I was shocked to find that one of the most common critiques of amateur chess players is that they spend too much time studying openings, because this is an area where I spend very little time.Only when I started reading books did I realize how much grandmasters prepare and the advantages of having a solid opening knowledge. Essentially, you shouldn’t be recreating the wheel in every game you play, and you should have a set of openings that you can rely on. In this article, I’ll go over some of the tips and chess openings for adult chess improvers, which has shown to be effective.
Choosing a suitable opening
To play all of your games, you should know three openings, in my opinion. One with white, one with black to play against e4, and one with d4 as the opponent. If your opponent plays anything different, you should be able to counter with one of these openings. The following are the three openers I use:
- English – 1.c4 with white
- Sicilian Kan – 1.e5 c5 with black against e4
- King’s Indian Defense – 1. d4 Nf6 with black against d4
You may try with the same openings as your coach or depending on your favorite player to see if you have a feel for it. If you have a feel for it, you will automatically recognize it from the first game you play with that opening.
Now that you’ve chosen an opening, I’ll explain how I go about developing a repertoire for it. Build a repertoire by starting with an opening study. Lichess offers a fantastic manner of studying openings that I am so delighted with and use so frequently that I can’t imagine not having it. To demonstrate what I mean, I will use a game that I played and an opening study that I have. I’ll provide a chapter from a lichess study focusing on when white plays the Bowdler assault against the Sicilian in this post. The Bowdler assault goes like this:
- e4 c6 2. Bc4 – and the Bowdler assault is launched.
For each opening, the lichess opening explorer displays the following statistics. The most popular replies a player has used, as well as the win-loss %, are displayed in the bottom right corner. This allows you to see what moves are likely to appear in a game as well as how the replies are evaluated. You may also scroll down to view some of the best games in that category. This is quite beneficial since you can watch how the best players constructed their game plans in that particular opening and learn from them.
This is by far the best practical way for studying openings that I’ve come across. I used to look at grandmaster games, but it wasn’t very instructive because lower-rated players don’t do nearly as many things as a grandmaster.
Now, let me share my research and explain how I used this tool to expand on my initial understanding. You can see how I remark on the various situations and make notes for myself so that I remember them in future games by scrolling through the embedded study below.
Go over the following sequence of steps in detail:
- e4 c5 e4 c5 e4 c5 e4
- Bc4 e6 e6 e6 e6 e6 e6
- Nc3 Nc6 Nc3 Nc6 Nc3 Nc6 Nc3
- Nf3 Nf6 Nf3 Nf6 Nf3 Nf6 Nf3
- Ng4? 5. e5?
I include this sequence because, in a real game, I hesitated from playing Nf6 on move 4 because I was concerned about e5, but subsequent analysis revealed that e5 is really a mistake! This is because to the fact that Ng4 is such a powerful reaction here that white loses the e pawn!
Another intriguing feature is that the opening explorer displays the number of times a move has been played. It reveals that e5 has been played 614 times in this example. This represents around 10% of all games that have reached this point, and if you’ve done your homework, you should be in a winning position at least 10% of the time you play this position on move 5!
Now, this may seem little on its own, but if you do this for every opening sequence you play, you’ll quickly find that you’re meeting the same positions over and over again, and that you’re well prepared for them, and that you’re outplaying your opponent right away. This article will show you how to make a lichess research.
You may have limited time to study openings as a mature chess player, but they are critical to improving your outcomes. The approach that I developed over time is easy and free, and it does not need a lot of time to study. You play a game, take a few notes in your study, review the various moves that may have occurred in that variant, and gradually amass a massive knowledge base!