Opening learning and practice

dk-Ltd

Opening learning and practice

 

I am trying to learn few openings, but can’t find a good book or source. What I haven’t found yet, is a book that explains “logical” lines and moves played by amateurs and how to react and take advantage of supposed mistakes. All opening books that I checked, analyze only the lines played by GMs and most of the times, don’t even bother analyze even the most obvious moves, if those aren’t played by the pros. The thing is that most of us are playing vs amateurs and if a move seems logical (sometimes even illogical), there is a big chance that an opponent will play it. Responding to such a move following the opening principles, many times isn’t barely enough and sometimes it is even very dangerous, pulling us to a trap.

 

In daily, you can analyze and find out how to proceed and if you don’t feel very confident you can even check the opening explorer. On the other hand, in faster time controls there is no time analyzing on move 4 or 5 for example, especially since it is too early and the amount of lines you can follow it is too huge for analyzing. Also, like I already said, following opening principles alone, it simple doesn’t work and it is sometimes really dangerous.

 

Therefore, if any of you have found such a rare gem of opening book, please share it. I am mostly interesting in KIA and in any defense that can be applied by lower rated players like me, especially without memorizing much.

 

Also, I am looking for training software, where you choose an opening and you can train against the computer, which it tries different logical moves, trying to see how you will cope. If you manage to reach, let’s say move 10, being down with anything less than a pawn, then you win (even better if you are not down at all). If at any time, the evaluation passes that mark, you lose and start again. Of course, you should be able to define the number of moves and the evaluation threshold. Furthermore, would be nice if you could also adjust the player level (meaning beginner, amateur, advanced, pro) and the computer to play moves that each level is most likely to do. This can only be performed, by looking of games of players at each level. Otherwise, on lower levels will just make stupid moves or low quality moves, which most likely won’t simulate the moves a human opponent at that level will do. A software like that, would make perfect sense for training openings and since, it hasn’t anything particularly hard in its implementation, I am sure it must exist. I just want to know which of the opening software around does this.

 

ps: as a side note, having read a few books and watched plenty of videos, I got the impression that titled players play the openings and actually their whole games, using a combination of memorized moves/lines, calculation and intuition. They don’t seem to follow (at least not strictly) opening principles and positioning rules. When they try to explain their moves, they give arbitrary reasons, but deep down it is just plain intuition. It is not hard to justify any move. There many principles in chess and they seem to pick low value ones (if the pick any at all) and at the same time, violate many important ones with many of their moves. But that is what the position calls, they say, and I say intuition.

 

ps2: sorry, for the long post. Wanted to try to express my concerns and what I am searching for as good as I could. 

dk-Ltd
 
  For example, what is the best response for white (trying KIA) above? and if there isn't any good responses how you can avoid it, buy still reach a KIA setup. Generally, the e4 move by black results in troubled positions for white (not just the above) and haven't yet find a book explaining how to deal with it.
dk-Ltd

Or these

 

 

 

 

Die_Schanze

https://www.newinchess.com/my-first-chess-opening-repertoire-for-white 

https://www.newinchess.com/my-first-chess-opening-repertoire-for-black 

 

https://www.chess.com/blog/IndreRe/book-review-vincent-moret-my-first-chess-opening-repertoire-for-black

 

Most games in both books are played by juniors and therefore you'll find typical mistakes. But anyway, books can handle every possible move, then you'll have 2000 pages or they handle the most important lines on 200-400 pages and you have to figure out the other stuff yourself.

 

 

 

dk-Ltd
Die_Schanze wrote:

https://www.newinchess.com/my-first-chess-opening-repertoire-for-white 

https://www.newinchess.com/my-first-chess-opening-repertoire-for-black 

 

https://www.chess.com/blog/IndreRe/book-review-vincent-moret-my-first-chess-opening-repertoire-for-black

 

Most games in both books are played by juniors and therefore you'll find typical mistakes. But anyway, books can handle every possible move, then you'll have 2000 pages or they handle the most important lines on 200-400 pages and you have to figure out the other stuff yourself.

