From 1400 to 1500 : Working on your openings - part 1
This week I played twice against the same player in a tourney, and two times he/she played the same mediocre opening line. This was an example about not learning, and not improving your opening play.
Studying openings can be overrated by some, but spending some time on your openings in general is a must for beginners. We cannot continue trying to win our games with 1.a4 and 2.h4, or can we ?
Let's have a look at this example :
So, how can we improve our openings ?
For myself the golden rule is :
Find out which opening lines and which positions I like and are comfortable with as well as which ones I am having good results with.
Playing razor sharp lines or slow positional chess in your favourite openings lines, but losing time after time can lead to a mix of joy and demotivation. It is good to find a balance between and joy and good results.
I will give you some examples :
Now let's have a look at games with another opponent where both of the players worked on the openings :
One day later I played the same opponent, again with black, and ... to my surprise my opponent had checked things at home and came with a better move !
2 days later, same opponent, and again I had black.
This time we had the same opening line on the board, or maybe not ?
One day later again I had black against the same opponent, and guess which opening was on the board ... ?
Several days later, same opponent, same opening :
And then something new happened.
I was watching a game by one of the strongest bullet players on a chess server, and I was happily surprised to see him play Scandinavian defense (He was actually playing a different opening in each game. Impressive!) ... and I saw a brand new idea, which I wanted to test in my own games.
It is a good idea to be critical about your opening play, and improve your opening play after your games whenever you can.
Correspondence games are quite cool to study openings.
Currently I am playing two correspondence games where I play a "new" line that I am testing. By looking at the various options and ideas I am learning a bit, and testing it also more in various blitz games against different opponents who play different moves in that line.
Also, when results in your games in certain lines are getting worse, then it can be a good idea to either work on that opening line, or start testing another opening line as well.
And, last but not least : A chess coach can help you and support you, but the chess coach cannot read your mind and know in which positions you really feel relaxed and at ease and very confident.
Only you yourself as the observer can know that.
By knowing yourself regarding your chess positions you can be able to make a change, choosing for different opening lines, and study and ... play the game !
... N e w g a m e !