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Do You HAVE to Learn Openings to be Good?


  • 3 months ago · Quote · #41

    Skeptikill

    generally USCF i believe is considered to be approx 100 points more than Fide. So 1800 USCF is approx 1700 Fide.

    You HAVE to learn openings to improve and be a good decent player. Like many have pointed out you only need 2 for each colour. Like all decent well versed players (i am 1800CFC)I steer most of my games in the direction of openings i like. If i play a few moves that i dont normally play i end up in unknown territory very fast! I play the same openings against everything every game! If someone plays sicilian i play GPA, if someone plays Pe4 i play french etc. 
    I play about 4-6 openings in 90% of my games all of which i have learned over years and played many times. I know the general theory and plans necessary in each one. Simple.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #42

    I_Am_Second

    Till_98 wrote:

    You havs to be in a chess club to play OTB tournaments( at least in Germany). So everybody can prepare for you. A question : Is 1800 USCF the same as 1800 Fide?

    1800 USCF is about 1950 FIDE

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #43

    Dr_Jan_Itor

    You havs to be in a chess club to play OTB tournaments( at least in Germany). So everybody can prepare for you. A question : Is 1800 USCF the same as 1800 Fide?

    There are probably more club tournaments than in other countries, but there are plenty of regular open tournaments in Germany. 

    And you're going to have a hard time getting a good answer to the 1800 uscf vs 1800 fide question. Generally, uscf ratings tend to be higher than fide, but there are relitivley few fide rated tournaments in the United States, so you're going to have a bit of variability for lower rated fide players.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #44

    Wayward_Bishop

    I learn by exposing myself to all sorts of opening set ups, trying to make normal moves that don't break opening principles unless I think a position warrants an exception, and try to find good plans in middle games. Why worry about an occasional amateur who knows more book theory of a position than you? May you can beat them with better middle game or end game play, or what worse you have a nice study game to see how that opening should be handled. My opinion people try to play like masters and study like masters but forget that masters already worked out the basics and all they have to focus on is openings- we still need to do the basics first!

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #45

    achja

    Dr_Jan_Itor wrote:

    I find it interesting that everyone who has marked a barrier, has put it at +/- 300 of their own rating. And even more interesting that Carlsen hasn't dispelled that notion. 

    Smile

    Have fun reading those "How do I become a master" threads which are full of strong suggestions from non titled players, including 1100 rated players which almost want to sell you their "secrets" about how to become a master.

    ... priceless.

    Smile

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #46

    Till_98

    Hahaha good joke... 1800 Uscf is NEVER 1950 Fide Elo. A national master in USA is 2200 Uscf. So you want to tell me that he would be rated 2350 Fide? You know that this would be a Fide Master ? I think 1800 Uscf is definetly lower than 1800 Fide( It simply has to be like this because of the titles in USA and the ratings on Chess.com compared to the Uscf and Fide Ratings). My question was just how much lower the Rating is....

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #47

    Raja_Kentut

    I am a decent chess player and I don't memorize openings. Since my first exposure to chess when I was a child, I love to experiment with different opening moves. Perhaps I am just bored with similar positions being repeated over and over again. I also don't always follow opening principles and try to break them whenever possible (depending on the risk!). It's fun, especially since mistakes in the openings tend to be more forgiving than mistakes in the later part of the game. After a while, I become comfortable in dealing with a variety of positions, which I think is good. This is why I believe that it is beneficial for newcomers to try out all kinds of openings and have fun. It trains your creativity and resourcefulness, especially when you end up in a bad position.

    However, I am not a professional chess player. I play chess for fun. When your livelihood depends on winning a chess game, then I think you should seek out advice from the pros.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #48

    Dr_Jan_Itor

    @Till_98

    Again, you're making the assumption that an average 2350 player having a higher uscf than fide implies that an average 1800 player has a higher uscf than fide, which is strange assumption and happens to be flat wrong in this case.

    http://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/uscf-to-fide-conversion

    And I wouldn't take the formulas in that post to be foolproof either, there is obviously a high leval of generalization to allow for easy conversion between uscf and fide.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #49

    yureesystem

    25 hours ago·Quote·#33

    Till_98

    2200 without any opening knowledge? Sorry guys but that is completly impossible. You cant get over 2000 Elo without opening theory because to get better you need to play and win against better opponents. And you will definetly never win against those players when you are already lost after the opening. You wont even reach the middlegame or the endgame! ( Or a very bad one).

