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  1. 03 Sep '07 01:38
    I started playing chess this year and learned a lot with chessmaster 10. But i think i need further studies on openings.... chessmaster has a good opening database, but it's not very useful to study. Which one is the best opening book?
  2. 03 Sep '07 01:57
    If you just started chess this year I think you'd be better of getting a tactics puzzle book than any opening book.
    But if you must buy one then you probably best get Modern Chess Openings (usually refered to as MCO).This will allow you to try out virtually every existing opening so you can determine which ones you like best.A cheaper way to do this is to create a database containing games with all openings.
    Next you can get books devoted to those particular openings,which will explain the opening in greater detail,outlining plans/ideas/piece placement etc...
  3. 03 Sep '07 03:18
    Another way to go, and for my money, a lot easier and more pleasant, would be to start with Seirawan's Winning Chess Openings. Seirawan doesn't go into great depth on each and every opening; rather he presents a light and breezy introduction to many of the more popular ones, though not all. It's a matter of taste, I suppose. I didn't care for MCO, but rather like Winning Chess Openings. Good place to start one's study of openings.

    But I agree that tactics should probably be your main focus now, along with getting acquainted with the opening principles.
  4. 03 Sep '07 03:45
    "Discovering Chess Openings" by John Emms is a good introduction to the principles of opening play. (I also like Yasser Seirawans books). After this you may be looking for a more specialist book on an opening you have chosen for more study. Much of the advice available suggests you should concentrate more on tactics and endgame study than openings.
  5. 03 Sep '07 04:49
    a hearty second for Seirawan's 'Winning Chess Openings', which completely captured my imagination and gave me some good new tools to work with.

    if you hate dry chess books, this is about as good as it gets.
  6. 03 Sep '07 06:19
    all good suggestions...my chess teacher had me select one opening as W and two as B(one response to e4 and the 2nd a reply to d4. I remebered it added...and STICK WITH THEM! he meant get thoroughly comfortable with them. at the same time, study tactics, tactics and more tactics. the 3rd leg to improvement, is to play as much as you can---online, clubs, tourneys(OTB), casual---even accost strangers in the park to play. the game of chess almost always rewards diligence.
  7. 03 Sep '07 16:17
    Originally posted by monteirof
    I started playing chess this year and learned a lot with chessmaster 10. But i think i need further studies on openings.... chessmaster has a good opening database, but it's not very useful to study. Which one is the best opening book?
    "The Ideas Behind the Chess Openings" by Reuben Fine
  8. 04 Sep '07 16:18
    Ok. Thanks!
  9. 06 Sep '07 20:24
    I also highly recommend Seirawan's, "Winning Chess Openings." MCO-14 is an excellent reference book, but it won't teach you the basic strategies behind each opening.
  10. 06 Sep '07 22:16
    Bilguer's Handbuch, The last edition, (1916-1921) authored by Schlechter, with contributions by Spielmann, Tarrasch, Teichmann, Paul Morphy, Bobby Fischer, "The Turk automaton", and Jebus Christ.
    Or just get MCO-14, that's a good substitute.
  11. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    06 Sep '07 22:23
    Originally posted by Sam The Sham

    Or just get MCO-14, that's a good substitute.
    i think ive seen this, is it by nick de firmian?
  12. 06 Sep '07 22:28
    Originally posted by jvanhine
    i think ive seen this, is it by nick de firmian?
    Yes....it's been done by many others previously, don't know it's history. It gets taken out, dusted off, and rewritten/added to by whoever wants to do something with it, I guess the original is public domain or whatever. Too lazy to check it out. Goes back a long way. Any historians out there? It's called "The Chess Players Bible" If it's not in MCO, you don't care.
  13. 06 Sep '07 23:52
    Originally posted by ouwe belg
    If you just started chess this year I think you'd be better of getting a tactics puzzle book than any opening book....
    These guys are right. It's way too early in your chess learning to be studying openings. See tip #4 below:

    Steve Lopez wrote an article 'Improvement for the Average Player' for Chessbase's T-Notes on March 30, 2003 (which I have printed off and refer to often). I'm paraphrasing, but the main points are there. These are his ideas, not mine, so please don't think I'm coming off as a know-it-all. I'm quite the opposite, and I have A LOT to learn. Anyway, here is the "meat" of his article:

    How to Improve Your Chess Game

    1. Study tactics!!! Chess is mostly short-term tactics.
    2. Study endgames. Studying endgames is incredibly boring, but it's almost as important as learning tactics. It's good to know how to win (or draw!) in an endgame. Endgame study separates men from the boys. Spend most of your time on those two subjects: tactics and endgames.
    3. Spend some time studying positional play/long-term strategy.
    4. Do NOT spend a lot of time studying or memorizing opening systems/theory until you reach Elo 2000+. That is a hard rule to unlearn, but follow it.
    5. Play as much chess as you can, especially with a stronger player. Swallow your pride and allow yourself to get beaten on the board. Your Elo will thank you for it.
    6. Record your games and go over them--especially your losses--with someone stronger.
    7. Replay over games of other good players (www.chessgames.com is good for this) and try to really understand why they made the moves they did.
    8. Don't kick yourself when you lose: losing teaches you things, and there are more important things in life than winning at chess.


    Those methods the books people here have recommended have helped me *tremendously*.

    Best wishes!
  14. 09 Sep '07 10:46
    If you want to learn openings you can get a general openings book like Keene and Levy How to play the opening - it gives a sample of openings and their variants. Once you have some openings you like the look of, you can play them and even get a free database of them on the www and look over a few games in your own time to get the ideas of their pawn structures / tactics and endgame themes.

    You can study multiple themes in chess at once it doesn't have to be linea: tactics, endings, middle game - specific to your chosen opening.

    The French defense is great to learn bcs it has a standard set up with clear ideas and goals in mind and in many lines its hard to be blasted off the board by a strong player in the opening (generally). The ideas in that opening can be seen elsewhere too in other games.
    There is a series of books called Mastering the 'X' defense with the read and play method - this is a good series as it has nice arrows showing you where pieces tend to go etc.
  15. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    09 Sep '07 11:15 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by magnublm
    4. Do NOT spend a lot of time studying or memorizing opening systems/theory until you reach Elo 2000+.
    I agree with almost everything you said, but I don't think you should wait until you're rated 2000+ to study openings. More like 1600+ in my opinion.