 

 

 

thank you very much. both seem very close to what I wanted. I will probably purchase the one for white, since his opening choices seem alright to me. I am not sure about the other one for the black.

 

about the 2000 pages book, I don't agree, because my problem is not that most opening books don't cover every line, but that they don't cover the most obvious lines, which are most likely to be played by amateurs. Instead, they only cover lines played in tournament games, which aren't of any use to me or most ppl here.

JamesColeman

Even if I really wanted to play a KIA I'd be very tempted to switch it up and play 2.d4 in that move order above with likely transposition into a Chigorin. Admittedly with White's N already committed to f3, some of White's very sharp options are ruled out, but White still has good chances for an edge. If you don't like that then you can play 3.d3 as you mentioned above - it's just a position. even 3.d4 is also possible as played by Rapport. 

 

Finally you can cut out Black's setup by starting your KIA with 1.e4, although you have to then accept you won't get a KIA every game.

DeirdreSkye

     You are looking for a book that can't exist. he possible "opening mistakes that one can do are literally miliions , no book can't cover them and even if there was a book that could , it couldn't help you even a bit. Instead of losing on move 4 you would lose on move 14. Playing 14 correct moves would gibe you the false impression that you are improving but you would actually be the same player.

     You should instead try to understand. Understanding solves all issues. Of course you can't hope to acuire it in just one day. It needs some effort.

    Let's see your examples:

   

      Now , to understand this position you must first understand what is the fight for the centre all about. Both players try to dominate the centre. Semms like white ahs abandoned it but that is not even cllose to the truth. The truth is that he allows Black to gain some space and plans to attack the centre later. But at this point , I mean after Black's 3...e5 it's the moment for some decisions. Do you allow 4...e4 or not? White can easily stop it with 4.d3 but let's assume he allows it.

 So understanding how to play against moves like 4...e4 is the result of understanding several other things like:

1)How to attack the enemy centre

2)How to read the pawn structure  and

3)Where your pieces belong.

 

     My guess , and correct me if I am wrong , is that you still don't know how to fight for the centre . If I am correct , that is what you must try to understand.

    

Here are some games you might want to study:

 

 

 


 

dk-Ltd
JamesColeman wrote:

Even if I really wanted to play a KIA I'd be very tempted to switch it up and play 2.d4 in that move order above with likely transposition into a Chigorin. Admittedly with White's N already committed to f3, some of White's very sharp options are ruled out, but White still has good chances for an edge. If you don't like that then you can play 3.d3 as you mentioned above - it's just a position. even 3.d4 is also possible as played by Rapport. 

 

Finally you can cut out Black's setup by starting your KIA with 1.e4, although you have to then accept you won't get a KIA every game.

thanks for the advice, much appreciated. e5-e4 feels very discomforting to me when playing KIA, if it ever reaches to that

dk-Ltd
DeirdreSkye wrote:

     You are looking for a book that can't exist. he possible "opening mistakes that one can do are literally miliions , no book can't cover them and even if there was a book that could , it couldn't help you even a bit. Instead of losing on move 4 you would lose on move 14. Playing 14 correct moves would gibe you the false impression that you are improving but you would actually be the same player.

     You should instead try to understand. Understanding solves all issues. Of course you can't hope to acuire it in just one day. It needs some effort.

    Let's see your examples:

   

      Now , to understand this position you must first understand what is the fight for the centre all about. Both players try to dominate the centre. Semms like white ahs abandoned it but that is not even cllose to the truth. The truth is that he allows Black to gain some space and plans to attack the centre later. But at this point , I mean after Black's 3...e5 it's the moment for some decisions. Do you allow 4...e4 or not? White can easily stop it with 4.d3 but let's assume he allows it.

