Too much opening study ?

Too much opening study ?

Mar 12, 2013, 1:01 PM |

The question of whether you should spend time studying openings or not is the Nessie of chess improvement forums.

Rather than take sides on this dangerous topic (I’m neither an integrist of the “thou shalt not study openings” dogma, nor an opening study monk), or try to define what “opening study” really means (hint : it’s not only memorizing moves), I offer a few pointers that you can use as warnings to assess if your opening study dose may need a reassessment :

You may be overemphasizing opening study if :

  • You often blame your losses on the opening (“I didn’t know this variation”)
  • Your position deteriorates quickly when you leave your ‘book’ (in engine eval. terms, that would be something like losing ~0,5pts in the 4-5 moves after you leave your book line)
  • You score under 50% on average out of at least = positions in the opening phase
  • You know your opening lines better than people rated 300 pts above you

Conversely, you probably need to spend a little more time on your openings if :

  • You’re lost out of the opening (or even before)
  • You’re regularly trailing on the clock out of the opening