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Openings are loosely divided into "open" and "close" (or "closed") types of play, mostly determined by the defence adopted.
Board Position
FOUR KTS' (7wb)

In open games the pieces are developed quickly, with play directed chiefly along tactical lines. Games starting 1.P-K4..P-K4 (e4 e5) are mostly in this category, eg. the 4Kts' Game (left), Ruy Lopez etc.

Close games mostly begin 1.P-Q4..P-Q4 (d4 d5) and develop along strategic lines (eg. Grünfeld, right).

Board Position

Pieces (ie. Q,R,B,Kt) are generally posted in front of pawns in open games, but behind in close games.

Certain openings fall between these two groups, and are called "semi-open" games - usually a King's Pawn Opening with a reply other than 1..P-K4 (notably the French, the Sicilian and the Caro-Kann) - or "semi-close" - usually a Queen's Pawn Opening with a reply other than 1..P-Q4 (eg. the Dutch or an Indian Defence).

Basics Terms.3 - Tempo Terms.5 - Opening Categories