Chess Board Ranks and Files:
Part of the Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 1)

Chess Board
Ranks And Files
[Open Files]


Chess Board Ranks And Files - Open Files 1 Chess Board Ranks And Files
Open Files (1 of 3)
This example begins just after the Half-open File example finished, with the exception that White's d-Pawn, on the Half-open d-file, has just been advanced two squares (3.d2-d4).

At the current point, both the d-file and the e-file are "Half-open Files."

Next, Black's Queen is going to do something very silly, in order to demonstrate a File becoming fully Open ... (DON'T do this in a real game!)

Chess Board Ranks And Files - Open Files 2 Chess Board Ranks And Files
Open Files (2 of 3)
Black's Queen captures White's d4-Pawn (3...Qd5xd4), which was the last Pawn standing on what was the Half-open d-file ... and now, even before White gets to retaliate, with the d-file totally devoid of any Pawns, the d-file is now an "Open File."

Even though there are Pieces on the d-file (both Queens), because there are no Pawns, the d-file is still classed as an Open File.
Chess Board Ranks And Files - Open Files 3 Chess Board Ranks And Files
Open Files (3 of 3)
Compare the Open d-file with the Half-open e-file, and you can see the latter still has a Pawn on it (Black's e7-Pawn).

Whereas, on the d-file, there aren't any Pawns any more; both side's respective back ranks have become exposed and "Open" to attack!


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