My Favorite Chess Openings
Currently, my favorite Chess openings are the Ruy Lopez and the Italian Game. As can be seen from the pictures here, they differ only in the third move for white. The Ruy Lopez uses: 3. Bf1-b5, while the Italian uses: 3. Bf1-c4.
In the Ruy Lopez, white's third move attacks the Knight which is defending the black e5 pawn, putting indirect pressure on the pawn and contesting control of the center. Black has numerous options at this point, many of them proven to release the pressure on the pawn.
In the Italian Game, white's third move attacks the weak f7 square, which is defended by only the King. Black's best response is usually aggressive counterattack, while a solid defense will usually lead to a draw.
I enjoy these openings because they both pressure the center of the board, even though the Italian Game is more subtle about it. Both openings can also result in wild play, giving more opportunity to learn while playing.