Opening Study For Beginners
Deciding among the hundreds of openings can be a little hard because if you choose the wrong opening, you may feel uncomfortable throughout the whole game. Therefore, when you are looking for an opening, first concentrate on your style of play because this will help you choose which opening complements your style.
When I started playing chess, my father used to tell me that how a person lives outside the chessboard is how he is on the board.
In other words, if a person is passive outside of chess, that is mostly how he or she plays on the board.
To find your own style, follow these tips.
In a notebook, write down what characterizes you as a player. For example, are you an aggressive or passive player? Do you like open or closed games? In your current opening, which piece do you struggle to activate the most?
Once you understand your style, you can begin researching for the right opening for you based on the answers you wrote down. You will need to analyze master games by using chess databases, and read chess encyclopedias.
All openings have an ECO code (Encyclopedia of Chess Opening), which classifies them into different systems. I suggest you understand the ECO code system before you begin your search.
When you find the opening you would like to play, you will need to become a student of it. In other words, you will have to submerge yourself into understanding every aspect of it.
How can you understand a new opening in a short amount of time?
First, you need to determine the three main lines of the opening you want to play. While you study them, you will gain the basic and fundamental knowledge of the opening. It is extremely important to understand that memorizing the lines of an opening does not mean you "know" or "understand" an opening.
You have to fully understand the concepts and ideas behind them in case your opponent deviates from the main line. Studying top master games is extremely important.
One thing that I have learned is not only to study games where my opening wins but to study the draws and the losses, as well.
As you do this you get a general idea on how to better play the opening because learning from other people's mistakes allows you not to make them.
While you are researching the opening you need to keep an eye out for several things:
1. Transition from the opening to the middlegame and endgame.
2. Look for general plans of attack.
3. Recognize weak squares.
4. Learn development patterns.
5. Be aware of piece placement.
Last but not least, keep an eye on the endgame of the opening you chose, because you will notice a common denominator in them. This information will also improve your game because both the opening and the middlegame are linked with your endgame.
Overall, when you first start out playing a new opening, you might hit some bumps on the road, but remember it takes practice. Learn from each mistake and fix it. This experience is like learning to ride a bike, you may fall down but continue on and don't give up!