Universal Chess Opening: The Hippo Beginner Ideas Series Part 3

Welcome to the Palm Beach Chess Beginner Chess Openings series on the Hippo! I am often asked by students starting out: is there an opening I can play with both white and black? Yes and no… we can’t always get exactly what we want but by guiding opening principles and plans we can reach a playable position without too much difficulty. Hopefully, this series by NM Bryan Tillis is enjoyable as clearly, the Hippo is not for everyone 😉


  1. Bryan, your problem in that first game was that you forgot an early h6 move. I move as early as my 2nd move. With that prophylactic move. You have 2 immediate supports(Rh8, Ng8) and 2 more backing them up(b7, Bf8). If you run h6 in tandem with d3, you would've been just fine. Love your videos here and your open and honest commentary. It was kind to say your opponent should've won, but you were right about players "running out of ideas." The MG and EG will determine most outcomes. Take care, be well

  2. Great video. Looking forward to seeing videos of the Hippo against higher rated players – it is too easy to make any opening look good when your opponent just blunders pieces. I think the Hippo can be a great opening for people like myself who want a solid opening so that they can work on their middle game and end game skills.

  3. This is definitely a great opening for people who are starting to play. I will certainly try it myself In lichees.

  4. That first game was scary crazy but instructive.

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