A chess opening or simply an opening refers to the initial moves of a chess game. The term can refer to the initial moves by either side, White or Black. An opening by Black may also be known as a defense. There are dozens of different openings, and hundreds of variants. The Oxford Companion to Chess lists 1,327 named openings and variants. These vary widely in character from quietpositional play to wild tactical play. In addition to referring to specific move sequences, the opening is the first phase of a chess game. The other phases being the middlegame and the endgame.