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Pawn
 
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:07 am
Posts: 5
Location: USA
 Post subject: Studying Openings
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:57 am 
In studying openings, is there a good sequence of openings to study?
I would imagine that studying the most popular openings first would be smarter than starting your study with more obscure openings.

Any suggestions or opinions on this?

Also, at what point does studying openings become, studying middle-game?
5 moves, 9 moves, 12 moves, etc??


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Rook
 
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:35 pm
Posts: 93
 Post subject: Re: Studying Openings
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:20 am 
I recommend 'Fundamental Chess Openings', but first maybe read the reviews and author's caveats. If you refer to Tartajubow's current blog (Beginning of August 2013), you'll see a link to his advice on how to optimally improve your chess skills. To paraphrase him: study mainline openings like the Ruy Lopez and Sicilian, rather than gimmicky openings such as the Grob. He has wise words to say about tactics, endgames, etc. Hope this helps.


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Pawn
 
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 8:23 am
Posts: 15
 Post subject: Re: Studying Openings
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:13 am 
rookieroller5 wrote:
In studying openings, is there a good sequence of openings to study?
I would imagine that studying the most popular openings first would be smarter than starting your study with more obscure openings.

Any suggestions or opinions on this?


I'm not a strong player but here what I would do:
Learn opening principles.

Mainly study the openings that you play. Play with the idea that you always use the same reply to the same position - build as lean repertoire as possible. No use in trying to learn all openings - there is too much of them to memorize.

When choosing what moves to include in your opening repertoire think about what kind of middle game you would like to end with - open or closed pawn structure.

I haven't read many opening books, only Seirawan's book Winning chess opening and (partly) John Watson's Mastering the Chess Openings (a series of four books). I prefer Watson's series although some might perceive it as the more dry and analytical. The first book in the series discusses general opening principles and openings that start with 1. e4. I would start with it.

rookieroller5 wrote:
Also, at what point does studying openings become, studying middle-game?
5 moves, 9 moves, 12 moves, etc??


I will quote Watson's answer to this:
Quote:
[...][H]ow do we decide on what move an opening ends and the middlegame begins? There is no general agreement among players or authors about this; in many cases it turns out to be a subjective judgement informed by playing experience. In this book I shall define openings (and their variations) as sequences of moves that are specifically named, with the name in common chess usage and sometimes referring to a complex of related positions.


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Pawn
 
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 8:23 am
Posts: 15
 Post subject: Re: Studying Openings
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:54 am 
Alastair_Allan wrote:
I recommend 'Fundamental Chess Openings', but first maybe read the reviews and author's caveats. If you refer to Tartajubow's current blog (Beginning of August 2013), you'll see a link to his advice on how to optimally improve your chess skills. To paraphrase him: study mainline openings like the Ruy Lopez and Sicilian, rather than gimmicky openings such as the Grob.


After taking a look at reviews for Fundamental Chess Openings, it seems to be a better choice for the OP than Watson's book.

Although Watson discusses the Sicilian for 75 pages and the Ruy Lopez for 50 pages, many openings that a player might encounter are not discussed at all. Watson chooses to concentrate on openings that are instructional in some (non-overlapping) ways. FCO is probably more helpful when building a repertoire from scratch and wanting an overview of all possibilities. I might also buy it. :)


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Pawn
 
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:07 am
Posts: 5
Location: USA
 Post subject: Re: Studying Openings
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:34 pm 
Thank you, my friends.

I will check out those authors mentioned.
I appreciate any and all advice.
:)


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