A Complete Repertoire For a Beginner

TheUnderDog001

What do you all think is the best way to start out as a beginner? I'm trying to teach a beginner to focus on the other sides of chess rather than the opening, so a repertoire without much theory would be great. I also want something principled, not something trappy or offbeat. That way it can be a long-term repertoire rather than a trappy one which only works in the beginner level, but no more than that.

llama44

Limited theory
Not trap based
Principled
Long term

Unfortunately I don't think an opening like that exists. Ultimately chess is not an easy game happy.png

I think the Scandinavian as black (and scotch or scotch gambit as white) is great for limited theory. It's not trap based (mostly) and you can probably play it a long time. That may be close.

TheUnderDog001
llama44 wrote:

Limited theory
Not trap based
Principled
Long term

Unfortunately I don't think an opening like that exists. Ultimately chess is not an easy game

I think the Scandinavian as black (and scotch or scotch gambit as white) is great for limited theory. It's not trap based (mostly) and you can probably play it a long time. That may be close.

Lol. Let me change the parameters. Not trap based, principled, long term. 

Personally I'm leaning towards 1...e5, 1...d5 for Black. I'm just afraid the Berlin, or something with a huge body of theory is going to happen after the Ruy Lopez. 

As for White, probably the Italian, Smith-Morra (at least for now), Caro exchange, French exchange, yeah.

llama44

Well then I'd have to go for the Spanish and queen's gambit declined as the backbone. Not the most inventive or exciting answer, but IMO it's time tested and logical.

If you want to avoid the Berlin just play d3.

The Sicilian is tough, I'm not sure what to suggest. I like Bb5 lines myself. Maybe a newish player would like the closed sicilian with Nc3? Of course others recommend you go for the main lines. I dunno.

 

llama44

The French exchange might be too reserved. The advance gives principled and logical play I think a new player can appreciate but will also be good at higher ratings.

The Caro exchange, especially a Panov, I think is instructive and good. Getting experience with IQPs is useful.

pfren

A beginner shouldn't bother at all about openings. The opening principles are enough.

 

TheUnderDog001
pfren wrote:

A beginner shouldn't bother at all about openings. The opening principles are enough.

 

Oh ok. At what rating do you think a player should learn some lines?

TheUnderDog001
llama44 wrote:

The French exchange might be too reserved. The advance gives principled and logical play I think a new player can appreciate but will also be good at higher ratings.

The Caro exchange, especially a Panov, I think is instructive and good. Getting experience with IQPs is useful.

Thanks for all your suggestions, I'll keep them in mind.

kindaspongey

It might be of interest to look at the table of contents of A COMPLETE CHESS COURSE by Antonio Gude: "... 1 The Basic Rules of Chess 7 ... 2 Your First Chess Games 23 … 3 Openings and Basic Principles 33 ... 4 Putting Your Pieces to Work 52 ... 5 Strategy and Tactics 76 ... 6 Endgame Play and Further Openings 106 … 7 Combinations and Tactical Themes 128 ... 8 Attacking Play 163 ... 9 Your First Opening Repertoire 194 …"
http://www.gambitbooks.com/pdfs/A_Complete_Chess_Course.pdf

kindaspongey

Perhaps it would be a good idea to start with Discovering Chess Openings, a book about opening principles.
https://web.archive.org/web/20140627114655/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen91.pdf

For White, you might try the suggestions in My First Chess Opening Repertoire for White.
https://www.newinchess.com/media/wysiwyg/product_pdf/9033.pdf
https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/tag/vincent-moret/

or Opening Repertoire 1 e4.
https://www.newinchess.com/media/wysiwyg/product_pdf/7819.pdf

"... As Black, I think that [players with very limited experience] would do well … playing 1...e5 versus 1 e4 and 1...d5 versus 1 d4. … [After 1 d4 d5, if] White plays the most important move, 2 c4, inexperienced players might want to begin classically with 2...e6 followed by ...Nf6 and ...Be7 …" - IM John Watson (2010)

If that advice sounds good to you, you could look at First Steps: 1 e4 e5 and First Steps: the Queen's Gambit.
https://www.newinchess.com/media/wysiwyg/product_pdf/7790.pdf

https://chesscafe.com/book-reviews/first-steps-1-e4-e5-by-john-emms/
https://www.newinchess.com/media/wysiwyg/product_pdf/7652.pdf
Be sure to try to use the openings in games in between sessions of learning. Most of the time, one faces a position with no knowledge of a specific move indicated in a book. One has to accept that as part of chess, and think of opening knowledge as a sometimes helpful aid. After a game, it makes sense to try to look up the moves in a book and see if it has some indication of how one might have played better in the opening. Many opening books are part explanation and part reference material. The reference material is included in the text with the idea that one mostly skips it on a first reading, and looks at an individual item when it applies to a game that one has just played. Resist the temptation to try to turn a book into a mass memorization project. There are many important subjects that one should not neglect because of too much time on opening study.
https://www.chess.com/article/view/learning-an-opening-to-memorize-or-understand
"... Overall, I would advise most players to stick to a fairly limited range of openings, and not to worry about learning too much by heart. ..." - FM Steve Giddins (2008)
"... I feel that the main reasons to buy an opening book are to give a good overview of the opening, and to explain general plans and ideas. ..." - GM John Nunn (2006)
"... If the book contains illustrative games, it is worth playing these over first ..." - GM John Nunn (2006)
"... the average player only needs to know a limited amount about the openings he plays. Providing he understands the main aims of the opening, a few typical plans and a handful of basic variations, that is enough. ..." - FM Steve Giddins (2008)
"... Everyman Chess has started a new series aimed at those who want to understand the basics of an opening, i.e., the not-yet-so-strong players. ... I imagine [there] will be a long series based on the premise of bringing the basic ideas of an opening to the reader through plenty of introductory text, game annotations, hints, plans and much more. ..." - FM Carsten Hansen (2002)
https://web.archive.org/web/20140627055734/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen38.pdf
"The way I suggest you study this book is to play through the main games once, relatively quickly, and then start playing the variation in actual games. Playing an opening in real games is of vital importance - without this kind of live practice it is impossible to get a 'feel' for the kind of game it leads to. There is time enough later for involvement with the details, after playing your games it is good to look up the line." - GM Nigel Davies (2005)
"... Review each of your games, identifying opening (and other) mistakes with the goal of not repeatedly making the same mistake. ... It is especially critical not to continually fall into opening traps – or even lines that result in difficult positions ..." - NM Dan Heisman (2007)
https://web.archive.org/web/20140627062646/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/heisman81.pdf

