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Opening are just the collected wisdom of those who have gone before and tried to find the best moves. If you know some opening theory, that's good, but you need to know WHY you are playing the moves.
If you know what you should be trying to do in the typical positions that arise from an opening then you should be able to find a good move if your opponent deviates from what the book says he should do.
In general, it's best to stick with general principles, unless you are absolutely sure that the specific position you are in justifies breaking them.
you can try wikipedia. they have pretty good resources on French Defence & Sicillian Defence.
Why were you attacking a pawn with a knight anyway? Pawns can easily be sacrificed, you're knight was going to do no harm by itself up there! Thats what created the fork, I know sometimes attack is the best form of defense but sometimes its wise to retreat.
[I] have come across very unusual or dare i say seemingly innacurate lines, which have completely thrown me from the start.
You're learning one reason why it's not so productive to study opening variations until your rating's quite a bit higher. Studying opening principles makes more sense.
Do I continue with opening principles, i.e development of minor pieces, not moving a developed piece twice etc, when i come across these, or should i try to take advantage of what i think is a bad move.
Glenn Wilson is a very strong chess player and I like the way he describes how to play the opening, which you can find here. Taking advantage of the bad move would be following his opening principles in many cases. :)
anyone know any good books/resources looking at the theory behind openings such as sicillian and french defence?
I know of a great online lesson that explains the ideas behind the French and Sicilian defenses and you can find it here. You might also try playing through a few master vs master or master vs amateur games in your opening.
SonofPearl, couldn't have said it better myself.
Are you really Bobby Fischer???
The best concept against strange lines for me has been first as myself what does this move actualy try to do? i dont panic! i just try to find the reason if i cant really find one that seems practical to me then i just continue along the same basic principles if u try to play like them and deviate to much u will put yourself in more trouble then u want because u r now in unformilar land pls excuse my terrible spelling ok but u get the idea thats what normaly works for me . u dont need huge depth to play openings when your learning only when u become really good at general principles and understand the nature of the openings in general and in the particular opening and thats about 1800+ i believe. A nice book on that i personaly liked was winning chess openings by:- yasser seirawan . the moves dont go deaper then about 6 moves and he shows u the general idea behind the moves very well . Well thats just one book of course. so hope this helped alittle mate. Keep thinking like your doing and asking these questions i can see u could be a very good chess player one day.....
Reuben Fine's "Ideas Behind the Chess Openings."
"Hack Attack! with IM Thomas Rendle and John Sargent!"
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