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They are quickly outdated. If this is the case, how would you recommend players learn openings assuming no knowledge?

When you are learning new openings, it is important to understand the reasons behind every move you make. In a lot of openings, specific moves can be interchanged as long as one understands the general reasoning behind the moves. However, there are some openings where the specific move order is extremely important. A big mistake I see beginning and intermediate players make - and I was guilty of this as well - is to simply focus on the opening sequence of moves.

They will memorize the first moves of their openings quite well in many cases and figure on "playing chess" with a decent position after they get out of book.

How to Choose a Chess Opening Repertoire

The problem comes when they are out of book and have no idea of the plans and ideas that arise out of that opening. In Greg on Chess: The Value of Studying Openings , Greg says that the best reason to study the openings - when done properly - is that you will gain many strategic and tactical ideas. I recommend reading this article in its entirety because he gives a couple good examples of this. Besides having good sources for your opening knowledge, here are some ideas to help you apply this tip to your chess training. Study complete master games within your opening repertoire - annotated if possible, especially if you are a beginner.

Catalog games and positions that illustrate the key ideas in your openings. Chess databases like Chessbase are great for this purpose. Is it practical for anyone with any kind of life outside of chess to study these monstrosities?

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The answer is a clear NO! So why do people buy them? Perhaps they are tired of bad positions and have heard somewhere that they should play the main lines as a remedy? Is playing main lines a remedy?

How to Build an Opening Repertoire - Chess Meditations

If someone learns and understands logical openings, where there is no immediate sharp conflict, then nothing too bad will happen to them in the opening. I should add that if their general chess understanding is good then they will probably get the better of an opponent who has booked up on variations but does not understand too much. Trust me, they will not be able to remember all 17, variations and are more likely to get brain damage than chess strength.

So where can someone find repertoires which depend largely on plans and ideas? Unfortunately they are difficult to find, and this is why I decided to create one. A few years ago I developed the Building an Opening Repertoire course here, which features I deliberately made the lines as simple and logical as possible so as to aid the assimilation of plans and ideas, for example as Black I gave the French including the Rubinstein Varation with So, you play 1.

That way you always know the lines. If you're up for it, you can play the Sicilian or the French or the Caro Kann with black, but the overlap method is a smart solution. With black, against d4 you can either go If you play Most of the time, that means: If white plays weak sauce you go d5, e6 and c5 and blow him up. I always do that and I barely remember any lines and it works well.

When you've decided, the big question is, what to do next. Of course not. That is way too much work. Play a serious game, so with notation or online chess, lose it, and then look up the line you should have played. This way you will probably retain the information. Keep doing this until you've memorized your lines.

There is no need to make a fuss if you can get a decent position out of the opening anyway. The theory is there to help you, not to memorize for the fun of it. You will probably notice there is no need to remember the specifics of every opening, unless the play is very sharp. So, if you're committed to saccing a pawn you probably want to know that or avoid that line. Of course I'm referring to the 2 knights or the open variation of the Spanish. Daniel Naroditsky covered how to choose and develop an opening repertoire in depth in his series "The Naroditsky method".


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A bit pricey, but I think it is worth it. If you get it from IChess. Geez, why didn't I think of that? That'll change my attitude and make learning and developing my opening repertoire fun. Rubbing their hands in mad glee, trying to maintain poker face as the lure works in baiting the fish to bite. Like Dr. Nefario has fun prepping his opening repertoire. I just want to learn to have fun too, so I can do it without hating it.

Also, do you enjoy and have fun in studying openings and building up your repertoire? If so, can you articulate why that is, and how you make it enjoyable? What do you imagine?

How to Build Your Opening Repertoire | Tiger Lilov's Chess School

Or what pleasure motivates you to eagerly study openings? Play 1. Bg2 and c4!!


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Bg7 and This is my have fun, no theory, no haters repertoire that will make you skip about like a spring lamb full of the joys of life. Have fun! Neh, most club players know a couple of lines 10 or 15 moves deep after years of play. For example, add more moves for the KID and you have an eloborate club player's repertoire of less than moves. I'll bet if you actually make it to moves you'll know more than most people in your area. Everyone is telling you how to study openings. For me, the fun in learning openings has come from enjoyment of the particular positions that arise and excitement about getting these positions in my games.

Opening Repertoire Strategies

The first time I saw some of the variations that come up in the Marshall in the Ruy Lopez, my eyes lit up, and I knew this was what I wanted to play with black. A corollary to this thought is this: opening lines are generally dry. There is nothing fun about memorizing lines.

Understanding the principles behind the lines, which you should obviously be doing, is a bit more fun, but still It's like studying physics or chemistry or anything from a book and doing problems on paper - not exciting. What is exciting? Seeing actual games played in the opening, and playing it yourself.

Whatever book you choose for your opening study I'm going to stay away from that debate , make sure you look not just at variations, but at games played by GMs and others in those lines. Are KID lines fun to learn? Not really. Are the KID games of Bronstein, Kasparov, and Nakamura, where they sac half their pieces and give mate with the other half, fun to see? To go back to the science metaphor - I didn't really ever enjoy learning biology from a textbook. But the first time I did an experiment and it worked - oooh yeah.

Different world. As far as what openings best suit your style - no one knows that better than yourself.