Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Plan--Openings

I had purchased Seirawan's Winning Chess Openings to help my sons get an overview of the openings. They did not spend much time with it, alas, but I skimmed it. It seemed as good and more up to date than the opening section in Fine's Chess the Easy Way, which I read as a child (and I could not find my father's copy of Fine's book).

I think Seirawan's advice is good. Start out with Kings Indian Defense and Attack, plus the Pirc. I had played the Pirc back in the day, and I expect the Benko lines I used to play are obsolete anyway. The KIA is different from the Reti/Nimzo-Larsen stuff I used to play, but will ease my way back into chess without all the theory needed to play d4 or e4.

Wetzell's advice (developed before the chess computer age) is to construct tables like the ones in opening encyclopedias(just many more of them). I think some of the computer based opening trainers like Chess Opening Wizard or the free Chess Position Trainer are a better way to go, but I have spent a great deal of time memorizing lines over the last 6 months, and I find very few times that I end up playing the memorized lines.

I have come to the conclusion that below the master level (maybe expert) opening line memorization is not a good way to spend opening preparation time. The right thing to do is to study annotated games on the openings you want to play, and get a good understanding of the kind of opening tactics and middle game plans that arise from these openings. Opening repertoire books can be a good source for these games and plans.

I have found the videos on ChessVideos.tv to be useful. The site has videos arranged by openings, and class players have submitted videos describing their games. I hope to make some videos and post them, but so far my allergies have made my attempts too full of coughs, snorts, and throat clearings.

In later posts, I will review the opening books, I have been working with.

No comments:

Post a Comment