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Although I've never been very serious about chess, I've always really loved the game. I once long ago was a pretty strong player and almost reached candidate-master (2000-2199 FIFA) level after starting out as a class E and D (1000-1199; 1200-1399) player. How did I do it? I jumped 500-600 points within two and a half years after studying tactics (70% roughly) and endgames and chess puzzles almost exclusively. This was roughly 30 years ago. Later, 20 years ago, as a coach of several Colorado state championship scholastic chess teams and of my own children . . . I mostly taught them tactics and endgames and chess puzzles but did give my players a very aggressive gambit opening and the French Defense (in the form of about 40 COMPLETE games of less than 20 moves for each opening) for them to study. That seemed to do the trick very well, put them on the right path and let the kids control their own destiny. OK, now to initiate the discussion thread . . . .
Memorization of Chess Openings is Beyond Stupid
If you are a grand master or serious GM wannabe, then for you perhaps there is some value in memorizing chess opening . . . for anyone else, it's a monumental waste of time and sure to make you play worse chess than you now already do. Chess is about committing to the struggle of ideas and hopefully overcoming your opponent with your better ideas and better execution. When you memorize openings you cripple all hope of developing that necessary ability in yourself. Yes, yes in Blitz chess or Bullet chess this may be the path to more victories HURRAH! But what have you gained? You beat someone by using some dead GM's analysis upon him, not by using your own resources.
The reason that grandmasters can and do invest so much time studying openings and why it would be a very bad idea for 99.6% of the rest of us "ordinary" players to study openings very deeply is simply because they are professionals. They have up to 6-7 hours or more every day they can allot to chess study which for the rest of us would be a total disruption of our lives. If you enjoyed the game of tennis and were a pro or highly dedicated to becoming a pro you might devote five hours a week in the gym or footpaths working on flexibility; strength and endurance in addition to, say, 40-50 hours working on all the actual aspects of tennis itself . . . if, however, you merely enjoyed the game like 99% of all tennis players do -- you would never dream of such a preposterous waste of your valuable time and life. Now, having said that and implied that too much studying of openings is a serious waste of time for ordinary players: how should one study openings for best results when playing?
I recommend you study openings exactly as I had my scholastic championship chess teams study openings: study whole games. How, exactly?
A. First study very short games within your opening system: say, 5-20 moves long. Once you've seen all these early debacles (traps to avoid and traps to spring), you've got a pretty good idea of what to be on the look-out for early on. This stage of your "opening prep" might take you two hours a week for 2-4 months.
B. Always remember how Emanuel Lasker advised players to open a chess game: In the first 7-12 moves (while fighting for the center and for central control) look to move both center Pawns and each of the four minor pieces (both Knights and both Bishops) once only -- this is not always possible, but seek to move them at least one time and castle (unless Queens have already been traded . . . because in those queenless games you'll have to evaluate the situation more closely to see if the King is better placed to fight for the endgame in the center or needs to be protected in the corner by castling). So fighting for the center: remember if possible to move each of the four minor pieces once each if practical (4); move the two center pawns once each (2); and castle if desirable(1). Thus 4 + 2 + 1 = hitting all 7 of Lasker's goals.
C. Remembering first that tactics and endgames are the real fun (and the real key to success) in chess and that setting up traps at the cost of strong positional play is pretty stupid; but that setting up traps and other tactics and threats as part of strong positional play is what the pros do . . . now expand your study of your short games in your openings to roughly 21-30 moves long and at the cost of, say, two to four hours a week of study for about half a year you'll have a tremendous idea of what kind of tactical resources are available for both Black and White in your opening.
D. Finally, while still looking at short games and medium-length games in your opening system from time to time . . . play out your opening in master and GM games of 60 moves or longer. What you'll look for is the kind of pawn structure and the kinds of endings that typically pop up and for the kinds of ideas that win and draw; as well as the kind of ideas that don't work in those endgames.
You can't be serious. In every game, sport or anything that requires performance, the best way to get better is to 1) practice yourself and 2) see what the high performers are doing to get their results. Other animals apart from humans also do both of these things: they practice, and they copy... so it's deeply ingrained into us. It's natural man.
Copying the masters exactly, just takes it to the next level. Just makes your performance exactly as good as theirs. The only thing I would say though as a logical continuation of keeping it natural man, is to play the rest of the game also. Don't just play the opening over and over until you can memorize it, play the rest of the game.
