How can I memorize chess openings?


If you play your memorized lines again and again and again you will understand the principles behind it. And the strategies of the middlegames that arise from it.


A common method for memorizing openings lines is to use Chess Opening Wizard, formerly known as Bookup. Chess Position Trainer is a free alternative.


NOPE! i hated bookup and quit chess 10 years ago because NO ONE made a book editor/trainer that worked with TREES! variations within variations within variations (yeah chessbase! i'm talking TO YOU!!! and bookup too, only bookup is a really nice guy who talks to POTENTIAL customers) is a confusing ABOMINATION!!!!!!!!!!!


if you want to write your own books and study them, go to chess tempo! they have an INTUITIVE book editor that works with trees so you can QUICKLY navigate your theory with simple backtracking (impossible with walls of variations within variations... i've seen theory so dense online that i can't even follow a single line because of that crap) and boom... you're on to your NEXT 7...? move. i don't like that it skips the first moves to where you're struggling to learn by default, but there's settings to change that.


i'm going nuts trying to ACQUIRE theory so i can start playing it, but pruning big databases and notating it by hand with evaluations takes forever! the upside is the theory is so much better than books because it's battle tested, refined, includes ALL of the out of book theory, and most importantly, is predictive. you can see the future the same way an engine looks at plies, but with human tested and approved moves. once i get my books complete, i can probably enter one in under a day easily.


the EASIEST way to do it is to watch opening videos and play along with them in tempo's book editor, though it gets hard when freakin commercials interrupt you elbow deep in a video and OPs don't give you move lists or sometimes even name moves making backtracking for new lines a pain, but i created a monte carlo french book in just a couple hours off a video. i quit training though when my lines were skipping to move 10+ because the default setting THOUGHT i had 1-10 memorized only to be dropped into confusing messes. i've reset my defaults, but have been writing theory. 


-Chess Openings Wizards (formerly known as Bookup)
-Chess Tempo

These programs all have opening trainers where you can train and memorize your openings move-by-move while the rest of your chess skills deteriorate because of the time you take away from training calculation, tactical pattern recognition, and positional assessment.

That said, maybe there is some value in at least knowing the first few moves of what openings you want to play so that you have the starting point of a consistent repertoire to learn from as you hopefully go back and analyze your games.