 So understanding how to play against moves like 4...e4 is the result of understanding several other things like:

1)How to attack the enemy centre

2)How to read the pawn structure  and

3)Where your pieces belong.

 

     My guess , and correct me if I am wrong , is that you still don't know how to fight for the centre . If I am correct , that is what you must try to understand.

    

Here are some games you might want to study:

 

 

 


 

thanks for the analysis. it seems very reasonable, but I can't thing of all these in a blitz game tongue.png. of course, I could analyze it after the game like you did.

 

btw, I don't want for a book with all possible mistakes, but only one that analyzes the most obvious moves and not only tournament lines, which I most likely will never play.

JamesColeman

I forgot to add that as a general rule if your N can go to e1 in response to ...e5-e4 then it's not such a big deal (see the game DeirdreSkye posted). It's a bit more provocative if you have to go back to g1 or some other square, but even Black still has to play precisiely to justify the early commitment.

 

There's a very famous game Reti-Alekhine Baden Baden 1925 where white started in a similar provocative manner with kind of a reversed Alekhine. Well worth checking out. I'm on my phone so I can't get a link but google will have it.

SmithyQ

When I want to learn an opening, I don’t care about theory so much as I care about the following: i) what do I do if White is as aggressive as possible?, and, ii) what do I do if White remains passive?

In almost any opening, White (and often Black) has the option of going super-aggressive, whether it’s a central breakthrough with a pawn sac, an early Ne5 and f4, or Kingside pawn advances … or maybe all three.  What do I do in these cases?  Do I accept material and hang on?  Do I return a pawn for a playable position?  Do I counter-attack faster than my opponent?  If I know how to deal with aggression, I won’t have anything to worry about.

The second possibility is White plays solidly, just developing, not doing anything crazy.  Sometimes White even sits there passively, waiting for a mistake.  What, then, is Black’s standard plan?  Where am I playing?  Which pieces should I strive to activate, and which to exchange?  What weaknesses do I have to watch?  What should my focus be in the middlegame?  By knowing these answers, I know what to do when White isn’t super aggressive.

By knowing these two sets of general ideas, you can play most openings without worrying too much about theory.  I played the Sicilian Dragon when I was younger using this approach (mostly because I liked the name), and though I fell into traps and lost some games, I also won several just knowing the basic ideas: play on the Queenside, try to keep the Bg7, always consider Rxc3 sacrifices.  Now, at a certain level ignoring theory with critical openings like the Dragon is a recipe for unnecessary pain, but most ‘normal’ openings are perfectly fine.

Now, actually learning these ideas can be tricky.  Most good opening books have them, but they are spread throughout.  Many poor opening books, essentially database dumps, are worthless for this.  Perhaps ironically, books aimed at beginners tend to do this best, whereas advanced opened books tend to be more database dumpy, in my experience.

As a final resource, I would play several games against the computer, with the computer playing the opening I want to learn.  I’ll try to play hyper aggressive and see what the computer does.  After a few blitz games, I’ll try playing very solid, passive, and see how the computer responds.  I play several such games, try to summarize my findings and then apply them in a real game.  This can be humbling, but the lessons tend to stick.

DeirdreSkye
dk-Ltd wrote:
DeirdreSkye wrote:

     You are looking for a book that can't exist. he possible "opening mistakes that one can do are literally miliions , no book can't cover them and even if there was a book that could , it couldn't help you even a bit. Instead of losing on move 4 you would lose on move 14. Playing 14 correct moves would gibe you the false impression that you are improving but you would actually be the same player.

     You should instead try to understand. Understanding solves all issues. Of course you can't hope to acuire it in just one day. It needs some effort.

    Let's see your examples:

   

      Now , to understand this position you must first understand what is the fight for the centre all about. Both players try to dominate the centre. Semms like white ahs abandoned it but that is not even cllose to the truth. The truth is that he allows Black to gain some space and plans to attack the centre later. But at this point , I mean after Black's 3...e5 it's the moment for some decisions. Do you allow 4...e4 or not? White can easily stop it with 4.d3 but let's assume he allows it.