In any case, it's hardly "beyond stupid" or stupid at all. Have a little respect for other people's beliefs.
Nice FIFA rating!
Sorry, but you're dead wrong. Chess is a game of understanding, not rote memory. If you don't understand why a move is good or best you should never make it (time trouble is not relevant for this discussion: and the blitz and bullet practice of memorizing long lines of irrefutable moves that some players adopt shows the shallowness of those kind of games and those kind of players). The idea in life is to find the authentic original you and then be true to it: chess being a small part of life is best enjoyed by learning, challenging yourself and being yourself rather than trying to pass as a poor imitation of some unseen master somewhere.
You are beyond incredible! I wish my son had your drive, although he is also gifted. I am sending you, with your parents aproval, all the power and support I have to continue in chess. Chess is great. I wish you the best and hope you enjoy the game as I have for more than 50 years.
Opening theory makes sense for Confidence & Winning.
The Reason why many people hate opening theory so much, aside from Remembering opening lines, which I also do not like for a big part , and which is the Reason that I don't investigated and still don't investigate so much Time in it, is because they found out that it does not always work.They, just the same as a lot of people watch to Barack Obama, think that every opening move should be his/her Hero Move.While this isn't like that.Let met explain those people something:
Your opponent does not always go with you in your lines, and can get our of Book! If he or she does, than first you know: She or he probably has a disadvantage now, or has found out a new opening move.You must always go our from the first part and therefore think sharp and look for the possible advantage you have.Second, You should know what the Current Situation is, or as how they say, what are the plans or what is the Plan behind this Ended Opening ( when the opening is not Ended, you and your opponent have fully played the opening as stands in the books. Finished Opening ).With every move You must realize that your opponent can get out of Book, and than see Concretely what you must do, and the Current Strategies that would have been other when the opening was finished.Than Remembering opening moves out of your Head is Healthy, far especially for short Time-Control ChessPlayers.
Opening Traps can be Fenomenal for short Time-Control Chess Players too.The end, finally.
I find the OP's idea of studying complete games starting with the shorter ones very interesting
u are absolutely right! most players will never and dont even want to reach levels where opening theory (and learning of lines behind the first 5 moves) plays a major role. one will profit so much more from simple standard advices and tactics. a standard advice like "put the rook on open/halfopen lines" in case you dont know what to do next is a really good example. simple things like that make the difference between 1200 and 1600 points. and the vast majority of players are in this category.
Strong players don't memorize opening lines. They play over and analyze the games in an opening variation, including their own, until they are familiar with the positions. They learn instead of memorize.
Those who memorize variations are like fish out of water when the opponent varies from their preparation, or when their memorization ends. You may copy Anand's moves from memory to move 25, but that doesn't mean you have "played like Anand" any more than playing a Herbie Hancock tune means you play like Herbie Hancock.
I try not to memorize lines just the ideas behind it. I also study pawn structures more since openings deal with them.
1. You're trying to emulate what masters are doing once they are already brilliant tactically and in endgames. They didn't start with opening study.
2. They aren't memorising lines. They are studying lines, working out the reasons for each players moves and why the resulting position may be superior to another line, and what the plan would be to take advantage of the features of the position.
Thats why I bought chessbase 11 with mega database. My openings I like I go over Gm games for variations and go through at least 100 before I actually use a opening in games.
To sum it up : memorizing is necessary. Only memorizing is insufficient.
What if you just like studying and memorizing openings?
It all depands what you want yourself.
If you want to become a better player stuying other stuff will do it faster but if you want to be the king of sub variation xyz and dont care to much about rating by all means study it. It is your time and your choice :)
Of course memorization is stupid. I really like the way you think. Thinking is what it is all about. Like the intoduction to my profile, "chess is about understanding, not memorization." We are not trying to be computers...we are human beings. Yet the real game is inside of you. How do you feel? What are you strengths and weaknesses? Who are YOU? How do you react? That is the challenge. Know thyself.
I think this is all bullcrap, this whole discussion.
I know some tactics and endgames, and I've learned some opening theory. Where's the problem?
Stupid thread. Stupid, stupid, stupid. You should be ashamed OP, YOU'RE stupid, not people memorizing openings.
And I'm not going to add "oh some people may be making the mistake of memorizing without understanding"... of course some people are making a mistake. Some people are making a mistake with everything.
You may disagree with the OP, you may think the topic he has brought up is stupid, but the OP is certainly not stupid...
Where did I go wrong here?
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