1. Account suspended
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    27 Nov '07 02:03
    Originally posted by Arctic Jack
    How would I go about learning an opening? I've no idea where to start. I know the real basics like control the centre, knights before bishops etc but I always end up in trouble early on against anyone half way decent. Is there a book recommended that runs through openings in general that gives you information on each one. Sort of like a stepping stone before you actually choose an opening.
    start with the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Sicilian Najdorf (moves available via google) and get back with us once you've learned who is truly better after Qxb2?!
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    27 Nov '07 02:05
    Originally posted by rubberjaw30
    start with the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Sicilian Najdorf (moves available via google) and get back with us once you've learned who is truly better after Qxb2?!
    black Is!
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    27 Nov '07 02:13
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    black Is!
    I actually believe that despite a solid 1 pawn black advantage... the severe restrictions on the black queen give white at least a minor advantage in the PPA.
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    27 Nov '07 02:18
    Originally posted by ih8sens
    I actually believe that despite a solid 1 pawn black advantage... the severe restrictions on the black queen give white at least a minor advantage in the PPA.
    Only if you don't know where black gives back a pawn like I do in my secret line!
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    27 Nov '07 02:20
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    Only if you don't know where black gives back a pawn like I do in my secret line!
    and you should be a mamber of the Retards United clan.
    white is much better than black, as white has so much piece actiuvity for the pawn, it's ridiculous!
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    27 Nov '07 02:24
    Originally posted by rubberjaw30
    and you should be a mamber of the Retards United clan.
    white is much better than black, as white has so much piece actiuvity for the pawn, it's ridiculous!
    yes but in my line black gets a lot of piece activity when white doens't take the pawn and when he does it is gameover and a win for black.(but I am not going to show you that line unless we play it which won't happen since you don't play e4)
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    27 Nov '07 04:331 edit
    Originally posted by ih8sens
    I actually believe that despite a solid 1 pawn black advantage... the severe restrictions on the black queen give white at least a minor advantage in the PPA.
    I've looked into the PP in some depth recently and it seems White has come up with some interesting innovations based around 10. e5, an old move only recently revived. This has left some PP adherents struggling for an improvement. In fact, Georgiev, in his book the Sharpest Sicilian has actually given up on the PP for the time being and so have a number of 2600+ players. See his errata: http://chess-stars.com/graphics/eshop/books_special/Sharp_corrections.pdf

    This is obviously a big blow, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the PP has not been dealt a death blow and will rise again. Black is not just up a pawn, he has completely compromised White's Queenside and if White's lightning attack fails, Black will have both a pawn and positional trumps. The general consensus is that White is getting little more than equality in most PP lines with accurate play. This isn't just theory, it is supported by statistics at the GM level. I would be surprised if the choice of three World Champions, Fischer, Anand, and Kasparov as well as many others (FIDE WC Topalov for example) has been refuted. In any case, the Bg5 Najdorf isn't just the PP. I actually play Nbd7 and have only once tried the PP. But there are many other choices: Qb6-Qd2-Nc6, Nc6, Nbd7, Be7 and Qc7 are some good ones. I'm sure they will be explored more considering the effect of the latest theory (we're talking months not years).
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    27 Nov '07 06:07
    http://www.eudesign.com/chessops/
  9. Big D
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    29 Nov '07 15:47
    Originally posted by gaychessplayer
    I agree that studying tactical puzzles will benefit one's game far more than studying an opening. But, I think saying that "it is a waste of time to study an opening" is clearly wrongheaded. Tactical opportunities and winning endgames are almost always the result of a superior middlegame position, which more times than not is the result of good open ...[text shortened]... the sentiment that too much emphasis is placed on the opening by most players (including me).
    Wrongheaded? No less an authority than Turkmenistan Grandmaster Babakuli Annakov told me that all the pupils at the Soviet Sports Academy, where he learned to play, weren't allowed to study an opening until after they had spent two years going over classic games. Babkuli has a FIDE rating of almost 2600 and has been a chess professional for quite some time. The reason they shouldn't study the opening, he said, is because their tactical and strategic vision is weak. You throw them into a sea of complex variations and as soon as they get out of their opening "book," they don't have a clue as to what to do next. Here's a practical example: I like nothing better than to play e4 against a youngster who is armed to the gills on the most recent Sicilian Dragon theory. They smile when they reply c5, but that quickly fades when on the next move I play d3. They look puzzled because all that time they put into booking themselves up with Dragon theory has been wasted because they will never get to play it against my Closed Sicilian. Another problem the inexperienced player encounters is: What do I do now that I'm out of my book? Invariably, even the patzer will sometimes arrive out of the opening with a strategic advantage, say the two bishops or three pawns vs. two on the queenside. Unfortunately, because they have studied chess happhazadley, they won't know how to proceed. The point is, in any endeavor that requires a lot of study, go from the simple (endgames), to the hard (middlegames), to the complex (openings). If you were going to learn how to play an instrument, would you expect to open a book of sheet music and be able to play a symphony? No, you would first learn to read music, then you'd probably learn to play scales, then maybe you'd learn a simple tune. Chess is the same.
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    29 Nov '07 18:18
    Generally, I agree with warlord. However, it may be best for you to find a few standard replies, so that you aren't always in unfamilar waters and you build up an understanding in certain openings.

