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  1. 23 Mar '07 01:54
    ok ok, so no doubt this has been posted a few times, but being honest I'm just too damn lazy to search through them all.

    So here goes, I am a relative 'newbie' to the game of chess and am just starting to concentrate on openings and to study a few. My problem is is that they only last for about 5 moves before my opponent does something 'not in the book' and it throws me completely off my game.

    Do I then have to work out what opening they are playing to counter it, or continue with the opening I had in mind?

    I'll have a quick look at the other posts on this as I'm sure there must b a few, I know this is a very basic question but I guess the only way to learn is to ask better players advice and to lose many many games!
  2. 23 Mar '07 01:58
    I haven't really bothered to learn openings myself, but I do know that if your opponent deviates from your opening, then you're forced to adapt to his deviations. This is the main reason why beginners shouldn't spend the time to try to learn specific openings, but instead should just learn basic opening principles that can be used under any conditions.
  3. 23 Mar '07 02:04
    ok well this makes a bit more sense, you see I wasn't sure if I was meant to adapt to their opening or not, I just seem to make very random moves once I get past 5 moves or so. My opponents must be thinking.... well this guy is either a genius and has some master plan, or more likely.... what the hell is he doing?
  4. 23 Mar '07 02:39
    Yeah, you're better off knowing opening theory and honing your tactical skills than memorizing extensive openings. They say that serious opening learning shouldn't start until one achieves a 1600-1800 rating. Makes sense because until then you won't face many opponents who go by the book in the first 5 moves or so.
  5. 23 Mar '07 03:03
    Surely the sooner you start learning the openings the better? Even with just the limited knowledge I have of them so far seems to have worked wonders for my game.

    Another thing is lines, should I be concentrating on these, I feel as though my pawns are just sacrificed early on and really don't serve a major purpose?
  6. 23 Mar '07 03:16
    Originally posted by sangfroid
    Surely the sooner you start learning the openings the better? Even with just the limited knowledge I have of them so far seems to have worked wonders for my game.

    Another thing is lines, should I be concentrating on these, I feel as though my pawns are just sacrificed early on and really don't serve a major purpose?
    I guess what we're trying to say is that a beginner can only learn a limited amount of chess knowledge at first. Learning openings requires a huge amount of memorization, and the benefits are fairly subtle. On the other hand, general opening principles and tactics are fairly easy to learn and provide huge benefits starting out. Memorizing large numbers of opening variations to gain a fraction of a pawn advantage does you no good if you lose entire pieces because you haven,t learned tactics yet.

    I'm not sure what you mean about your pawns being sacrificed early on. Are you sacrificing them on purpose, or losing them? Pawns serve a very useful purpose, and if you are losing pawns, you're definitely putting yourself at a disadvantage.

    And I'm not sure what you meant about concentrating on lines. Could you elaborate?
  7. 23 Mar '07 03:37
    some common openings are e4 e5 Nf3 Nc6 Bb5 this is the ruy lopez also known as the spanish game continues a6 Ba4 theres a lot more to this but whites objective is to castle quickly play c3 and then d4. black is playing for counterplay or a d5 thrust or c5 then counterplay or d5 after that. another common opening is hte sicilian there are many but heres a very common and agressive one e4 c5 Nf3 d6 d4 cxd4 Nxd4 Nf6 Nf3 a6 this is the nadjorf. you should start learning opening theory and the middle games that go with these thats the difference from 1400 and 1600 players is knowing how to encounter the middlegame with the opening you use.
  8. 23 Mar '07 16:01
    Originally posted by sangfroid
    ok ok, so no doubt this has been posted a few times, but being honest I'm just too damn lazy to search through them all.

    So here goes, I am a relative 'newbie' to the game of chess and am just starting to concentrate on openings and to study a few. My problem is is that they only last for about 5 moves before my opponent does something 'not in the book' ...[text shortened]... guess the only way to learn is to ask better players advice and to lose many many games!
    Learn and master the fundemental Principles of Chess Strategy then you will out play any opponent who lacks this understanding all your opponents memorization of modern chess openings by Nick Defirmian and opening books won't amount to ziltch.
  9. 23 Mar '07 19:09
    I'm not sure what you mean about your pawns being sacrificed early on. Are you sacrificing them on purpose, or losing them? Pawns serve a very useful purpose, and if you are losing pawns, you're definitely putting yourself at a disadvantage.
    It's more of a case of sacrificing them I guess, I try to start out with; e4 d4 Nc3, now I am not at the stage yet where I can recognise the opening my opponent is playing without referring to a book, I try to just play the game I would normally, but I always tend to 'sacrifice' my pawns early on to open the middle of the board up and use the gaps to advance my knights, is this a bad tactic would you say?
  10. Standard member bannedplayer306509
    Best Loser
    23 Mar '07 19:14
    Originally posted by sangfroid
    ok ok, so no doubt this has been posted a few times, but being honest I'm just too damn lazy to search through them all.

