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happinessisawarmgun 37 ( +1 | -1 )
opening repetoire I see a lot of free programs kicking about , like Bookup etc. which promise to improve your openings by building up your repetoire . Does anybody use this or a similar program and what is their opinion of them . Does an opening repetoire have to be kept in a program ? I always thought a "repetoire" was in your brain/memory . Am I missng something?
magna68 115 ( +1 | -1 )
Bookup and others.. These programs defenetly can improve your chess if used correctly. They are useless if you use them incorrectly by "dumping in" huge databases and then just browse back and forth thinking you are memorizing everything.
If used correctly and bases are kept organized, notes added about important moves and variations you are interested in, then you can speed up the learning process fast by using the "training modes". (Bookup f.e has great training mode feature). Then you really see if you have learned the openings you have been studying or not! I use training modes heavily before going to OTB tournaments as a refreshment, just to make sure I got all the variations right. We all (from amateurs to GMs) know the imbarrasment of don't remembering the correct continuation we did study last week, when suddenly we need it on the table! Even Kasparov did have mindblowing slips in the jungles of Najdorf f.e.
So my answer is yes, they are helpful an do improve your skills, and yes, you are missing one important thing; even if a "repetoire" is kept in your brain/memory, it needs constant "refreshment" and updates. These programs help you to do just that.
All the best
happinessisawarmgun 13 ( +1 | -1 )
thanks.. thanks for the reply , I , like everyone else am trying to improve and if this will help then i will give it a try.
danders 35 ( +1 | -1 )
Improving One thing that seems like it's been helping my game play quit a bit is playing lost games from the winner's side and seeing where I made my mistakes. It seems to me that if I haven't perfected my tactics, memorizing all the variations of an opening isn't going to help me much.

Am I wrong? Do those two themes go hand-in-hand?
bonsai 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Openings are not that important, but it does make sense to know at least enough not to get into trouble early on at whichever level one plays (obviously requiring different amounts of knowledge depending on the level).
premium_steve 56 ( +1 | -1 )
i've read a little of a bent larsen book that suggests a method of playing gruenfeld-type positions with both the white and black pieces. i can't remember its title right now. zoom 100? i don't know.
the book helped me a bit, since i usually like to play the alekhine defense, or scandinavian with 2...Nf6, as black.

i think playing with systems is a good way to go, but i find it a little boring. i like to play as aggressively as i can, and i've found that playing e4 gives me a chance to do that.... even though the game can go in so many different directions.
gajolen 353 ( +1 | -1 )
Openings are not that important, unless you are really high rated. Because very often the oponent will go out of book, and if you dont have a clue why the opening moves where played, you will not be able to take advantage from it anyway.

This dont mean that the opening is not important because it is, and many games can be won or lost, by simply know the opeing better than the oponent.

Instead of trying to memorise certain lines it is better to try and play after principles. These principles are all of equal importance, so dont take note of the order i list them.

Take control of the center. Open with a center pawn.
Try not to move to many pawns in the opening, the goal is to move pawns so that it makes room for your pieces.
When posibel try and exchange your side pawns for the oponents center pawns, center pawns are worth more than side pawns.
Develop all of your pieces. Find a good square for a piece where the oponent can not force it away.
Dont move a piece again, before you have finished activating all your other pieces.
King safety, get your king castled. This will also activate the rook.
Connect your rooks, by activating all the other pieces, so that the two rooks are covering eachother.
Try and position your rooks, on open files if they exist.
If no open files exist cetralise the rooks, d1,e1,d8,e8. Because often the lines to open up first will be the center lines.

If you can make a move that will hinder the oponent from doing the things i mentioned above, it is often a very good move. Remeber your goal is to do all of the above, and at the same time hinder the openent from doing it.

If a tactic exist, you must answer it. That means if you can win or lose a piece, or the game, you have to do it. You can of course not say i will not move this piece again because i have already moved it, and i know that i must only move each piece once in the opening before i move another, if the oponent can simply take it for free.

So always be on the alert for tactics, and only when you know no tactic's exist make a move wich help you towards the things i mentioned on my list, or better find a move that not only do that, but also hinders the oponent from doing it.

For specific opening lines i will recomend..

Find 2 openings that you like. One with d4, and one with e4.
And then play all your games with them, from both sides, when posibel.
Example always open with e4 if that is what you prefer, and try stear the game into for example ruy lopez, and when the oponent open with e4, also try to play ruy, but from the black side.

After a while doing this you will know the main lines in those opeings pretty well, and you will begin to understand why the moves are played. And if the oponent make a move you are not familar with it is often a weak move, wich will give you some kind of advantage. Maybe you can win material or you can hinder him from proceding with the opening principles, maybe you can give him a double pawn, you may be able to force him to move his king, thereby giving up the castle right, or something else that may not win the game imidiatly, but if you understand how to take advantage of it, it will most likely win the game for you later.
premium_steve 73 ( +1 | -1 )
i hate the ruy lopez! :P i know it is one of, if not *the*, most sound openings against 1...e5, but i have never ever played it in my life, and i wonder sometimes why it is so often recommended to beginning chessplayers.
i guess it is good because you develop your kingside and get castled very quickly... but the amounts of tension and complications that can come on the e-file might not be a fun thing for a beginner to deal with.
i don't know. maybe there are similar complications in other popular openings. maybe complications are good for beginners.

still, i would recommend instead the giuoco piano (targeting f7 immediately), scotch game (opening the d-file, and the c1-a6 diagonal for the queen bishop), or vienna (protecting pawn at e4, taking hold of the d5 square, and allowing a very fun f4-push later on).
premium_steve 15 ( +1 | -1 )
i know you were just giving an example with the ruy...... i don't mean to be hostile or anything. :)
this is just something i wanted to say anyway, i think.
thecatcool120 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Ruy is "good" cause of all the crap concerning, ridding the defender of e5 and all....BUT I prefer passive defenses such as French D, and my fave variation is advanced.

That's A LOT more fun for black. As for White I usually do Queen Gambits, which I've seen usually get declined (2...e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5) :)
gajolen 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes the Ruy lopez was just and example :)

My point was that it is a good idea to stick to as few openings as posibel, and then play them from both sides when posibel.