    I am rated over 2000 Fide and I know what I am talking about. Once I played against a Fide Master OTB and he had a completly lost position just because he had not enough plan about the opening he played. Its very easy to win those positions even against much stronger players. So dont tell me 2200 Elo is possible without studying the opening!

     

     

     Metal Ratel, Achja and Till 98, when three strong experts tell you have to study openings, guess what? That is a yes, if you want to be a strong player (2000-2199) otb expert level. I seen in my chess players who avoid opening and stay being a  weak player forever. I did my opening before I reach expert level and my advice play 1.e4 as white and for black play against 1.e4 e5 and against 1.d4 d5; a classical style you become a very strong player and can meet any unsound response with confidence. And to aid in your opening study classical players like Capablanca, Morphy, Kasparov, Rubinstein, Fischer, Steinitz and Kolisch; you undertstand how to place your pieces better and develop good plan.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #50

    jlconn

    @yureesystem: I think your example doesn't really support your point, at least as far as you related it. After reading it, I can come away thinking that you (Elo ~2000, who studies openings) played an FM (Elo ~2300) who does not study openings. Therefore, at least your FM opponent got to 2200+ without studying openings. I am pretty sure there is missing background there. I presume you played into one of the few lines the FM was not well prepared for, or that the FM was trying out a new system for the first time.

    I also find it hard to believe that you could reach 2200 without a fairly in-depth study of the opening in general, all of the openings to some degree, and your own openings in detail. Such a player would have to be uncannily strong in other aspects of the game, given that your ambitious 1800 players come to tournaments armed to the teeth with memorized opening lines, and yes, a bad opening slip WILL result in a 2200 losing to an 1800 who knows the lines.

    Some amount of opening study is necessary well below 2000, too. When I reached 1500, I had a pretty strong endgame (for that level) and I knew the general plans of my openings, and I was solid if not advanced tactically (for my level). But I lost against higher rated players (~1575+) because they knew specifics. The sharper your openings, the earlier you will have to start studying specifics. I am currently attempting to solidify my status as an 1800+ (USCF) player, and I find that knowing the lines takes a back seat to tactics, it is true, but if you don't know the lines, you can be caught out by lower rated players more often than is possible to retain a high rating. But I think ratings are useless when discussing specific knowledge and skills because, for instance, one player may be rated 1500 because he knows his opening lines 15 moves by heart but is terrible at tactics, while another player may be rated 1500 because he is a much better endgame player than anyone else at that rating, but hasn't studied much else. So don't get sidetracked by ratings - the important message is that opening study is important for any developing chess player, almost no matter what that player's level (the lowest levels should concentrate entirely on tactics).

    Also, it should be clarified what is meant by "learning openings". Do we mean learning opening principles and guidelines, learning opening traps, learning specific tabiya out to three to five moves, learning the typical tactics that arise from the openings you play, learning the typical middlegame plans in the openings you play, memorizing variations out to 10 to 30 moves, or learning the typical endgames reached from the openings that you play?

    I believe opening study should involve each of those activities, more or less in that order. The particular type of opening study you engage in changes according to your level of play (and, more importantly, your previous openings study progress).

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #51

    MetalRatel

    It is important to learn what is appropriate for you level. This is where a coach can help you avoid a lot of frustration.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #52

    Dr_Jan_Itor

    If Magnus Carlsen forgot every opening he knows today does anyone here actually think they would stand a chance vs him?

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #53

    MetalRatel

    Dr_Jan_Itor wrote:

    If Magnus Carlsen forgot every opening he knows today does anyone here actually think they would stand a chance vs him?

