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Normal Topic Aren't we giving too much importance to openings? (Read 4193 times)
an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Aren't we giving too much importance to openings?
Reply #9 - 03/06/19 at 15:37:09
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My own experience is more similar to brabo's than to maņico_feroz's. By the early 1990s *all* the 2100+ players at my club were using a database, mostly ChessBase but also Chess Assistant and/or Bookup. Okay, there was one exception who stuck to his paper notebooks and flashcards...

I just played in a team tournament and in 5 rounds had 4 endgames: R_v_R, R_v_B, B_v_opposite-B, R+N_v_R+N. None of my opponents (avg 2200) played accurately in the opening.
  
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Re: Aren't we giving too much importance to openings?
Reply #8 - 03/06/19 at 11:10:06
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brabo wrote on 03/06/19 at 06:52:50:
However I do have the impression that the younger generation is lacking basic endgame-knowledge. I showed several examples of this in an article from 6 months ago


In your examples, the losers failed to keep on board the principle as outlined by Soltis and perhaps others that if you are thinking of going into a pawn ending, don't,  unless you are triple sure of the outcome.

Given how easy it usually is to repair openings that go wrong, you get a stand off. Both players are good enough to not make crass errors in the opening, so the fight gets deferred to the middle game and endgame. That perhaps assumes both players play the opening in a style where non obvious only moves do not arise.

Chessbase was first available in the late 1980s although it took a few more years for big game collections to be built up and useful computer engines to become available.
  
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Re: Aren't we giving too much importance to openings?
Reply #7 - 03/06/19 at 06:52:50
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maņico_feroz wrote on 03/05/19 at 11:31:45:
I gave up playing chess around 20 years ago, when i was 24. Last year, i decided to return.

Back to the past, on that time, the computer era hadn't arrived and having chessbase or any chess software was the exception. Many of my games were long - appart from long time controls, of course - around 40-60 moves and the endgame played an important role.

In this two years i have only played one endgame OTB ... People is much more booked up and you are forced to know well the openings. Also time controls are faster, meaning it's harder that a small mistake advancing a pawn becomes decisive (unless you are IM/GM...).

Now chessbase makes possible to prepare very accuretly the opening, but back to then you only had comments from your mates about their own openings, and your own repertoire basically mirrored your mates one.

Perhaps i'm mistaken, but i would bet now endgame importance is missing. 90% of the game is determined by the opening and the consequent middlegame/tactics. Understanding the openings and their plans/ideas/tactics plays a decisive role (not memorizing, i've also seen ppl memorizing lines up to 20 moves making decisive mistakes on the 21)

PS: i move in the range 2100-2300 FIDE.

I have been using chesscomputers since 1990. From 1996 I was already working with databases to prepare for opponents. I often tell to other players that I am probably one of the very first players raised with the computer.

I think you were just unlucky in not meeting endgames as I still encouter many of them. However I do have the impression that the younger generation is lacking basic endgame-knowledge. I showed several examples of this in an article from 6 months ago: https://chess-brabo.blogspot.com/2018/09/quicker-part-2.html?m=0
  
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Re: Aren't we giving too much importance to openings?
Reply #6 - 03/05/19 at 11:31:45
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I gave up playing chess around 20 years ago, when i was 24. Last year, i decided to return.

Back to the past, on that time, the computer era hadn't arrived and having chessbase or any chess software was the exception. Many of my games were long - appart from long time controls, of course - around 40-60 moves and the endgame played an important role.

In this two years i have only played one endgame OTB ... People is much more booked up and you are forced to know well the openings. Also time controls are faster, meaning it's harder that a small mistake advancing a pawn becomes decisive (unless you are IM/GM...).

Now chessbase makes possible to prepare very accuretly the opening, but back to then you only had comments from your mates about their own openings, and your own repertoire basically mirrored your mates one.

Perhaps i'm mistaken, but i would bet now endgame importance is missing. 90% of the game is determined by the opening and the consequent middlegame/tactics. Understanding the openings and their plans/ideas/tactics plays a decisive role (not memorizing, i've also seen ppl memorizing lines up to 20 moves making decisive mistakes on the 21)

PS: i move in the range 2100-2300 FIDE.
  
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Re: Aren't we giving too much importance to openings?
Reply #5 - 03/28/18 at 19:55:35
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In my opinion, the openings thing should deal with "exploit" weaknesses of the opponent before all. As one of my friends always said, most openings are playable but we're quite afraid of what we don't know so much.
  
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Re: Aren't we giving too much importance to openings?
Reply #4 - 09/02/17 at 08:34:57
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This is why I think it's important that opening books include complete games annotated all the way through and not just opening lines.  Amateurs spend all their time studying openings instead of master games, and are usually aware they have their priorities wrong but keep doing it anyway, so a good opening book tricks us into studying master games and thinking we're studying openings.  Probably the majority of annotated GM games I've played through were in opening books.
  
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Re: Aren't we giving too much importance to openings?
Reply #3 - 12/26/16 at 19:22:19
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Chess openings are like the "final frontier" in chess. The greater the skill, the more important openings are.

With GMs, openings are the main bottleneck to their performance. They already know all the other stuff worth knowing, more or less. They only rarely study manuals and guides anymore, it's normally databases with a computer. 
 
You also have to define "importance", people might just like looking at openings.
 
  

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Re: Aren't we giving too much importance to openings?
Reply #2 - 11/23/16 at 04:42:39
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KestonyChess wrote on 08/17/16 at 18:48:15:
Alright I will try to give you a few tips. First of all you have to learn openings by learning the middle game that arises after the opening. What I mean by that is you have to learn pawn structure (for example if you play queens gambit you have to learn isolated pawn structures or carlsbad structure) also where your pieces are best placed and what are your plans. Once you get all that you won't have to remember all the variations because you will understand where your and your opponent's pieces must go, what moves you should avoid and over the board you will only have to remember the move order.  For example I play slav defense against d4 and caro kan defense against e4 because the pawn structures are very similar. Grandmasters will play play g3 or b3 against let's say 2100 player only because they want to get a position where 2100 elo rated player will not know the exact pawn structure and he will place his pieces on the bad squares where grandmaster can punish him. You may also try to create pgn file for your opening's main lines so that you can remind your self with main variations every month.


These are great tips. Thanks for the explanation.
  
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Re: Aren't we giving too much importance to openings?
Reply #1 - 08/17/16 at 18:48:15
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Alright I will try to give you a few tips. First of all you have to learn openings by learning the middle game that arises after the opening. What I mean by that is you have to learn pawn structure (for example if you play queens gambit you have to learn isolated pawn structures or carlsbad structure) also where your pieces are best placed and what are your plans. Once you get all that you won't have to remember all the variations because you will understand where your and your opponent's pieces must go, what moves you should avoid and over the board you will only have to remember the move order.  For example I play slav defense against d4 and caro kan defense against e4 because the pawn structures are very similar. Grandmasters will play play g3 or b3 against let's say 2100 player only because they want to get a position where 2100 elo rated player will not know the exact pawn structure and he will place his pieces on the bad squares where grandmaster can punish him. You may also try to create pgn file for your opening's main lines so that you can remind your self with main variations every month.
  
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Aren't we giving too much importance to openings?
06/05/16 at 10:27:06
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I have the feeling that I am constantly changing my opening repertoire over the months / years in search for the "perfect opening" (or defense). In reality there is no perfect opening, most of openings are of the same worth... I wonder it I'd rather study to improve my game, middlegame strategy / tactics / endgame technique... what do you think?? I.e. a GM will beat me equally with 1.g3 and 1.b3, as well as with the most fashionable line in the Ruy Lopez!
  
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