How much to study openings as a beginner? (Hangin' with Mr. Lopez)
I have seen many people on the internet claim that beginners should not bother to study openings. That to study the opening is a waste of time and beginners should focus on tactics, tactics, tactics. They say we should just follow the basic opening principals and not worry about any book openings.
While I agree with the majority of what they are saying I do not think that beginners should totally ignore study of the opening. I think we should limit opening study to somewhere around 15% of our study time. One idea I really like was from Simon Williams (Ginger_GM) who said beginners should find 3 openings they like and stick with them. One opening to play as white and as black one against e4 and one against d4.
With that in mind I have limited my opening study to a handful of openings. With white I play 1. e4 and go into the Spanish if possible. And against 1.e4 I do essentially the same but reversed. Since I play the Ruy Lopez so much I feel fine with it on either side of the board. The other e4 lines I just try to find something simple which doesn't have a ton of theory. For example in the French I'll just play the exchange variation. I still usually play the more open lines in the Sicilian since I spend most of my study time on tactics.
But even a little opening knowledge can win you some games. Take this game i recently played.