How to choose which opening to play?

Jan 7, 2008, 9:20 PM |

There are so many opening variations to play. There are so much to learn. Which ones should be chosen? Every openings have their advantages and disadvantages. In general, mainlines openings are complicated, theory laden and involves a lot of time. The assessments do often change when novelty are found. Sometimes from advantage to equality or vice versa.

However, they are the best way to equality or slight advantage.

Then there are the sidelines, good for surprises but once your opponents knows what you play there is litte to offer.

So how should a chess player choose?

 Here is a post I posted at Kurtgodden's blog. I posted it again because of several forum posts that keep asking about opening variations to choose.

To choose an opening depends on 

 1. Your chess ambition. How far do you want to go in chess? If you are happy at the same level or even don't mind if your playing level decrease and don't care about improvement , then any opening will do. I guess there are life outside chess. 

However, if you want to become a professional chess player one day and a grandmaster the next and one day hopefully you can become world champion, then openings theories are very important. Which one should you choose, I guess the mainstream cutting edge theory. It can be 1.e4 or 1.d4. Scilian or french to meet 1.e4. NI and QI to meet 1.d4

 2. Time and memory. If you don't have BOTH time and a good memory then you  choose one of the quieter variation. You don't have to play 1. g3 or something similar but both 1.e4 and 1.d4 have lots of variations that are less theory intensive.

 3. What kind of player are you? This is a difficult question to answer. Why? Because chess players can evolve. They don't have one style that presists throughout their whole life.

Nonetheless, if you prefer solid position and is an endgame technican then you can avoid opening theory  and play something safe. If you prefer sharp positions, then unfortunately you have to go for more theory-laden stuff opening variations.

 Again, both 1.e4 and 1.d4 offers both styles plenty of variations to choose from.

 4. What materials do you have? What books do you have or have access to?  What budget do you have?

I think no. 4 is the most important factor for me. The access to books and good materials influence my openings more than 1-3. 


So in the end, it really doesn't matter for most of us ! After all chess is just a game !!