    Check this link out, I am using a similar approach...http://www.helium.com/tm/721587/building-chess-repertoire-strategic

    If you are going to look at openings at all, then don't memorise lines!
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    30 Nov '07 00:01
    Originally posted by der schwarze Ritter
    Wrongheaded? No less an authority than Turkmenistan Grandmaster Babakuli Annakov told me that all the pupils at the Soviet Sports Academy, where he learned to play, weren't allowed to study an opening until after they had spent two years going over classic games. Babkuli has a FIDE rating of almost 2600 and has been a chess professional for quite ...[text shortened]... robably learn to play scales, then maybe you'd learn a simple tune. Chess is the same.
    That makes a lot of sense! I'll have to reconsider my opinion on the matter.
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    30 Nov '07 00:31
    Originally posted by der schwarze Ritter
    Wrongheaded? No less an authority than Turkmenistan Grandmaster Babakuli Annakov told me that all the pupils at the Soviet Sports Academy, where he learned to play, weren't allowed to study an opening until after they had spent two years going over classic games. Babkuli has a FIDE rating of almost 2600 and has been a chess professional for quite ...[text shortened]... robably learn to play scales, then maybe you'd learn a simple tune. Chess is the same.
    That's certainly true if you don't study openings with deep understanding. In fact, I think many chess players don't and your strategy will work successfully against them. On the other hand, past 2000 ELO, you can pretty much bet that the opponent understands the opening ideas well-enough that rather than frustrate him, this strategy will make his life easier.
  13. I pity the fool!
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    30 Nov '07 01:18
    One thing I have been doing more and more in the last two years, since I learned how to make proper plans, is to go back and relearn my openings and begin to plan what I am aiming to achieve in the long run by placing pieces in a certain way.
    Especially true for my latest opening - the main lines of the ruy lopez - there has to be a good sense of what is going to be coming later on in the game or you find the position being turned against you if you play irrelevant moves or find yourself having to redeploy because pieces were not places correctly first time round.
  14. Here and there
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    01 Dec '07 10:40
    Wrongheaded? No less an authority than Turkmenistan Grandmaster Babakuli Annakov told me that all the pupils at the Soviet Sports Academy, where he learned to play, weren't allowed to study an opening until after they had spent two years going over classic games.
    I'd never heard of that, and I find it interesting. And everything else in your post seems perfectly logical and right to me, but I still can't entirely agree with it...

    When I originally responded to this thread, I didn't checked the rating of the person who wanted to learn an opening, simply because it strikes me as the type of question that someone pretty new to chess would ask. Now I absolutely agree that tactical training is certainly better for a weaker player to improve than 'learning an opening', but this person is here (like all of us!) to PLAY chess, so they're going to have to play an opening in every game, and I found their question quite valid (think of how many beginnings on chess sites open with things like 1.e4 2.Bd3 or 1.e4 2.f3 ).

    It seems to me that they are going to have to 'invent' a reply to 1.e4 or 1.d4 in virtually every game they play here (or elsewhere), so why not get an idea of what types of positions different openings give, in order to choose in an informed way how to answer 1.e4.

    I think that perhaps we're talking about different things when we say 'learning an opening'. I wanted to help them find a way of opening that they felt comfortable with (in their original post they said "Is there a book recommended that runs through openings in general that gives you information on each one. Sort of like a stepping stone before you actually choose an opening."😉...personally I don't see how that type of book would do any harm (in my humble and uninformed opinion obviously
    😀
    -it's hard for me to imagine that the students in the school that you mentioned didn't exchange ideas on openings and with the type of guidance they had, I would imagine that they became pretty knowledgeable pretty quickly (let's face it, studying classic games, if you do it with right people, can teach you a lot about opening theory).

    Oh and by the way (and as I said above, I found your post really interesting, so please don't take this personally), I really hated your parallel to musical instruments! AND..., I hated it because unfortunately you're right! I live in France now, and that's exactly how kids learn to play an instrument...first you learn to read music, then you learn scales etc etc... But that's TERRIBLE.... for me it should be ...First you play around with lots of instruments until you feel like playing one, then you make a real loud racket that thrills your heart, then you play it a lot until you really like it and are sure that you want to learn it, THEN you start to study...

    A somewhat philosophical question to finish off "When do you stop practicing/studying an instrument, and actually start PLAYING?" or to put it another way "When are you playing, and when are you studying?" (and is there really such a difference?).

    And what about for chess......?
  15. Here and there
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    01 Dec '07 21:16
    Just another thought...you could always try the book "three hundred chess games" (or is it 500!?) by Tartakower....vast amounts of 'classic' games, but organized by opening (so you'll get a reasonable idea of what sort of game to expected from various openings). AND...you can probably pick it up quite cheaply...

    It covers games from really early (Staunton, La Bourdonnais etc....up to ....well...Tartakower I guess ;-). Play through some of these games and you'll see everything from massively violent sacrificial bloodfests to mind-numbingly deliberate maneuvering marathons...

    One of those books that I pick up from time to time to remember that chess can (occasionally!) be just good clean fun! (and not super-ultra-hypermodernistic mind-games). . Ah...the good old days....

    Hope this helps (in some strange tongue-in-cheek way.....).
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