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  1. 10 Jan '06 17:38
    Hi, I took up chess reasonably recently, having learned the rules as a child. I haven't really had time to study yet, and have just been playing games instead. I had a brief look at the Sicilian opening, as it was (sort of) one of the ways I was playing when I was black anyway, but this was a 30 minute skim rather than a proper study. The points I would like advice on are:

    1. How useful is it to learn openings at this stage?

    2. In how much detail should each opening be learned at this stage?

    3. Are there any particular openings I should consider/avoid?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to give.
  2. 10 Jan '06 17:50
    Forget studying the opening at this point: instead, study the endgame and books on tactics. Until you're in the 1900 range, study of openings is going to do you little good.
  3. 10 Jan '06 17:51
    hi,
    Opening matters a lot in case you are playing with matured players, to be really frank even a matured player can fall in to traps. Well to begin with you may go through this tutorial:

    http://www.exeterchessclub.org.uk/Openings/minorop2.html

    Thanks,
    Rathish.K
  4. Standard member Grandmouster
    ChessObsessed
    10 Jan '06 17:53 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Somerled
    Hi, I took up chess reasonably recently, having learned the rules as a child. I haven't really had time to study yet, and have just been playing games instead. I had a brief look at the Sicilian opening, as it was (sort of) one of the ways I was playing when I was black anyway, but this was a 30 minute skim rather than a proper study. The points I would ...[text shortened]... penings I should consider/avoid?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to give.
    You could spend a lot of time memorising lines (thats all you will do as you won't understand the concepts with out positional and tactical understanding)
    Get to a even or better position against opponents your rating/level
    Then proceed to lose almost every game in the middle game and endgame
    Spend 50% of the time learning opening lines, and 50% studing endgames and middlegame. You will improve
    Spend 80% studing endgames and middlegame (tactics and positional ideas) and 20% on learning your favorite opening lines, and you will improve steadily until 2000
    When you get to 2000 spend 70% learning new ideas in the openings you play (everyone else will be using chessbase to find novelties in the openings, new lines, etc)
    and 30& on endgames, tactics, etc
    From my observations, and talking to experts and masters, this seems to be the formula
  5. 10 Jan '06 18:37
    Openings can help, but not much. Work mostly on tactics and strategy (middlegame), and get through at least a basic endgame book. Also spend just enough time to learn a few basic opening ideas/lines (~5-8 moves): i.e. if you like 1.e. 1 line against the french, 1 against sicilian, 1 against hypermodern defenses and 1 against e5. Do the same thing as black.

    From there continue your study of middle and endgames and review all your games. What tactics did you miss (a computer can help here) what were your opponents ideas, what were yours? and did they work? etc. If you get caught in an opening trap, see how you could have avoided it. After figuring out what you think is the best move, check an opening manual or a database and don't ever fall for the same trap again.
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    West Coast Represent
    10 Jan '06 19:53
    Originally posted by zebano
    Openings can help, but not much. Work mostly on tactics and strategy (middlegame), and get through at least a basic endgame book. Also spend just enough time to learn a few basic opening ideas/lines (~5-8 moves): i.e. if you like 1.e. 1 line against the french, 1 against sicilian, 1 against hypermodern defenses and 1 against e5. Do the same thing as black.
    ...[text shortened]... e best move, check an opening manual or a database and don't ever fall for the same trap again.
    I agree with zebano. The traditional newbie training opening is Giuoco Piano (sp?) - that is, 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5. With the Sicilian, all you need to know at this stage is that you should play c5 and if possible cxd4 (obviously), d6, e6 and Be7 unless the opponent played d3 (Closed Sicilian) in which case you play g6 and Bg7, a6 before opponent plays Bb5, Nf6, either Nc6 or Nd7, O-O, and usually b5 and Bb3 - sometimes the Bishop needs to go to d7 though.

    Also, here's a trap you might want to be aware of:

    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O Nd7?? 8. Bxe6 fxe6 9. Nxe6 giving both of White's Knights brutally powerful central advanced posts (the other one goes to d5). This is a positional sacrifice that I think is very good for White.
  7. 11 Jan '06 03:38
    Spend your time mostly with tactics. Maybe 60%. Openings 10% endgames 15% and strategy, pawn structure, etc. 15%. Don't neglect anything completely or that could be your weak link. Keep a book of puzzles by your bed and do a few every night or whenever you have insomnia.
  8. Standard member BlueEyedRook
    Ol' Blue Eyes
    11 Jan '06 03:46
    When you find a couple openings you want to memorize, here is a free download that make it a lot easier:

    http://www.chesspositiontrainer.com/

    It'll let you plug in whatever openings you want and then test you on them. It's a good download for what it does... allowing you to memorize chess moves. I generally think you should more learn the key concepts behind openings, but having some openings memorized seems to be useful too.

    Good luck!
  9. 11 Jan '06 06:37 / 1 edit
    According to Chess Openings for Black, Explained, one should spend only 25% of chess study time on openings. Considering that this is an opening book written by players of the highest caliber (Lev Alburt is a 3 time US champion and Roman Dzindzi won it 2 times and Eugene Perelshteyn is a young GM) as well as with an excellent career as coaches, I think this is probably sound advice.