 So understanding how to play against moves like 4...e4 is the result of understanding several other things like:

1)How to attack the enemy centre

2)How to read the pawn structure  and

3)Where your pieces belong.

 

     My guess , and correct me if I am wrong , is that you still don't know how to fight for the centre . If I am correct , that is what you must try to understand.

    

Here are some games you might want to study:

 

 

 


 

thanks for the analysis. it seems very reasonable, but I can't thing of all these in a blitz game . of course, I could analyze it after the game like you did.

 

btw, I don't want for a book with all possible mistakes, but only one that analyzes the most obvious moves and not only tournament lines, which I most likely will never play.

      This is one of the huge misconceptions amateurs have about chess. The tournament lines are for those who are able to understand the reasoning behind them and not for those who just memorise them. Memorising opening lines won't offer you a thing regarding your improvment or development as a player.

      The players that are able to understand opening lines don't really care if they will never play them because they are able to exploit the weaker lines. If one can't do that , memorising lines is pointless.

izzy500z

dk-Ltd wrote:

 
  For example, what is the best response for white (trying KIA) above? and if there isn't any good responses how you can avoid it, buy still reach a KIA setup. Generally, the e4 move by black results in troubled positions for white (not just the above) and haven't yet find a book explaining how to deal with it.

dk-Ltd wrote:    For example, what is the best response for white (trying KIA) above? and if there isn't any good responses how you can avoid it, buy still reach a KIA setup. Generally, the e4 move by black results in troubled positions for white (not just the above) and haven't yet find a book explaining how to deal with it.

Daybreak57

An FM once told me, "If he avoids the mainline, then that is good for you, because now you should be able to exploit it."

 

It takes quite a bit of work to get up to speed with mainline theory.  It could possibly take months if not a whole year to memorize all those lines.  Before you go memorizing lines make sure you know the ideas behind the moves.  You should be at least a post beginner before you start memorizing lines.  One thing that has taught me how to play openings well is that I have played literally thousands of games, and I'm told studying master games will help me out significantly if I just keep up with my studies.  I'd say getting good at tactics, playing a lot of games, and analyzing them later, as well as studying master games on your spare time, will get you to a point where you will probably not really need to study openings until you want to get past the 1800 barrier or maybe even 2000 barrier.  I play with two people regularly that know nothing about openings, yet they beat me all the time, because they understand the fundamentals.

 

I started working on chessable books because it gave me on opportunity to try out new openings, however, I find myself studying openings more than playing now.  I mean I have to do the spaced repetition, and if I do it like I'm suppose to I literally have no time for anything else....

 

You only really know a concept until it has occurred more than once in an actual game.  If you so chose to learn the openings at an early stage, be warned.   Half the time you will have no idea why the move is being played, you just simply go by the book, and if your opponent deviates from your line then you will not know how to exploit it, like you should have known, had you of learned opening principles first before memorizing a bunch of lines.

 

I don't know what level you are at, but if you are a beginner, then Discovering Chess Openings is the best book out there that will teach you the basics to most e4 and some d4 openings.  The book is geared at what will likely occur in a beginner  game though, so advanced theory is not in it.  For a more advanced book I would get the ideas behind the openings, if you are itching to learn what higher rated players know.  I would wait till you are a lot better or are at least a post beginner before you get Fundamental Chess Openings, which will be your next go to book for opening lines and opening principles.

