents? I love that you have developed your own opening strategy too, take the football approach and come up with different play calls based on your opponent! Keep up the good work!


    1. I had only watched a couple of my friends play, so I only had a very basic knowledge of the generalities (what the goal of the game, and how some pieces moved) of the game before the learning project. I am feeling confident I could play against causal chess players without getting destroyed. This week I plan on trying to play a chess game against a level 4 computer on, when I started I could not even beat a level 1 computer.


  3. Great work Derek! I’m really impressed that you’ve developed your own strategy. It shows a lot of confidence and growth of understanding. Your video explained your opening strategy and rational for using the strategy really clearly! I will definitely try it out. I’m curious to see how it will affect/alter my game compared to the opening that I typically use. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Derek,
    Nice job adopting an opening strategy! You have come so far in your learning journey and you are constantly improving. Do you find you are spending more time playing chess while practicing social distancing or about the same?
    Keep up the great work,


    1. I did not play a lot last week maybe 4 or 5 games, spent a lot of time last week moving home and settling into my new routine of life because of everything going on. Hopefully this upcoming week I get to play a bit more!


  5. Derek,

    It’s pretty neat how much you’ve increased in your chess playing skills! I like the way you articulated how you play and the moves you make and what they do. It was simple and not jargon heavy. Which I feel like is really important as a future educator!


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