    Well that's one of those hypotheticals that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You learn positional principles from studying the opening, so does that disappear while we try to divorce openings from the rest of chess? Reshevsky was known to have a terrible memory about opening preparation despite being a very strong player, but opening study is a lot more than memorizing theory.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #54

    yureesystem

    Jlconn, it took me one year and half to become a A class (1800-1999 USCF), I believe because I study classical players like Fischer, Capablanca, Karpov, Steinitz, Tarrasch, Morphy and Alekhine my foundation is good. Reti recommends 1.e4 to every player below master level, I believe that is why progress so quickly, I did not play junk opening but Standard opening ( main line only), if white responded to 1.e4 I would play 1...e5 or 1...c5 only, I believe 1..e5 teaches you develop your pieces naturally and the pawn breaks are easier to spot (...d5; ...f5; and possible ...c6) and the same for response to 1.d4 would 1...d5, Queen Gambit Declined is easy to understand and hard to beat; I hve faith in classical style, you are rarely in a cramp position and have a solid center, it is more than memorize moves; it is understanding the ideas in a opening or defense. Off-beat opening, King Indian Attack, Reti Opening and English, Colle system and any non-mainline below expert should be avoided if you want to reach expert or higher. Seen in my chess club low rated players playing junk or non-standard opening and staying low rated. One friend who was  a 1400 USCF played junk opening, until told him if only play 1.e4 your rating will go up, he took my advice and immediately is rating climb quickly, he also study Chernev Books which I recommend too. One the reason I believe I became an expert because of my strong foundation in the opening and other areas I study in chess.

     Jlcom gook luck to pursue to 1800, I also hope you make it higher.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #55

    jambyvedar

    Till_98 wrote:

    2200 without any opening knowledge? Sorry guys but that is completly impossible. You cant get over 2000 Elo without opening theory because to get better you need to play and win against better opponents. And you will definetly never win against those players when you are already lost after the opening. You wont even reach the middlegame or the endgame! ( Or a very bad one).

    I am rated over 2000 Fide and I know what I am talking about. Once I played against a Fide Master OTB and he had a completly lost position just because he had not enough plan about the opening he played. Its very easy to win those positions even against much stronger players. So dont tell me 2200 Elo is possible without studying the opening!

    I disagree with this. I have quoted an IM with 2400 rating. He told he reach 2400 without giving much attention to opening study.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #56

    positionalknightmare

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 3 months ago · Quote · #57

    Dr_Jan_Itor

    MetalRatel wrote:
    Dr_Jan_Itor wrote:

    If Magnus Carlsen forgot every opening he knows today does anyone here actually think they would stand a chance vs him?

    Well that's one of those hypotheticals that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You learn positional principles from studying the opening, so does that disappear while we try to divorce openings from the rest of chess? Reshevsky was known to have a terrible memory about opening preparation despite being a very strong player, but opening study is a lot more than memorizing theory.

    You learn positional principles from studying chess, whether or not you're studying openings doesn't quite matter. And not trying to argue that studying openings wouldn't help someone's chess skill, but the argument that it's a requirement to reach a certain level is faulty. And judging by this forum appears to be soley based on a person's experience and the level is +/- 300 rating points of whatever player is making the argument.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #58

    MetalRatel

    I'm rather inclined to say the answer to these questions is rather simple:

    The openings are a part of chess, so yes, of course, you should study them.

    Chess is becoming a more concrete game, so the importance of opening study is increasing at the higher levels, but first you should probably start with studying older master games where the application of fundamental opening principles is easier to understand.

    Why complicate things with all these strange theories that have little practical relevance? Openings are chess, middlegames are chess, endings are chess. As with any aspect of the game, there are good and bad approaches to study.

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #59

    Till_98

    @ jambyvedar: Can you show us the quotation please? If this IM really said he had no plan of opening theory during reaching a rating of 2400(!) then he was definetly lying or at least he wasnt completly honest. Come on, everybody who plays at a higher Level ( 2000+) has to learn opening theory, exspecially International masters! Everybody can prepare for their "Bad" opening lines, so they would even get crushed by a 2000 player. You cant play your best chess if you are already worse in/ after the opening. Thats simple, but true

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #60

    achja


    One of the sensations during the World Cup in Tromso 2013 was Peruvian Grandmaster Julio Granda Zuniga. He is known as the man who does not study openings, relying on his natural talent.


    http://newsaboutchess.com/page.php?al=julio-granda-zuniga-i-am-not-as-fond-of-chess-as-people-think



    While other grandmasters depend on book knowledge and elaborate computer databases, Granda Zuniga has neither library nor computer. Incredibly, he claims to have read only one chess book in his life.

    "Julio always has difficulties in the opening. But the moment his opponent does not know how to continue he starts to play brilliantly." explains fellow grandmaster Alexey Shirov, who lost to him in last year's tournament.


    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-11-24/news/9611240392_1_grandmaster-chess-tournament-vassily-ivanchuk


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