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How many openings/defenses should an 1150 rated player have?

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Joseph_Truelsons_Fan

At like 1200 i had one for each color

worked fine

Zukertort System for white and dragon as black

*tip* don't do dragon up above like 1300, it just sucks unless you are a master at it

MAR1970

Thanks to everyone for the feedback.  It's really helpful!!!  It confirms my suspicion that, at least on my level, "less is more."  Now, a question for the future.  If I manage to eventually achieve a rating like 1600, do you guys feel I should THEN add more openings/defenses, or stick with the recommendations that have already been given in this thread?  THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR HELP!!!!

InsertInterestingNameHere

I don’t think you should add more openings, because that’s useless. Why have 2 openings with white? What’s the point? I have a pet opening if I ever get bored, but that’s the farthest I’ll go. No point in studying 2 openings when only 1 of them will be useful every game.

I think at 1600 you should begin to study some opening lines. You’ve probably played thousands of games to get from where you are to 1600, so just start to take a look at some common lines and understand the ideas that come from your opening (you’ll probably have a good idea because you’ve been playing the opening, but extra knowledge doesn’t hurt)

 

Be careful not to focus all your time on openings, though. As mentioned, tactics decide games at the -2000 level. This is just to get you out of the opening comfortably. 

 

 

wagyubeefdotexe

I would like to say that being a master at the Dragon means most likely that your opponent's are masters at the Yugoslav.

Joseph_Truelsons_Fan
InsertInterestingNameHere wrote:

I don’t think you should add more openings, because that’s useless. Why have 2 openings with white? What’s the point? I have a pet opening if I ever get bored, but that’s the farthest I’ll go. No point in studying 2 openings when only 1 of them will be useful every game.

I think at 1600 you should begin to study some opening lines. You’ve probably played thousands of games to get from where you are to 1600, so just start to take a look at some common lines and understand the ideas that come from your opening (you’ll probably have a good idea because you’ve been playing the opening, but extra knowledge doesn’t hurt)

 

Be careful not to focus all your time on openings, though. As mentioned, tactics decide games at the -2000 level. This is just to get you out of the opening comfortably. 

 

 

Tactics don't decide all games at 2000 level. get to 2000, play a classical tournament, then tell me all games are decided by a tactic.

It's just not true.

 

Also, learning two different openings is good for flexibility.

 What if your opponent plays a line that you've never seen before? if you were me, I'd take a look at the game and learn the line. Simple as that.

InsertInterestingNameHere

2000 on cc, not 2000 otb

Joseph_Truelsons_Fan
InsertInterestingNameHere wrote:

2000 on cc, not 2000 otb

CC ratings are just weird man

Joseph_Truelsons_Fan

also, happy one-day belated birthday lol @InsertInterestingNameHere

SimaGuang

I reckon having one opening as white that you're very comfortable with, as well as a defense against both 1. d4 and 1. e4, with the intention of expanding your repertoire gradually as you improve, is ideal. At least, that's what I wish I did when I was 1100. 

NervesofButter
MAR1970 wrote:

At one time I played 5 different White openings and 4 Black defenses.  Now I've reduced that to playing with 3 White openings and 2 Black defenses.  I'm thinking "less is more;" that it's better/easier to really "know" a smaller amount of openings/defenses.  Right now I play OTB with a small number of different players, so I worry that if I play only a few openings/defenses these players will be "ready" for me and will be able to anticipate my moves.  I don't try a lot of variations in my openings.  I like "set up" openings like the Botvinnik formation of the English opening, the Larsen opening, the Veresov opening, the Pirc defense and a Reverse Botvinnik system.  What do you guys think?

What you need to learn and have some basic understand if is Opening Principles.

Control the center.

Develop towards the center.

Castle. 

That will do you for now.  After that whatever opening you decide to play.  You need to learn the basics of that opening.  "Why" do the pieces and pawns go where they go?  DO NOT just blindly memorize moves.  That is a recipe for disaster.

InsertInterestingNameHere

I was one of many who blindly memorized moves as a beginner. I tried learning sicilian theory at 800 that no one played into, if you can believe that. I eventually moved away from that crap, and I was better for it. Listen to the people who tell you to not just study openings all day, it’s good advice.

NervesofButter
InsertInterestingNameHere wrote:

I was one of many who blindly memorized moves as a beginner. I tried learning sicilian theory at 800 that no one played into, if you can believe that. I eventually moved away from that crap, and I was better for it. Listen to the people who tell you to not just study openings all day, it’s good advice.

Pre covid i used to help run scholastic tournaments.  These were one day tourneys for kids that did not take chess seriously.  The highest rated players in the high school section was generally around 1200 USCF.  I should set up a demo board and invite the kids to bring their games for analysis.  Easily the most often asked question was:  "How do i play the Sicilian?"  Followed by: "How much theory do i need to know?" 

So the first question i would ask is: "What is the purpose in playing 1...c5?  After a bunch of blank looks someone would be brave enough to answer with something like: "Its the first move in the Sicilian."  Experience has taught me that you cannot undo what people do not want to be undone. 

It finally got to the point that my standard answer to: "Why did i lose?" was: "You lost because you blundered material." 

They simply did not want to change or listen.  They wanted to play the Sicilian without having a clue as to what or why.  They did not want to play slow.  They just wanted to bang out moves, blunder and then wonder why they lost. 

 

smolnova

like literally 1 for 1.e4, 1.d4 and 1.c4

and then you wing it till 1800

Jimemy

I don’t study openings. My memory is to bad to memorize lines. But if I play and face something a lot of times it more likley to stick to my memory. So what I am trying to say is that I learn from analyzing my games instead of trying to memorize lines that I have not played yet. I also pick up ideas by watching strong players play on twitch and youtube.

MisterWindUpBird

Yep, as people said, one white, two black (vs d4 and e4) is where you're aiming to be. Choose well, and ideally pick something that gives you scope for development, by having multiple playable variations, or transpositions. Remember the first few moves and maybe a specific line or two, you're away. You'll be in heaps of trouble, and learning.