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  1. Standard member anthias
    ambitious player
    04 May '08 14:14
    I think the best way to study an opening is to go to a site like chessgames.com and quickly go over lots of games of that opening. Is it possible to improve your opening play by this method? I also would like to hear what you do to study.
  2. 04 May '08 16:30
    Originally posted by anthias
    I think the best way to study an opening is to go to a site like chessgames.com and quickly go over lots of games of that opening. Is it possible to improve your opening play by this method? I also would like to hear what you do to study.
    Well, I do this a lot when I'm presented with an unfamiliar opening variation here. I don't think its really a useful study method, but it is helpful to get an idea of how the variation usually goes. Things like - black or white wins a lot, leads to endgames frequently, leads to highly tactical positions frequently, leads to open or closed positions, etc.

    For learning specific openings, nothing beats a good book on the target opening and lots of practice. I find it almost impossible to sort through (select variations, memorize, try to find improvements etc.) without having played the opening a few times, so the process ends up being interative - read a little play a little, go back and figure out what went wrong and what went right, play more. I've often heard players (of various strengths) complain that opening books are hard because there are so many variations - its true. It takes patience and experience.
  3. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    04 May '08 17:00 / 2 edits
    yeah, I'm for the iterative method as well.

    1) memorize the basic mainline, just to have something to work from.

    2) go blitz. see what gets you in trouble, then work out in post analysis what you SHOULD've done instead. there's no better motivator than a painful, humiliating defeat. far better than doing it correctly the first time.

    3) go blitz until you have those 'should' lines down without having to actually think "what the hell was I supposed to do here again?"

    4) open a book. find out what the opening REALLY was about. numerous revelations will occur, and having already seen the wrong way of doing it, it'll be a lot easier to internalize WHY the right way is better.

    5) go blitz, get the book ways down (superficially). enjoy the short moments of success as well as the painful and stupid defeats. pain is your friend.

    6) back to book/games

    7) back to playing, and as you start having the basics down, play slow games as well.

    etc etc etc...