Basically, an open file is one with no pawns of either colour on it. And a file with pawns of only one colour (either White or Black) is called as a half-open file.
The strategy behind an open file
Most chess players know that a common strategic objective for a rook or queen on an open file is to reach its seventh or eighth rank. Controlling the seventh rank is generally worth at least a pawn, as most of the opponent’s pawns will usually reside there.
But the question is: how to obtain an open file OR how to use it effectively?
That’s why IM Boroljub Zlatanovic has prepared a video lesson for you. He will teach you with an illustrative example – a game played between Rudlof Maric and Tigran Petrosian in the year 1970.
You can watch the video lesson below:
Let’s summarise what you would have learnt from this lesson:
- How to hold an open file?
- How to dominate that open file?
- Weak squares
- Playing with initiative
- The advantage of active pieces with an open file
- What is the best piece(s) to occupy an open file?
IM Boroljub Zlatanovic
Boroljub Zlatanovic is a Serbian International Master and professional chess trainer. He became a FIDE Master, and in 1995 was Youth Champion of Serbia and a member of the national youth team. He was a two-time champion of the University of Belgrade and won 10 Serbian Open Chess Tournaments.