best way to study openings

easylimbo

yeah i'm pretty good my uscf rating's 1547, and i'm studying openings right now. I need to find a way to memorize basically every opening. i have the book modern ches openings and i definitly have to know all the king pawn and queen pawn and indian games to a nice extent. probably to the 8th to 10th move. Is there a good way to study this? flash cards? umm please list your ideas but don't say something like, oh develop all your pieces and castle thats all you need. just a nice way to memorize all the openings. i'd like it to be done by a few months, thanks

Martin_Stahl

I'm not going to say it is the best, as there are many ways to learn, but one thing I have tried in the past was Chess Position Trainer. You might have to build most of your openings (repertoires) but the testing piece of the program is pretty nice.

musicalhair

Why do you need "to memorize basically every opening"?  I can appreciate that when you sit down to play someone you always run the risk of facing an opening you know nothing about but it is often a mistake to assume the guy you're playing knows anything about it either.  I used to play OTB chess and very often I found out in the post mortem that my opponent like new 2-3 more moves of standard theory for the opening they uncorked on me.  Similary I walked in all booked on the Dutch, played 1 ... f5 and my opponent looked at me with like this level of disgust-- like how could I insult him with this lame opening.  He chased me around the board and I had to sac a piece to stave off mate, and then fight for a draw (luckily). 

 

For a general opening reference type book I like the 4 volume Chess Opening Essentials from New IN Chess.  There are similar reference books from other publishers.  I think the e4 volume should probably be more than 1 book, but the 4 volumes covers a lot of ground and explains things pretty well for my needs.  I especially like the 1 c4/1 Nf3/etc volume.  I would just go through those books.  As for how to go through the books, or how to aquire the info you're looking for, I think it depends on why you're doing this.  If it is for over the board chess, then tackle the openings you face most first, and branch off to those closely relate and then get to the off beat stuff.  But if it is for some other purpose, then I don't know.

easylimbo

i don't want to go into detail of what the openings mean right now. i just need to memorize lines musicalhair.

musicalhair

Well, I'd still use a book like the one I mentioned, or MCO.

Arctor
easylimbo wrote:

i don't want to go into detail of what the openings mean right now. i just need to memorize lines musicalhair.


 Do you think memorizing words without knowing their meaning is the right way to learn a language?

easylimbo
musicalhair wrote:

Well, I'd still use a book like the one I mentioned, or MCO.


i already said i had modern chess openings in the first post....

easylimbo
Arctor wrote:
easylimbo wrote:

i don't want to go into detail of what the openings mean right now. i just need to memorize lines musicalhair.


 Do you think memorizing words without knowing their meaning is the right way to learn a language?


first of all, your metaphor is not related to chess. second of all, didn't i say no random stuff? just post here if you're telling me a way how to memorize lines!

hicetnunc

Chess Position Trainer will help you do this, but you need to input all lines you want to memorize in it first.

Good luck,

easylimbo

yes i'm looking into chess position trainer thank you martin stahl and hicetnunc, it looks like it would give me a nice visual reperesntation of each opening which is what i'm looking for. i'll post how it was after i study 5 openings

baddogno

I boot up Chessmaster and play it at the hardest setting.  I also have chess.com's game explorer loaded and use it to see if my responses are the same as those in the master game database.  After I've explored the main line a few times I go back and start seeing where the second or third most popullar response takes me.  Maybe not as straightforward an approach as you are looking for, but you can certainly cover a lot of territory.  There is also a built in test of your knowledge because each time you change the screen back to the game explorer you can see how popular your response was among titled players.  Still up to you to figure out why a particular response is considered best, but there are plenty of books around on each opening.  This is just a very graphic and immediate way to explore and test your knowledge of openings.  You wouldn't have to use Chessmaster,  Fritz or anything else would work also.  Chessmaster is just cheap and easy to use.  

musicalhair
easylimbo wrote:
musicalhair wrote:

Well, I'd still use a book like the one I mentioned, or MCO.


i already said i had modern chess openings in the first post....


Then use it.

puzlman

To Musicalhair:

 

In your honest opinion, do you think the Complete 4 volume set (Chess Opening Essentials) is better than MCO? Which would you prefer?

Thanks,

Fred

transpo

There is a system on the internet called Bookup.  It will help you build the opening tree you want. 

Once you are proficient in 6 openings (3 as White and 3 as Black) you will have built the "Brick Wall".  It is called the "Brick Wall", because that is what it feels like to anyone rated 1900 or below.

2200ismygoal
easylimbo wrote:
Arctor wrote:
easylimbo wrote:

i don't want to go into detail of what the openings mean right now. i just need to memorize lines musicalhair.


 Do you think memorizing words without knowing their meaning is the right way to learn a language?


first of all, your metaphor is not related to chess. second of all, didn't i say no random stuff? just post here if you're telling me a way how to memorize lines!


That metaphor is greatly related to chess.  What a waste of time studying all these openings.  You won't have any ideas of what to do you will just know what the book says than when you get move 15 you will be like ok I have no idea what to do BUT I know what the book said up to this point.  What a freaking waste of time.  For your information 1500ish USCF is NOT GOOD.  Not anywhere near good.  Anyone that sits below 2000 otb rating  is not a good chess player and still makes lots of mistakes that have nothing to do with the openings.

musicalhair

Hey Puzlman, I think they serve very different purposes.  The explainations in the 4 volume set (either the one put out by New In Chess, which I like, or others) and the way the book is laid out is better for me.  I'd say take a look at each and see which you like better.  Some lines are over-simplified in the book.  I think the main virtue of the Chess Opening Essentials series, for me, is it shows a lot more transpositions than other books I've seen.  Prior to look at these books my reference points are really old: IA Horowitz's Chess Openings Theory and Practice, and an older MCO (13?).  I didn't like MCO.  When I picked up the Chess Opening Essentials (over the course of a few months I got all 4) I compared it to Watson's, Collin's, and Nunn's books and FCO.  There are similarities and differences for sure between them all.  I just felt the visually the NIC ones were easier on my eyes (and you will be spending time with them so it matters) and the writing spoke more to me.  I really learned a lot from the 1 c4/1Nf3/etc book, it might be the best of them.  The "least" of them might be the e4 book, and the more I think about it the more it might ought to be 2 books.  To be fair the Ruy and the Sicilian are so complicated and highly developed they might need their own volumes each but that would be impractical. 

 

Luckily for me there were a lot of boooks stores in NYC and I was in the city very often at the time, so I got to look at a lot of books for a while before making the choice.  I think that is the best thing to do, look at copies, walk away, look again after thinking about what you're seeing or not seeing, and eventually the right choice will come to you.

Ben_Dubuque

dont study all openings, work on one till you are proficiant at it, then move on to the next.  This could take months or years, but you will understand the Ideas of both sides of said opening and thus be able to retain it more. I just got done studying the Alekhine (1.e4 Nf6) and am deciding to move on to the Ruy Lopez. Warning though this only works if you are willing to lose a few games in order to gain better knowledge.

Eragonelf66

Ok, I agree with 2200ismygoal but I have a question myself!

How to understand the ideas behind the opening?

I want to play the French, The English and also the QGD....Any ideas for UNDERSTANDING the ideas,plans etc.?

Please reply, (Awaiting your answers especially yours "2200ismygoal"

Ben_Dubuque

well just ask your self what does this move do to my position, what tactics does this open up, how much space do I get.  How should my opponent respond

Markle

I agree with musicalhair, i have the 4 volume set of Chess opening essentials and i think the books are great for opening study. Instead of just giving you lines to memorize they explain the ideas in each opening Best money i ever spent.