TheUnderDog001

Thanks kindaspongey

st0ckfish

b3, a3 ...

najdorf96

Indeed. A Complete repertoire for a beginner is very limiting... that is to say, a "fixed" state of mind. Especially for a beginner, it's an anathema. It's obvious you're not a newbie since you've named many openings & your opinions about them. As it is, if you're just searching for an opening repertoire it's cool because I completely disagree a beginner doesn't need specific advice on openings. Just playing only on opening principles alone? Come on! It's not like you're just a casual player who likes to play chess for fun-you are really asking for player's opinions on a Complete repertoire for beginners. Which I did say, is too limiting anyways. Nevertheless, my advice is (as a beginner in this Century, with tons of resources) just play 1. e4 as white, pick one Mainstream line and one deviant line to study vs DKP, CK, Modern, Pirc, French, Sicilian (2. .. e6, ... d6, ... Nc6), Scandinavian lines. Yeah, it sounds like alot of work but of course you wouldn't be asking if it was soo easy, right? In-between that time experiment with 1. d4 occasionally. Defensive repertoire is old school, 1. ... e5 & ... d5. By no means is this a hard and fast rule: do explore intermittently with semi-open defenses but I advise learning these types of openings first and foremost. Experience, knowledge and commitment will pull you through. Just play the game, and playin's always the thing with me, my friend. Best wishes ✌🏽

abcx123

I know nothing about lines and openings but it reflects in my rating .

pfren
TheUnderDog001 έγραψε:
pfren wrote:

A beginner shouldn't bother at all about openings. The opening principles are enough.

 

Oh ok. At what rating do you think a player should learn some lines?

 

Rating- where?

 

I'd say that as long as you are able to play rapid games (15'+10" or more) without randomly dropping pawns and pieces in every second game (or more than that), you may consider starting openings' study.

TheUnderDog001
najdorf96 wrote:

Indeed. A Complete repertoire for a beginner is very limiting... that is to say, a "fixed" state of mind. Especially for a beginner, it's an anathema. It's obvious you're not a newbie since you've named many openings & your opinions about them. As it is, if you're just searching for an opening repertoire it's cool because I completely disagree a beginner doesn't need specific advice on openings. Just playing only on opening principles alone? Come on! It's not like you're just a casual player who likes to play chess for fun-you are really asking for player's opinions on a Complete repertoire for beginners. Which I did say, is too limiting anyways. Nevertheless, my advice is (as a beginner in this Century, with tons of resources) just play 1. e4 as white, pick one Mainstream line and one deviant line to study vs DKP, CK, Modern, Pirc, French, Sicilian (2. .. e6, ... d6, ... Nc6), Scandinavian lines. Yeah, it sounds like alot of work but of course you wouldn't be asking if it was soo easy, right? In-between that time experiment with 1. d4 occasionally. Defensive repertoire is old school, 1. ... e5 & ... d5. By no means is this a hard and fast rule: do explore intermittently with semi-open defenses but I advise learning these types of openings first and foremost. Experience, knowledge and commitment will pull you through. Just play the game, and playin's always the thing with me, my friend. Best wishes ✌🏽

Thanks for your suggestions. This is for my friend, not me.

TheUnderDog001
abcx123 wrote:

I know nothing about lines and openings but it reflects in my rating .

Keep up the good work. For now, no need to learn openings as the people above told me.

TheUnderDog001
pfren wrote:
TheUnderDog001 έγραψε:
pfren wrote:

A beginner shouldn't bother at all about openings. The opening principles are enough.

 

Oh ok. At what rating do you think a player should learn some lines?

 

Rating- where?

 

I'd say that as long as you are able to play rapid games (15'+10" or more) without randomly dropping pawns and pieces in every second game (or more than that), you may consider starting openings' study.

Ok. So pretty much at the late beginner/ early intermediate level

SoupTime4
TheUnderDog001 wrote:

What do you all think is the best way to start out as a beginner? I'm trying to teach a beginner to focus on the other sides of chess rather than the opening, so a repertoire without much theory would be great. I also want something principled, not something trappy or offbeat. That way it can be a long-term repertoire rather than a trappy one which only works in the beginner level, but no more than that.

Opening Principles:

Control the center.

Develop minor pieces toward the center.

Castle.

Connect the rooks.

Beginners need to work on not dropping material, and not blundering, before working on openings. 

PrincessGlitter

I played chess for a year and a half, twenty years ago (I'm just returning to the game today). I remember I liked learning the checkmate-in-one puzzles, a few months into learning the game. I'm not sure if they're considered beginner level.