 

I myself keep waking up late and don't get to do my daily training, but one day I will start!  I will try at the very least to study 2 or 3 master games a day from here on out.  I hope you will not try and study or memorize openings after reading this, especially the KIA, which in my opinion, is a poor choice for a beginner, because, it's a modern type opening, that requires precise pawn play, that can only be calculated if they know what they are doing, and beginners do not know what they are doing.  In Fundamental Chess Openings, in there, the recommendation is the refrain from playing Modern openings until you get good at the classical way of playing.  That is e4 d4 type openings.  I know that is probably not what you want to hear, judging by your zeal to learn the KIA, which for some reason is becoming quite the popular opening to try and learn among people who are just starting out at chess (which in my opinion is a big mistake), so I will end by saying do what makes you feel good, just don't expect to learn much if you start playing the KIA as a beginner for all black responses.  I actually purchased "My first opening repertoire" for white, an opening book mentioned here and in it he recommends to beginners to use the KIA attack against the French.  After going through the the chapter, I will say that if you learn what the book teaches, and only play the KIA when the French is played, then a beginner should be fine playing the KIA, after reading  that book I augmented my statement, however, only in cases where your opponent plays the French, because, I believe the KIA is a much better setup than most setups black can get in the advanced variation, which is what black is aiming for when playing the French.  

 

If I where to give a short review of "My first Opening Repertoire for white," I would say that the book, the part that I've studied so far, has opened my eyes to new improvements to my opening study, which caused me to change the way I handle certain openings, because after reading the book, and seeing my past failures to those openings, I see that I will have better chances with these new introductions.  I'm not really a beginner, but the book is helping me none the less.  I'm not sure if the book is right for a complete beginner though.  If you are a complete beginner I would get Discovering chess openings first and go though that book while studying tactics playing thorough a lot of games and going over some master games where the moves are explained to you, a book like logical chess move by move will be sufficient for any beginner.  You would also need a Theory textbook.  Maybe something like bobby Fischer teaches chess, or if you want to strain your brain chess for Zebras.  I'm not sure which book is best for you, if you want you can get a Guide to chess Improvement by Dan Heisman or even go to his website and find a better recommendation suitable for you.

 

If just playing helped my game, then adding studying master games to the mix will help a lot more.

 

If you have time for nothing else, do 5 tactics a day, play though a number of games, (You should include playing games with slower time controls) and go though 1 master game a day.  believe me over time, you will get better.

Die_Schanze
I just clicked through some moves in the first online database i found. One of these games was played here on chess.com.  There are other master games in that line as well. Blacks position is a bit overexended. So white attacks the centre. Common Kings Indian (Attack) themes. 
 

 

 

For starters it's maybe better to play a Kings Indian attack after 1. e4 and then only when the opponent's answer allows a good KIA line, e. g. when he plays 1...e6. Or maybe something like 1. Nf3 Nc6 2. e4 is also a good choice, allowing 2... e5 and then maybe some  scotch or four knights game.

dk-Ltd
SmithyQ wrote:

When I want to learn an opening, I don’t care about theory so much as I care about the following: i) what do I do if White is as aggressive as possible?, and, ii) what do I do if White remains passive?

In almost any opening, White (and often Black) has the option of going super-aggressive, whether it’s a central breakthrough with a pawn sac, an early Ne5 and f4, or Kingside pawn advances … or maybe all three.  What do I do in these cases?  Do I accept material and hang on?  Do I return a pawn for a playable position?  Do I counter-attack faster than my opponent?  If I know how to deal with aggression, I won’t have anything to worry about.

The second possibility is White plays solidly, just developing, not doing anything crazy.  Sometimes White even sits there passively, waiting for a mistake.  What, then, is Black’s standard plan?  Where am I playing?  Which pieces should I strive to activate, and which to exchange?  What weaknesses do I have to watch?  What should my focus be in the middlegame?  By knowing these answers, I know what to do when White isn’t super aggressive.

By knowing these two sets of general ideas, you can play most openings without worrying too much about theory.  I played the Sicilian Dragon when I was younger using this approach (mostly because I liked the name), and though I fell into traps and lost some games, I also won several just knowing the basic ideas: play on the Queenside, try to keep the Bg7, always consider Rxc3 sacrifices.  Now, at a certain level ignoring theory with critical openings like the Dragon is a recipe for unnecessary pain, but most ‘normal’ openings are perfectly fine.

