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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) What does being an 'openings expert' really mean? (Read 10719 times)
Stigma
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Re: What does being an 'openings expert' really mean?
Reply #8 - 03/06/18 at 07:17:32
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ReneDescartes wrote on 03/06/18 at 00:31:40:
Perhaps being called an opening expert makes players feel as if their good results are mostly being attributed to memorization, whereas being called, for example, booked just implies that they work hard.

I'm not sure I see the distinction you are making. Doesn't it take a lot of work to become an expert? Besides, "booked up" can also carry the connotation "knows lots of moves but doesn't really understand them".

I must admit I thought this devaluing of opening expertise was a thing of the past. Every experienced tournament player knows the opening is an important part of the game today.

Probably many players focus too much on the opening while neglecting the rest of their game. Aagaard has been making the case for years that this is true not only of the typical amateur who buys much more opening material than he is able to use, but also of many titled players. If Aagaard is right, that means players definitely value opening expertise; in fact they overvalue it!

But it makes no sense to deny that, all other things being equal, expertise in any part of the game, including the opening, is a good thing. I would rather be good at openings than bad at everything! And since openings constitute such a huge part of the chess book/website/material market, opening expertise can get you published even if you fail to gain the desired results over the board.  Smiley
  

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ReneDescartes
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Re: What does being an 'openings expert' really mean?
Reply #7 - 03/06/18 at 00:31:40
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Perhaps being called an opening expert makes players feel as if their good results are mostly being attributed to memorization, whereas being called, for example, booked just implies that they work hard.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: What does being an 'openings expert' really mean?
Reply #6 - 03/05/18 at 13:02:06
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If “openings expert” has a negative connotation for chessplayers, this suggests something to me. Maybe the words are not aimed at the chessplayer at all. I have in mind the non-player purchasing agent in a retail store, who really has no way of evaluating a chess book except by the back-cover blurb, these days reproduced in the publisher’s online catalog. This probably explains why the typical selection in a retail store is so useless.
  
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brabo
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Re: What does being an 'openings expert' really mean?
Reply #5 - 03/05/18 at 08:14:31
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With + 300 articles on my blog it is no big surprise that I also touched this topic: http://chess-brabo.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-expert.html
and http://chess-brabo.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-expert-part-2.html
Just one of my quotes: "I called somebody an opening-expert and immediately the person started to counter that he doesn't consider himself an expert. The term "expert" has a negative connotation."
  
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Jonathan Tait
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Re: What does being an 'openings expert' really mean?
Reply #4 - 03/05/18 at 07:45:34
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I am the world's foremost expert on the Wagenbach Defence to the King's Gambit (1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 Nf3 h5), for whatever that's worth Wink
  

blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/
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BigTy
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Re: What does being an 'openings expert' really mean?
Reply #3 - 03/05/18 at 04:54:37
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 03/05/18 at 04:43:35:
Here are some working definitions:
  • You're an openings expert if you have written books on a few different openings. Schiller and Lakdawala are the exemplars here.
  • You're an openings theoretician if strong(er) players actually consult your books for openings advice.
  • You're expert in a particular opening if strong(er) players avoid it when playing against you, and/or consult your games to find the latest trends.



So, in other words, Schiller and Lakdawala are opening experts, but not opening theoreticians?  Grin
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: What does being an 'openings expert' really mean?
Reply #2 - 03/05/18 at 04:43:35
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Here are some working definitions:
  • You're an openings expert if you have written books on a few different openings. Schiller and Lakdawala are the exemplars here.
  • You're an openings theoretician if strong(er) players actually consult your books for openings advice.
  • You're expert in a particular opening if strong(er) players avoid it when playing against you, and/or consult your games to find the latest trends.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: What does being an 'openings expert' really mean?
Reply #1 - 03/05/18 at 04:24:44
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I prefer the 1970s terminology - booked-up fish. However, I'm not expecting to see it on a dust-jacket any time soon.

I knew a 1700-player who was most definitely an expert on the O'Kelly Sicilian. He played it EVERY chance (probably still does), so his opponents at the club were also booked-up. There were some hairy games going on. I wasn't playing the open Sicilian as white, still out of curiousity I bought Lutes' book so I could decipher which player was producing the TN.
  
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BigTy
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What does being an 'openings expert' really mean?
03/05/18 at 00:07:18
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Hey Everyone,

One term I see thrown around a lot in the chess literature, and elsewhere, is the term 'openings expert.' Often on the back of books you will see a phrase such as 'GM (name) is a renowned openings expert' as well as 'GM (name) is an expert in the (name of opening)` (and thus we should listen to what he/she has to say about it).

More concretely, what does this really mean? What level of expertise does one really need to have to be considered an expert in a complex opening such as the Najdorf? Surely no one is capable of remembering all of the theory all the time, so perhaps we should base it on one's results in the opening? However, you could argue that one's success is due to his strength as a player, regardless of opening choice...

'Openings expert' seems even more ambiguous. How many openings does one have to master to be considered an 'openings expert?' Is having a title necessary? Can a decent club player be considered an expert in an opening after playing it for many years?

Finally, would you consider yourself to be an expert in any particular opening? Why or why not?

There is probably no definite answer to this question, but I am interested to hear what you all think.

Cheers!
  
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