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Recently I started a thread about this. I used to use agressive openings that lead to open games.
However things are different now.
1. I noticed that positional strength is better.
2. I need to get back to studying tactics/endgames/middlegames as soon as possible because it's incorrect to study openings without tactical, middle and endgame study. The reason I'm looking at the opening for a little while was because I studied quite a bit of the other "good" stuff. I decided to take a break from that and get some knowledge on the opening. I took Waitzkin's course on Chessmaster (the whole thing except for Annotated Games) I'm pretty much done on openings though. I have one more opening to study, and I think I'll be good.
3. I have a better idea of my rating. I'm a little under 1200 here, but I'm about to get a rating, and I am finally able to participate in a USCF chess club. There, I was estimated to be about 1200-1300 USCF.
Taking the first point into consideration, I have studied openings that are positional and locked down. This is what I have so far:
- London System
-Scotch Game (for fun club play if I want to take a break from positional play)
Against e4: Caro-Kann Defense
Against d4: Nimzo-Indian Defense (This is the one I need to study.)
Against d4: Benoini Defense -> Benko Gambit (again for occasional fun tactical play in clubs or blitz)
The thing I realized is that I could easily have a higher rating if my tactical vision, especially for my opponents was better. I have even - slightly better positions against people rated 1600-1700 but my problem is that they play something and I don't see it and then lose a rook or something like that and get beat. That's what happend at the chess club as well.
So the main question here, is are my openings sound and something a chess coach would approve of?
The other side question is, since after studying the Nimzo-Indian Defense, I need to quickly get back to other stuff. What should I do? Right now, I go on chesstempo and practice there (you should check it out, I made an account there). I also watch videos by the chesswebsite.com on YouTube on middle and endgame play. What else should I do? By some books maybe? If so which ones? Can you recommend me some? I know all of the basic tactics (skewers, pins, forks, defelctions, etc. etc.) , just have trouble seeing them and this is why I can't solve the puzzle of the day on this site usually.
I can help you improve. Check out my coach profile: www.chess.com/coach/eric
At your level, do not worry about opening variations, just try to follow the basic ideas of development (be sure to scroll down and read them all). Play 1 e4, you will encounter more tactical situations earlier in the game, and tactics is your weak point - it is everyone's. Practice tactics by playing as much as you can, but slower games: blitz is fun but will not teach you anything except "move faster!" Also Tactics Trainer and as many puzzles as you can find.
If you believe your "positional strength is better," that's all the more reason to work on tactics. Positional expertise means nothing if you overlook simple tactical threats.
I have seen posts like this many times. Estrgon's post (#3) seems right on the money.
My two cents, from reading your initial post, and from reading what good players write, is that you may be putting too much emphasis on your opening. An opening is designed to get one to a workable middlegame. If you don't understand how to use it to your advantage, you may be lost when you get there.
I already know basic rules for opening play. The London is actually a great opening I have heard and in the end gives you lots of flexibility. You can castle kingside or not at all. You can attack on the kingside or the queenside as well. I do not even use London that much. I actually use English,and also when I look at openings, I do look at why a move is played rather than memorizing. So I do not see what the problem is. I only have one opening left to study and that is it. I only use London system against someone who is much better than me...or in tournaments sometimes.
sorry need to bump
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