Now, actually learning these ideas can be tricky.  Most good opening books have them, but they are spread throughout.  Many poor opening books, essentially database dumps, are worthless for this.  Perhaps ironically, books aimed at beginners tend to do this best, whereas advanced opened books tend to be more database dumpy, in my experience.

As a final resource, I would play several games against the computer, with the computer playing the opening I want to learn.  I’ll try to play hyper aggressive and see what the computer does.  After a few blitz games, I’ll try playing very solid, passive, and see how the computer responds.  I play several such games, try to summarize my findings and then apply them in a real game.  This can be humbling, but the lessons tend to stick.

Thanks Jonathan, interesting and solid advice. I like how you tackle the openings.

kindaspongey

"... there will come a time, whether on move two or move twenty, when your knowledge of theory runs out and you have to decide what to do on your own. ... sometimes you will leave theory first, sometimes your opponent. ... It happens in every well-contested GM game at some point, usually a very significant point. ..." - IM John Cox (2006)

"... For beginning players, [Discovering Chess Openings] will offer an opportunity to start out on the right foot and really get a feel for what is happening on the board. ..." - FM Carsten Hansen (2006)
https://web.archive.org/web/20140627114655/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen91.pdf
https://www.chess.com/article/view/3-ways-to-learn-new-openings
https://www.chess.com/article/view/how-to-understand-openings
"... 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)
"... Once you identify an opening you really like and wish to learn in more depth, then should you pick up a book on a particular opening or variation. Start with ones that explain the opening variations and are not just meant for advanced players. ..." - Dan Heisman (2001)
https://web.archive.org/web/20140626180930/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/heisman06.pdf
"... To begin with, only study the main lines ... you can easily fill in the unusual lines later. ..." - GM John Nunn (2006)
"... 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)
"... For inexperienced players, I think the model that bases opening discussions on more or less complete games that are fully annotated, though with a main focus on the opening and early middlegame, is the ideal. ..." - FM Carsten Hansen (2010)
"... 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)

dk-Ltd
Daybreak57 wrote:

An FM once told me, "If he avoids the mainline, then that is good for you, because now you should be able to exploit it."

 

It takes quite a bit of work to get up to speed with mainline theory.  It could possibly take months if not a whole year to memorize all those lines.  Before you go memorizing lines make sure you know the ideas behind the moves.  You should be at least a post beginner before you start memorizing lines.  One thing that has taught me how to play openings well is that I have played literally thousands of games, and I'm told studying master games will help me out significantly if I just keep up with my studies.  I'd say getting good at tactics, playing a lot of games, and analyzing them later, as well as studying master games on your spare time, will get you to a point where you will probably not really need to study openings until you want to get past the 1800 barrier or maybe even 2000 barrier.  I play with two people regularly that know nothing about openings, yet they beat me all the time, because they understand the fundamentals.

 

I started working on chessable books because it gave me on opportunity to try out new openings, however, I find myself studying openings more than playing now.  I mean I have to do the spaced repetition, and if I do it like I'm suppose to I literally have no time for anything else....

 

You only really know a concept until it has occurred more than once in an actual game.  If you so chose to learn the openings at an early stage, be warned.   Half the time you will have no idea why the move is being played, you just simply go by the book, and if your opponent deviates from your line then you will not know how to exploit it, like you should have known, had you of learned opening principles first before memorizing a bunch of lines.

 

I don't know what level you are at, but if you are a beginner, then Discovering Chess Openings is the best book out there that will teach you the basics to most e4 and some d4 openings.  The book is geared at what will likely occur in a beginner  game though, so advanced theory is not in it.  For a more advanced book I would get the ideas behind the openings, if you are itching to learn what higher rated players know.  I would wait till you are a lot better or are at least a post beginner before you get Fundamental Chess Openings, which will be your next go to book for opening lines and opening principles.

