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When to move on to a new opening....

  • #1

    Hey everyone. So far I have just played e4 and eventually, if it were to come up, the ruy lopez. I'm an........ok player...I guess, but I'm just wondering if it's due to the fact that I know only one opening, that for some reason, I choose because it's white's best chance for an equal game, if both sides were of equal strength (I don't know wheather that's true but......whatever) When do you decide to move on to a new openings with the game explorer to be your guide? When you lose too many times with your usual opening? I thought this may be a good discussion

    What do you all think?

  • #2

    If you only get equal positions out of the Ruy, than you dont know or understand that well enough, I think. You're supposed to come out of the opening with a slight plus.

    I think the ruy is quite comlicated, maybe try Vienna game, oor Italian, and see how that goes. In mmy opinion, they are both simpler.

  • #3

    Yeah your right rooperi, thanks for the advice

  • #4

    I agree with rooperi.  The English writer William Winter observed that the Ruy Lopez is an opening for masters.  It is too intricate for amateurs to properly understand and play.  You may win some games because you play better than your opponent, but try schemes more understandable.

  • #5

    You can change your openings whenever you want. It's your game Smile

  • #6

    I can guarantee with near certainty that your problems with results are NOT due to your choice of opening to play.  You haven't played enough to have an established rating, but even stronger players usually are barking up the wrong tree when they suspect their opening is their problem.

    Do you normally lose games because you overlook a threat to a piece or your King, even if it is only one or two moves?  Do you miss chances to make strong threats or even take the opponent's pieces for free?  Do you get through most of your games  without a huge blunder?

    Until you aren't dropping pieces and getting mated by simple tactics, there is no opening in the world that can help you.  Just play by the basic principles in the opening, go over your games to find the tactics you missed, practice tactics with puzzles and Tactics Trainer and endgame studies, and learn the most basic endgames, starting with checkmates and moving to pawn endings and the simplest Rook endings.


    If an opening could help you become a better player, we'd all be better players.  Chess isn't that easy - but that is why it is so fascinating, challenging, stimulating, and fun.

  • #7

    If you play a sound opening and lost many games with it, it is not because of the opening. So this sounds like a strange motivation. 

    Also you very much can play the Ruy. I played it as a kid and I only had an old reportoire book from the seventies.  

    Yes, sure, you can change openings. Don't expect any miracles though. Also, do it to ''move on'' when you feel you have a decent grasp of your old opening. You will probably lose a fair amount of games when you switch, so don't mind the result so much.

  • #8

    I am a 1500 player on chess.com standard and jus tlike any other chess player i believe i am stronger than my rating. I still play 1.e4 and the ruy lopez and i even play 1...e5 in response to 1.e4. A really good chess player taught me that 1.e4 and 1..e5 is the way to go at the beggining of our careers and many master wish they had done so. Stick with 1.e4 and e5. If you want you can learna bout the scotch or italian instead of the Ruy 

  • #9

    the strongest player in the world is a guy named Magnus Carlsen. Guess wha the plays? 1.e4...e5 and the Ruy 

  • #10

    I think its a fine question and lately one that has been bothering me somewhat.  I play ok chess but basically have but one system for each side.  That said I can vary my opens quite a bit to suit the game and still reach a favorable if only = midgame.  Whats bothering me is as my games get harder I feel at some point I will have to learn standard book opens.  I love chess and want to have the feeling that Im always improving but in reality Im thinking its hit the books or stagnate?  Correct assumption??


    to your question here are some of my latest games using d4 and the London system.  The London is very reliable in terms of midgame stability and your level you will win tons of games once you are familiar with it.  It can be varied a great deal and is very difficult to "trap" once learned.  




    in the last game while opening d4 I quickly followed with  e4 for an almost Ruy game..

  • #11

    BTW, try not to use game explorer as your guide if trying to learn openings it might hurt more then help. too many options without the needed theory to explain.  Buy the book or.... My advice is join a themed tournament.  It will force, as the games start is preset, you play the system.  I have familiarized myself with many a defense this way, without actually "learning" the techinacal book theory..  

  • #12

    Variety is the spice of life. Experiment with different openings. 

  • #13
    rooperi wrote:

    If you only get equal positions out of the Ruy, than you dont know or understand that well enough, I think. You're supposed to come out of the opening with a slight plus.


    Ha! So slight that it's invisible!Laughing 

    If I find an opening where I can get all my pieces out before my opponent attacks me, then that's the one I'm sticking toWink

  • #14

    ...some good advice being shared here...more than worth the price for admission. Personally, I get bored playing the same stuff too often. I am at a point where I am also looking at other systems to learn. I am a d4 player mainly, so I am currently looking at e4 openings to keep things interesting. 

  • #15

    Hi Mountain Art. I understand that the Ruy Lopez is best left to high rated players, not beginners. Experts advise beginners to stick to 1. e4. openings.

    I reckon it is good to develop a sound opening repertoir and stick to it unless a particular opening often lets you down (but not caused by an obvious blunder). The more you play an opeining, the better you should get and when you lose you can follow it up and avoid repeating your mistakes next time.

    Stick to openings that are known to be sound but don't get too complicated. I recommend the Everyman Chess Books "Starting Out" series of e-Books. The books display the moves on a virtual chess board as you follow the opening moves and the authors' advice is very good.

    It is important to understand basic opeing principles as well as combinations. Merely learning an opening "parrot fashion" is unlikely to be successful. For beginners and lower rated improvers I recommend trying the small, cheap, easy to follow primer "Chess Made Easy" by Purdy & Koshnitsky, pub. by Penguin books. It contains excellent advice for beginners. I still refer to it even though I am no longer a beginner. Purdy was the first World Champion at Correspondence Chess.

    As to my e4 opening, I use the Scotch Game. Simpler than the Ruy Lopez but still sound and sometimes used by Grand Masters.

    Best of luck.

  • #16

    It all depends what you want to achieve. If it is about winning, then probably you will want to stick with a repertoire and learn to win with it. Just make sure that you chose a repertoire that is in line with what you believe to be your natural playstyle. It can be Colle-Zukertort, Evans gambit, Taimanov sicilian, English,..whatever as long as you are in the right ocean you can learn to be the best swimmer there.

  • #17

    The problem with learning 'book' openings is that you can get tunnel vision and get completely thrown when somebody plays something that isn't in the book you know. I hack around at the 1700-1800 level and you just don't see long theoretical lines played out to the += position in ECO. At my level players deviate from main lines all the time (including me) and even if the moves are worse than the book line, if you don't know WHY then you can't take advantage of them.

    Just play what feels right and don't worry about reaching those supposedly 'slightly better for White' positions. The advantage is usually something like having the two bishops or more space or a workable pawn majority on one side of the board - not things that are going to win you the game in the next 4 moves!

  • #18

    The Ruy is a great opening but you are relying on your opponent to play E5, so you need to be well versed in the French, Sicilian, Pirc, Caro-Kan. If your priority is development then I would consider D4 and a very conservative London System, it will allow you to develop natuarally (although it is very drawish)


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