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Most chess players know there are three widely recognized stages in a chessgame, chronologically being:
- the opening
- middle game
Since the opening is where it all begins it seems sensible to start improving there, but many titled players warn the amateur not to spend all his/her time memorizing lines. So what to do?
I think the best answer is studying opening principles and how to implement them rather than pure memorization. (though I think you should know the main lines of the most common systems to at least 5, and your own systems to at least 10 moves)
An important opening principle is developing quickly!
Many weaker players think development is boring compared to starting an attack. But an attack usually leads nowhere if you don't have the pieces to finish it off. An even more important reason to develop quickly is that many times your opponent will not follow suit - and a development advantage is a good reason to start an attack!!
Development is sexy!
The game below is a good example of what quick development does.
White develops consistently while black makes some unprincipled moves. As a result, white gets a lot of pressure and black finds his king stuck in the middle through a tactical blow - but it is not the tactics that win, it is the opening!
I hope you enjoy the game