Originally posted by shaxmaty
When I first started getting into chess I thought the opening would be the most important thing to start studying. Then I met a sort of chess mentor and the first piece of advice he gave me was to forget about learning a ton of opening theory. For me that advice has really paid off. Of course it's important to play the opening well, but that doesn't mean le ...[text shortened]... than he'll win. What do you guys think? Are people worrying about the opening too much?
what if you are losing games to poor opening preparation? i know, i know, people say that you cannot lose a game in the opening, balderdash i say! i have seen it in my own measly games both as a protagonist and a victim, one mistake in the opening and your goose is southern fried with extra chillies and Tabasco sauce, especially against higher rated players, and the mistake does not have to be that significant either, a few inaccuracies and you can kiss yo butt goodbye.
yes one can rely on general principles, but you will not get an advantage, no way, no siree, an whats wrong with learning opening theory anyway, if its done in a balanced way with other aspects, like tactics and endgame strategy? i like it, granted it has done very little for my chess, but its interesting and easier to learn than other stuff.
we are advised, don't learn opening traps, they are not sound and will not make you a better player, good advice which i have always strived to follow, however, i recently came across a little book, Al harrowitz i think was the author, published in 1976 which had some excellent opening traps, real traps, baited with big juicy pieces, some subtle some not so. perhaps they will not work, perhaps they are unsound, but i bet it will be sure fun trying to lay them and find out what happens, giggling away at the dastardliness of it all, so i dunno, all things being considered, mostly people deviate from the theory anyway, so maybe you are right, it is a waste of time.