 

I myself keep waking up late and don't get to do my daily training, but one day I will start!  I will try at the very least to study 2 or 3 master games a day from here on out.  I hope you will not try and study or memorize openings after reading this, especially the KIA, which in my opinion, is a poor choice for a beginner, because, it's a modern type opening, that requires precise pawn play, that can only be calculated if they know what they are doing, and beginners do not know what they are doing.  In Fundamental Chess Openings, in there, the recommendation is the refrain from playing Modern openings until you get good at the classical way of playing.  That is e4 d4 type openings.  I know that is probably not what you want to hear, judging by your zeal to learn the KIA, which for some reason is becoming quite the popular opening to try and learn among people who are just starting out at chess (which in my opinion is a big mistake), so I will end by saying do what makes you feel good, just don't expect to learn much if you start playing the KIA as a beginner for all black responses.  I actually purchased "My first opening repertoire" for white, an opening book mentioned here and in it he recommends to beginners to use the KIA attack against the French.  After going through the the chapter, I will say that if you learn what the book teaches, and only play the KIA when the French is played, then a beginner should be fine playing the KIA, after reading  that book I augmented my statement, however, only in cases where your opponent plays the French, because, I believe the KIA is a much better setup than most setups black can get in the advanced variation, which is what black is aiming for when playing the French.  

 

If I where to give a short review of "My first Opening Repertoire for white," I would say that the book, the part that I've studied so far, has opened my eyes to new improvements to my opening study, which caused me to change the way I handle certain openings, because after reading the book, and seeing my past failures to those openings, I see that I will have better chances with these new introductions.  I'm not really a beginner, but the book is helping me none the less.  I'm not sure if the book is right for a complete beginner though.  If you are a complete beginner I would get Discovering chess openings first and go though that book while studying tactics playing thorough a lot of games and going over some master games where the moves are explained to you, a book like logical chess move by move will be sufficient for any beginner.  You would also need a Theory textbook.  Maybe something like bobby Fischer teaches chess, or if you want to strain your brain chess for Zebras.  I'm not sure which book is best for you, if you want you can get a Guide to chess Improvement by Dan Heisman or even go to his website and find a better recommendation suitable for you.

 

If just playing helped my game, then adding studying master games to the mix will help a lot more.

 

If you have time for nothing else, do 5 tactics a day, play though a number of games, (You should include playing games with slower time controls) and go though 1 master game a day.  believe me over time, you will get better.

Thanks Albert, for the reply and your advices. The first book that you suggest “Discovering Chess Openings” seems good. I have already purchased the “My first Opening Repertoire for white”, which both you and Die_Schanze suggested. That two books alone, probably worth making this thread. I also liked the replies from the others about the positions I posted and therefore, I am happy I asked. Of course, some replies went far into prompting me to learn the opening principles mainly and not worry about anything else, which isn’t what I asked, but what they say isn’t wrong.

 

I like KIA, because you can play the first moves fast and that helps me a lot, since my main problem is time management. I have also seen, looking through my games in explorer, that KIA delivers for me, while Queen’s gambit, the other white choice I was using, didn’t (even though it is considered as a better opening choice).

 

I am using chessable too, but I don’t think it helped me with the openings. Tried to learn the Queen’s gambit from there. Don’t want to discourage you though, since everybody is different. I am now reading in chessable a great book, 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners,

which I am pretty sure, it helps. Check it out, if you don’t have it. It has many great exercises, of recurring patterns, which after a while you start to notice faster, which is what I am missing (speed).

 

Do you have any suggestions for playing vs d4? Currently, I play the Old Benoni, which it can be very interesting, but it’s not a solid choice for sure. I want to switch, since the better I become, the hardest will be to win with such an opening reply.