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The opening refers to the beginning of a game, specifically the strategy and tactics involved in making the initial deployments and early moves that set the tone for the rest of the game and constrain future decisions.

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"Cramped" openings are generally used by players who are good at piling up strong defenses for the opening and who hope to encourage overextension on White's part, in order to take advantage of it … first moves appear conservative, even "cramping", he is merely being more patient than in the alternative openings. He uses more moves to get where he wants, but the extra moves can reap dividends …
answered Jun 22 '11 by Daniel