I am unhappy with the results of my opening studies.
I forget critical moves in the main variations, while remembering trivial lines that I have never seen in a game.
I am going to rethink how to study openings from the ground up.
Why study openings? To improve our play. There are several aspects:
- To better understand the middle game plans that occur from an opening.
- To better understand endgame structures that happen from an opening.
- To become familiar with the tactical ideas that occur and spring from an opening
- To save time in a game by making decisions ahead of time.
With clear knowledge of an opponent, you can do a more in depth study of lines before the game. From a few moments between rounds to months before a major match, the study will have to be adjusted to the time available and your knowledge of your opponent.
I think I need to drastically trim the size of my repertoire tree for line memorization. I still want to document and comment a very large tree, but only do memory training on a much smaller subset. I should train on the larger tree only in subsets for know upcoming opponents.
I need to come up with a better way to organize Tabiya and be more precise in defining those in my Repertoire. I should write a monograph on each Tabiya that is like a very verbose Stoyko exercise. In particular, I should note paired moves. I should also create a flash card for each Tabiya. Eventually, I should use my collection of Tabiya to extract games from the WeekInChess weekly game download to review.
Paired moves is a concept I came up with a while ago. The idea is that the problems presented in an opening have a limited number of ways to address. Each move to address a problem may have a natural response. A good example of this is in the closed Ruy Lopez is the point when white directly defends his e4-pawn. Black must address the Bxc6 and Nxe5 threat. You should have selected ahead of time whether you are going to play ...d6 or ...b5 (assuming Morphy's ...a6 has been played), depending on how white defends the pawn. For instance, your paired moves might be (Re1, b5) (d3,d6).
(An aside: Here is a good reason for every chess player to be familiar with the Ruy Lopez, it is a good place to find any kind of example you might want, and it is continually used as example material by writers)