PREPARATION FOR CHESS OPENINGS

Yogesharora18

1.Which book is best for learning chess openings and understanding the ideas behind the opening moves?

2.Which one of these books is better -  Nick de Firmian's Batsford's Modern Chess Openings or Paul Van Der Sterren's Fundamental Chess Opening?

3.Anyone please tell what is the best way to prepare Chess Openings?openings.pngopenings.png

baddogno

FCO by far.  Excellent explanations.  IMHO.  Alas, no one knows for sure, but all agree that you need to practice a lot.

kindaspongey
Yogesharora18 wrote:

… Nick de Firmian's Batsford's Modern Chess Openings ...

"... For new players, I cannot recommend books that use [an encyclopedic] type of presentation [of opening theory], because the explanatory prose that elaborates typical plans and ideas is usually absent, thus leaving the student without any clear idea why certain moves are played or even preferred over other apparently equivalent moves. ..." - FM Carsten Hansen (2010)

"... [Modern Chess Openings (15th ed.)] pretends to be everything for everybody, but it isn’t; it pretends to be up-to-date and relevant in all chapters, but it isn’t; it should be a good book, but it isn’t. ..." - FM Carsten Hansen (2008)

https://web.archive.org/web/20140626165820/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen110.pdf

kindaspongey
[COMMENT DELETED]
kindaspongey
Yogesharora18 wrote:

... Paul Van Der Sterren's Fundamental Chess Opening ...

"... [Fundamental Chess Openings by Paul van der Sterren] is not particularly suited for players who are just starting out. I would imagine players rated at least 1400-1500 would get the most benefit from this volume. ..." - FM Carsten Hansen (2009)

https://web.archive.org/web/20140626173432/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen128.pdf

http://www.gambitbooks.com/pdfs/FCO_Fundamental_Chess_Openings.pdf

I would strongly recommend examining the sample and trying to judge whether or not you feel yourself to be at a stage where you would be likely to read hundreds of pages of that sort of thing.

kindaspongey

Possibly of interest:

Discovering Chess Openings by GM John Emms (2006)

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627114655/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen91.pdf

Openings for Amateurs by Pete Tamburro (2014)

http://kenilworthian.blogspot.com/2014/05/review-of-pete-tamburros-openings-for.html

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/tag/openings-for-amateurs/

https://www.mongoosepress.com/excerpts/OpeningsForAmateurs%20sample.pdf

Winning Chess Openings by GM Yasser Seirawan (~1999)

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627132508/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen173.pdf

The Mammoth Book of Chess by Graham Burgess (2009)

https://web.archive.org/web/20140708093123/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review756.pdf

Back to Basics: Openings by FM Carsten Hansen (2010)

http://www.thechessmind.net/blog/2010/1/30/a-brief-review-of-carsten-hansens-back-to-basics-openings.html

darkunorthodox88

people still use FCO?

kindaspongey
Yogesharora18 wrote:

… Anyone please tell what is the best way to prepare Chess Openings?

"... 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

"... 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)
"... 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)
"... 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)

"... Review each of your games, identifying opening (and other) mistakes with the goal of not repeatedly making the same mistake. ... It is especially critical not to continually fall into opening traps – or even lines that result in difficult positions ..." - NM Dan Heisman (2007)

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627062646/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/heisman81.pdf

kindaspongey
NM darkunorthodox88 wrote:

people still use FCO?

It would seem that baddogno does. Probably lots of others, too. It does seem to have a lot going for it in terms of the qualifications of the author and the length of the entries for individual openings. Perhaps its age (~9 years) is not that important for likely readers. On the other hand, I find myself wondering if anyone on the planet (other than GM Paul van der Sterren) has ever read the whole thing. I can testify that the book gives one a warm fuzzy feeling while sitting on the shelf, but, as the years have gone by, I have found myself wondering about the purpose of such a detailed overview of nearly all the openings.

darkunorthodox88
kindaspongey wrote:
NM darkunorthodox88 wrote:

people still use FCO?

It would seem that baddogno does. Probably lots of others, too. It does seem to have a lot going for it in terms of the qualifications of the author and the length of the entries for individual openings. Perhaps its age (~9 years) is not that important for likely readers. On the other hand, I find myself wondering if anyone on the planet (other than GM Paul van der Sterren) has ever read the whole thing. I can testify that the book gives one a warm fuzzy feeling while sitting on the shelf, but, as the years have gone by, I have found myself wondering about the purpose of such a detailed overview of nearly all the openings.

the chessmaster programs had pretty decent opening books, and often explained a bit for each opening. you could shadow the way the some of the computer personalities played the chess opening to see their prepped book on their line.

 

it was a nice introduction to many opening names and ideas, but nothing like an encyclopedia. but using FCO in this modern age where your latest engine can overturn old paradigms seems a bit dangerous. seems better to just use good opening books on the stuff you do play. Engines also come with a decent general opening book and access to database, maybe that's why i dont think FCO is as useful anymore

kindaspongey
NM darkunorthodox88 wrote:

... using FCO in this modern age where your latest engine can overturn old paradigms seems a bit dangerous. seems better to just use good opening books on the stuff you do play. Engines also come with a decent general opening book and access to database, maybe that's why i dont think FCO is as useful anymore

About 16 years ago, someone wrote a warning about the degree to which a 20th century Reuben Fine opening book had become dated.

https://web.archive.org/web/20140708112658/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review315.pdf

It has only been about a decade since FCO appeared, but perhaps it would be of interest to see a similar sort of assessment for GM Paul van der Sterren's book. My guess is that, from this point of view, it would still be okay for most of us, but, of course, I am nowhere near being qualified to judge. Also, it is perhaps worth it to keep in mind that, back in the MCO days, they were revised about once per decade.

kindaspongey
nhim22 wrote:

just an honest advice buddy. theres a reason why most people discussing about books and tactics online are usually very bad and have lower ratings, they are like gatsby, in love with the IDEA of improving and learning ...

I see no reason to pay much attention to your theory pertaining to people discussing about books and tactics online.

ed1975
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