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Sorry, but "beginners should play the QGD to learn fundamentals" is just dogmatic crap IMO. I never replied with ...d5 to 1.d4 or 1...e5 to 1.e4 even as a beginner because I simply hated the resulting symmetrical positions. You have to play what you're comfortable with.
As a BEGINNER??? As a Beginner players learn how the horsey moves. Beginners don't hate symmetry - they don't even know what symmetry is. I call dogcrap.
You're being way too patronizing towards beginners. I distinctly remember after having taught me the rules the first thing my old man did was buy me a collection of annotated master games sorted by opening. As I played through these, even though I was obviously a total patzer I nonetheless quickly developed a feel for which opening setups were to my taste and which weren't.
With all do respect, I believe the initial dislike of symmetrical positions comes from beginners simply being unable to find moves that look like they do something. With openings like the KID or Benoni there are things like pawn breaks or pawn storms that at least give a player a" feeling of direction."
However when those players are forced down more classical lines such as 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O Nc6 8.Re1 or 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 where White refuses to play d5 because "it moves a piece twice in the opening" beginners with the Black pieces don't fare as well since there are no thematic pawn storms or traps for them to play.
It's probably the reason why things like the exchange French or Slav are so disliked as well.
The one and only way a beginner may understand and employ hypermodern openings succesfully, is cheating.
I agree that a beginner should be exposed to various openings in the form of annotated games with various openings, NOT theory on various openings. However, those openings should be confined to classical openings. Queen's Gambit (Accepted, Declined, Slav), Nimzo-Indian, etc (QP Openings where Black doesn't relinquish e4 so easily), Ruy Lopez, Petroff, Philidor, French, Caro-Kann, non-theoretical Sicilians (i.e. Taimanov, Kan, etc - Avoid Dragons and Najdorfs), and determine from that confined list what matches your style of play.
That said, the best way is possibly to develop your first opening like a baby develops being left- or right-handed. Naturally. I played a bunch of blitz games in college, not knowing anything other than the rules and having played occasional off-hand games for 12 years prior, and I played what "felt right" after trying a few things, and low and behold, I asked if what I was playing had a name, and the response? "Yes, that's the French Defense". There's how I became a French player for 10 years before moving on to what is more my style of play.
When I started learning openings as a strong beginner, I favored Indian defenses and the Sicilian. I won a lot of games, but my positional understanding was set back until I learned to play the Slav and Semi-Slav. I recommend that beginners play 1.e4 for 100 games, then 1.d4 for 100 more. From the Black side, both of these moves should be met with the same for 100 games. The number 100 is arbitrary and means "extensive experience."
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