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  1. 06 Oct '10 23:09
    After many years away from the beautiful game I'm finding myself fondling the wooden chess pieces again and feeling a longing not felt for some time. So I enrol on this new fangled interweb site to try and play what I used to in an old sweaty boozer in sarf london. So after a few tries I feel i can start to feel the tactics are there and a little strategy awareness but i'm finding that the openings are a mine-field. I used to have a huge chess library 15 years ago but i sold it and now I'm lost in the myer as i seem to get trapped in the openings. Can anyone recommend a good book or website that would help me with my openings? The only books I kept back when I sold them were tactical and middle game books so any ideas would be gratefully appreciated
  2. 07 Oct '10 00:31
    what openings do you play? what's your level?
    The problem with most chess opening books is that they focus on memory and not understanding.
    In my view, one of the rare chess author that have succeded in avoiding that pitfall is matthew sadler.
    He wrote few books but they're a model of what opening books should be!
    so if you play the queen's gambit, the slav, or the semi-slav variation, you're lucky to have one of those great books available (though i think they're out of print, shouldn't be too hard to find on the web)

    Unless you're above 2200 i believe openings shouldn't worry you too much : just avoid theoretical and trappy tactical openings and you should be fine.
    But if you like sharp openings, maybe a book is useful...but searching for miniature games is another good way of discovering the usual traps.
  3. 07 Oct '10 14:45
    Originally posted by shorbock
    what openings do you play? what's your level?
    The problem with most chess opening books is that they focus on memory and not understanding.
    In my view, one of the rare chess author that have succeded in avoiding that pitfall is matthew sadler.
    He wrote few books but they're a model of what opening books should be!
    so if you play the queen's gambit, the ...[text shortened]... ...but searching for miniature games is another good way of discovering the usual traps.
    thanks for the reply, when I used to play my grade was 136. I guess finding a way to avoid the trappy openings would be good and I do try to stick to general opening principles and get to a middlegame that I can then work on with a bit of comfort. So my main focus would be tactics and strategy for now but I just wondered about some good opening advice that was all. Maybe really at this stage its not an issue and i should just enjoy playing again 🙂
  4. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    07 Oct '10 14:55
    Originally posted by lowrez
    thanks for the reply, when I used to play my grade was 136. I guess finding a way to avoid the trappy openings would be good and I do try to stick to general opening principles and get to a middlegame that I can then work on with a bit of comfort. So my main focus would be tactics and strategy for now but I just wondered about some good opening advice that was all. Maybe really at this stage its not an issue and i should just enjoy playing again 🙂
    Good luck 😀
  5. 07 Oct '10 15:05 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by lowrez
    After many years away from the beautiful game I'm finding myself fondling the wooden chess pieces again and feeling a longing not felt for some time. So I enrol on this new fangled interweb site to try and play what I used to in an old sweaty boozer in sarf london. So after a few tries I feel i can start to feel the tactics are there and a little strategy awa I sold them were tactical and middle game books so any ideas would be gratefully appreciated
    as white play 1.g3 2.Bg2 3.c4 to almost everything that black plays and as black play 1...g6 2...Bg7 and 3...c5 to everything white plays with the exception of 1.b3/b4 and your opening problems are solved! It would help if one knew a little about English/Benoni/Dragon pawn formations, but not essential! Have fun and remember if it was good enough for Botvinnic and Paul Legget, its good enough for us!
  6. Standard member theonecolin
    Theonecolin
    07 Oct '10 15:43
    Originally posted by lowrez
    but i'm finding that the openings are a mine-field. Can anyone recommend a good book or website that would help me with my openings? The only books I kept back when I sold them were tactical and middle game books so any ideas would be gratefully appreciated
    Hi Lowrez

    My story is similar to yours - away from the game for years - joined RHP - but really struggled on openings - I bought a few books , but i found the following wesite really good - 365 chess - opening explorer - also you tube has some great videos explaining the theory of each opening - and the traps and gambits.

    Hope this helps and good luck

    Colin
  7. 07 Oct '10 16:16 / 3 edits
    I agree that 365chess.com is useful - I use it a lot. However, one thing to beware of is following it blindly. I've done this myself a few times if I'm in a hurry - I'd just find a position in the DB, think 'Well, it's been played 20 times so it must be ok", and then play it and move on. The problem is that you can easily end up in a completely unfamiliar position where you really don't want to be!

    I also notice that while sub 1900 players on here (myself included) tend to stick to DB lines a bit too religiously, the stronger (2000 +) players I've played tend to deviate from the lines much earlier on. But then, we already know that part of being a good player is knowing when it's ok to break the rules. Unfortunately I'm still struggling with this. 🙁
  8. 07 Oct '10 21:14
    Thank you brother chess monks, I'll take a look at what you say and see what fits. I know what my previous opening repretrio was but not sure my nerves can take some of those lines now I'm older (blackmar diemar for example). I feel like the is a lot to get back into and once again thanks brothers
  9. 07 Oct '10 21:17
    a decent online database: www.365chess.com

    toet.
  10. 07 Oct '10 23:23
    chessok.com good opening data base and chesstempo.com good tactics under training....
  11. 08 Oct '10 07:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by aquatabby
    I agree that 365chess.com is useful - I use it a lot. However, one thing to beware of is following it blindly. I've done this myself a few times if I'm in a hurry - I'd just find a position in the DB, think 'Well, it's been played 20 times so it must be ok", and then play it and move on. The problem is that you can easily end up in a completely unfamiliar wing when it's ok to break the rules. Unfortunately I'm still struggling with this. 🙁
    you know i once knowingly followed a losing line from a database because i had deluded myself with the prospect that i would find an improvement, yup and i lost! 🙂