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I have a question about studying openings in-depth. I currently am using the dragon and like the Soltis variation in response to the 9. Bc4 line. So I naturally study lines that come after the 12. h4 h5.
But what if my opponent plays, for example, 12. Kb1, 12. g4, or another move? Then studying the Soltis is almost a waste of time? Or must I study other moves just as much?
You should definitely create a repertoire for yourself by playing different openings, but I for one cannot memorize many openings, much less all of them. Studying positional play should help in getting through an opening played that you don't understand.
Dragon is a very intensive-theory opening choice.
So either you play it 'by ear', or you learn the lines, which includes lots of variations and sub-variations...
tactics and endgames are a better use of time
Depending on the player in question's level.
You are choosing an opening which is very complicated and if you do not know the theory of this opening--you will not do well. However if you spend too much time on this opening--the rest of your chess game will lag.
Next time pick an opening that does not require such a knowledge of that openings exact theory.
Joey made a fine post regarding this.
What should you do now? I am not sure.
But then the play is not that different from other lines..play Nc4, exchange, double rooks, white launches kingside attack, moves for black like Qa5/b5/ etc. are possibly ok...
You should be studying the ideas in the openings not the exact moves. It sounds like you are trying to memorize Dragon crushes and then play them. That's dumb because it;s not even much fun and you will never remember them.
Thank you. I was under the impression that it was in my best interest to be prepared for anything my opponent would throw at me. I guess I'll just stick to studying the main lines, but use general dragon middlegame strategies to combat White sidelines.
I don't think joeydvivre was suggesting I not play complex openings. He was suggesting a better way to do it.
So is everyone here saying not to study the dragon because its too hard!?
There always comes a time that your knowledge of the theory stops and you have to play on your own.
This can either be on move 8 or if you are really have too much time on move 20 or 30.
Just start playing from their and analyze your own games. Learn your oponents plans learn your plans and read the theory where you felt you had a crappy position out of the opening,
By playing the same opening over and over you learn the standard plans and it becomes easier for you to react to unknown moves.
The problem with the dragon of course is that the opening and middlegame are complex and you will probably lose quite a few times before getting a good idea how to defend yourself. Also the knowledge is concrete so if a white player is fully booked on the dragon he might gain an advantage against a lesser prepared you (though you still get a playable position) But then your superiour knowledges of plans and defensives and offersive mechanisms will kick in
So by all means play the dragon but just be prepared for a steep learning curve
Learn how to play, not what to play.
Are you referring to my terribly low blitz rating?
Because believe it or not, someone rated 1300 and playing the dragon is kind of a joke... I'm more of an 1800 guy who bs's blitz and is studying the dragon more in-depth for a rating increase. So why don't you stick to saying something helpful?
Nah, it is fine to study the dragon - I am a dragon player, and I don't look at every single line in every single variation after move 11 or 12, but I know the main ideas of what you are meant to do in it. In my opinion it is much more important learning the main ideas in an opening as well as the usual plan, rather than just trying to learn move by move without really understanding the position.
Study any opening you want. Learn the main tabyias and then review after each game and see what you would have done differently. This will slowly and steadily increase your book knowledge. Trying to cram it all in at once though is probably not a good idea.
What follows is a summary of the Sicilian (Dragon/Soltis, Kan, Open, Najdorf,Najdorf/Scheveningen, Scheveningen, Sveshnikov, etc.) Everything except the Closed Sicilian, Rossolimo/Russian game, Grand Prix, Smith-Morra Accelerated Gambit Accepted/Declined, Smith-Morra Gambit Accepted/Declined (Alapin), c3 Sicilian, etc.
INCOMPLETE WILL EDITED
The idea is that you learn all the responses to all the testing moves by the opponent. If the opponent doesn't play a testing move, then it's assumed that you know how to play against it anyway.
For all the hundreds/thousands of hours people put into opening theory, they can probably only expect to gain +0.2 of a pawn vs if they just played good, sensible chess. This obviously makes zero sense if you're going to drop a piece a few moves later. The only exception to this 0.2 of a pawn would be if your opponent fell into a terrible position because he didn't know the theory and you did... which may or may not be a cheap way to win.
Studying the Soltis at your level is the surest way to remain a patzer for very long. Leave it alone, and concentrate at other aspects of the game first (endgames, stategy, tactics). Else, you just accumulate absolutely useless knowledge (for the very simple reason that you don't really understand what you are reading).
Specifically to this opening, you should study the Soltis variation if you're serious about learning theory, because it is definitely black's best option here. With players like Karpov dominating with white, the Dragon was starting to seem almost refuted until Soltis popularized this line:
AdvLegitimate wrote "tactics and endgames are a better use of time."
I agree. I noticed I was making no progress for a long time until I started studying endgames.
I think I have learned the hard way. I have still a long way to go to the master level. About 1/2 year ago I was studying the Najdorf and KID to move 23+. I have finally realized that NO ONE plays theory at my level. I am lucky if I can get someone to go down 10 moves in theory.
I am just been studying tactics lately because I have had more beneficial results to my game.
I would recommend you study some opening, stick to it, learn the ideas of the main lines, and learn the type of middlegame that arises. Good luck!
If an 800 player came on here and said that they wanted to study the Poisoned Pawn Najdorf, someone would tell them that was a good idea. I guess that's what happens with 5M members - there is no idea stupid enough that someone doesn't think it makes sense.
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