Studying Openings

| 3 | Opening Theory

All articles I wrote before this one are about a particular opening. For my 4th one, I'd like to do something else for a change. 

First of all, I'd like to give you, the readers, a question. Is it really worth the time to study openings? Or can you just cut down the studying time by only studying the middlegame? Players who answer yes to the second part of the question usually deviate from the main lines as soon as possible, while players who answer yes to the first question use their knowledge as an advantage  (well, really there is hardly any if your opponent deviates from the main line).

Avoiding the question for a minute, I'd just like to point out that memorizing pages after pages of analysis does not count as studying openings.

When you deviate from the main line, then no matter how much analysis your opponet have stored in their brains, it is all going to the garbage bin. Yet, when you deviate, that usually means playing some hardly ever trodden path, with little or no tests ever played in top tournament. That does not mean that that variation is an automatic loss, but then, you never know. Perhaps your opponent may be a chess Einstein and work out a move on the board that cause you a huge positional disadvantage.

PLayers who stick to the main line are always more (well, currently) than players who enter the doors to the Middlegame as soon as possible - and that's when the studyings pay off. Openings such as the Ruy Lopez are impossible to play without at least some time spared for studying due to its several replies and variations (Bird, Steintz, Classical, Berlin, Schliemann, Norwegian, Cozio...).

I've gotta admit though, according to the popularity of Secret of Opening Surprises (even though I haven't read it yet), it looks as though that after reading it, you probably don't need to read anything else on openings. Probably just jump straight to tactics and positional play.

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