Prelude to opening study

Nov 9, 2016, 3:15 PM |

I'm going to be blogging all different kinds of openings that are part of a system that you can play.. but the question has to be asked, "where does the opening fit?"

Some will discourage you from any opening study.  On the other end, you may see a 1400 player with an expert understanding of openings, but why isn't the rating climbing?

As with many things in life, openings are not the only thing or biggest thing, but they are a thing.  The idea is to gain a great enough understanding of openings that you are coming out of openings equal or plus equal, and then of course winning the games early where your opponent gives you that chance.  

The idea is that I will be putting my understanding of openings down so that you can study them on and get it out of the way.. I wouldn't spend more than 15% of study time on openings though.  Here would be a list of things I would say a player would do if they wanted to get a lot better fast..

1.  Study chess books - Even during the school year, you guys can knock out a book every 6-8 weeks just here and there on the weekends.  I recommend the following:

The Middlegame in Chess - Reuben Fine

300 positions - Lev Alburt

Basic chess endings - Reuben Fine

Masters of the Chess Board - Richard Reti

2.  Play... a lot of times you just get better by taking a lot of losses.  If all you do is play a LOT, you'll get better.  But, you can actually grow rapidly as a player by playing a good amount, and then using other techniques to enhance your play.

3.  Practice tactics and puzzles... tactics trainer, you get 5 a day.. you should do at least those 5, and more if you have an account with more access.

4.  Analyze your games with strong players.  Or, take your losses and go over them with an engine.  Don't try to mimick the engine, but use it to see where you had ideas that just weren't correct, or where you missed something huge that your opponent gave you.  

5.  Master games... with your login on (this one), you can go to game explorer, type in the first five moves of a loss you have, and go through game after game of very strong players from that position to see.

So study openings, mix them in... but they should be a small part of a much larger routine if you want to get really good.