    So here goes, I am a relative 'newbie' to the game of chess and am just starting to concentrate on openings and to study a few. My problem is is that they only last for about 5 moves before my opponent does something 'not in the book' ...[text shortened]... guess the only way to learn is to ask better players advice and to lose many many games!
    I'm sure someone's gonna bash this, but in my experience, any deviation from the book in the first 5-10 moves (depending on the line), is often a blunder. Usually a database is good if your not sure.
    Otherwise, just start the midgame analysis early.
  11. 23 Mar '07 20:08
    Originally posted by sangfroid
    ok ok, so no doubt this has been posted a few times, but being honest I'm just too damn lazy to search through them all.

    So here goes, I am a relative 'newbie' to the game of chess and am just starting to concentrate on openings and to study a few. My problem is is that they only last for about 5 moves before my opponent does something 'not in the book' ...[text shortened]... guess the only way to learn is to ask better players advice and to lose many many games!
    This is rather a simple problem. I remember when I first started studying the game my uncle would always push his a and h pawns and would baffle me because he wasn't touching the center, and still beat me. Thats when I figured just knowing moves isn't going to get you anywhere. That's like saying you can pilot a jet because you saw a top gun. The opening is a very important part of the game to learn. Don't listen to people who say otherwise, as advanced knowledge of the middlegame or endgame won't help you if you fall for an opening trap. When you study an opening you should learn the ideas behind it, like common middle game and endgame positions that arise from that opening. When you do it this way you not only learn an opening but improves every part of your game.
  12. 23 Mar '07 20:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sangfroid
    It's more of a case of sacrificing them I guess, I try to start out with; e4 d4 Nc3, now I am not at the stage yet where I can recognise the opening my opponent is playing without referring to a book, I try to just play the game I would normally, but I always tend to 'sacrifice' my pawns early on to open the middle of the board up and use the gaps to advance my knights, is this a bad tactic would you say?
    OK, if you're not going to use a book or a database to tell you which opening moves to make, then you need to have an understanding of general opening principles. (I'd say that you need this knowledge anyway.) Sacrificing pawns to open the middle of the board for knights is a very bad strategy, imo. It's pretty much just throwing your pawns away. You should be able to place your knights towards the center without sacrificing pawns.

    There's several good books on general opening principles. I learned a lot from Cecil Purdy's Guide To Good Chess and Reuben Fine's Chess The Easy Way. (Fine's book is in the older descriptive notation.) Unfortunately, both books are out of print, but not hard to find in the used book market. I'm sure there are a few more similar books still in print.

    Everything you do in the opening should be geared towards developing your pieces, getting control of the center of the board, keeping your king safe, and reaching a playable middle game.

    Also, don't forget to learn tactics! That's extremely important!
  13. 23 Mar '07 20:21
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    [b]OK, if you're not going to use a book or a database to tell you which opening moves to make, then you need to have an understanding of general opening principles.
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    [b]OK, if you're not going to use a book or a database to tell you which opening moves to make, then you need to have an understanding of general opening principles.


    Well I do use this website sometimes as it gives a nice theory about why you are actually making the moves;

    http://www.eudesign.com/chessops/ch-clear.htm
  14. 23 Mar '07 20:33
    Originally posted by sangfroid
    [bWell I do use this website sometimes as it gives a nice theory about why you are actually making the moves;

    http://www.eudesign.com/chessops/ch-clear.htm[/b]
    OK, that site can help some, but my guess is that you'll quickly get taken out of book theory, either because that site isn't too deep in moves, or because your opponent makes an odd move. When that happens, then what do you do?

    Here's a couple of links that illustrate what I meant. They're sort of a distillation of Purdy's and Fine's advice. Not as good as the books, but they give you an idea of the major thoughts.

    http://www.academicchess.org/learn/Biographies/shoremans30rules.shtml

    http://www.academicchess.org/learn/Biographies/purdyplayer.shtml

    Also, remember that although these are rules, you sometimes will need to break the rules under certain conditions, if there's a good reason.
  15. 23 Mar '07 20:42
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    OK, that site can help some, but my guess is that you'll quickly get taken out of book theory, either because that site isn't too deep in moves, or because your opponent makes an odd move. When that happens, then what do you do?

    Here's a couple of links that illustrate what I meant. They're sort of a distillation of Purdy's and Fine's advice. Not as good ...[text shortened]... ometimes will need to break the rules under certain conditions, if there's a good reason.
    Two fantastic websites there, cheers for that, I have to say they made for some interesting reading, I have been doing a few things on there already that I should've avoided, and also a few things on there that I have been doing as a natural cause. Defo something to think about.