Expanding opening knowledge


"... This book is the first volume in a series of manuals designed for players who are building the foundations of their chess knowledge. The reader will receive the necessary basic knowledge in six areas of the game - tactcs, positional play, strategy, the calculation of variations, the opening and the endgame. ... To make the book entertaining and varied, I have mixed up these different areas, ..." - GM Artur Yusupov


For the record, what I meant by saying all players should study openings is that all players should study the major openings and get a general grasp of what each opening is trying to accomplish. General theory about what each major opening is trying to accomplish and what the weaknesses are. Memorizing lines and going more than a few moves deep into analysis is not what I was talking about.

I don’t know why anybody would tell you not to study openings. Especially at our level, when everyone plays like one of five openings every game, knowing a handful inside and out makes for quick wins— especially since most people know like the first three moves and then they start guessing. If you know the mainline and a few variations five or ten moves past that then you’re gonna bury them, obviously. Unfortunately, as mentioned in this thread already, opening study doesn’t pay much when you still can’t notice hanging pieces and cheap tactics. John Bartholomew says it pretty well in his sub-1000 video, “you’re liable to implode any second.”

In openings you must always understand the ideas on each side, what are they trying to accomplish, immediately and in the long run. If one side holds the initiative then it’s easier, as the other side usually just reacts, so there is only one plan, instead of two. And you must try out moves of your own, in order to see why the same thing wasn’t possible by using a different move or try a different thing altogether, although that’s harder.

  So understand the ideas, little sequences of moves—find out what they represent, using common language—and don’t memorize single moves, but sequences of moves representing ideas. Then understand the whole line as an idea, in comparison with other lines/ideas, for you, as well as for your opponent.

 Studying opening is a most serious task.