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Need recommendation for book on openings

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  • Need recommendation for book on openings

    I'm a relative beginner and have gone through Seirawan's book on tactics several times. When I play, I sometimes get stuck on how to respond to different openings, and I'm at a disadvantage right from the beginning. So the next thing I want to do is study openings. Please recommend a book on openings for someone at my level.

  • #2
    Get the basics down:

    Central control

    A bit of hypermodern study

    The basic ‘gambit’ openings, like queen’s gambit and probably king’s gambit.

    Don’t attack with two pieces right from get go.

    Formulate a plan and stick with it until said plan becomes impossible. Then form a new one.

    As far as openings, I do videos not books for the most part, so I’m no good for ya there.
    Alexander Alekhine is my chess hero.

    An eerie chess short story: The Empty Chair

    My newest chess story: Gamble: A Supernatural Chess Tale

    Comment


    • #3
      Opening Books are not the way to go.
      Follow the Soviet method or so they say and study endgames.
      If you need a Opening Book get Fine's dated but still good How to Play to Openings. Every move is explained. There are free PDF copies on the Web.
      (Alekhine- Do not copy moves that Grand Masters play. Rather know the why of each move).

      Comment


      • #4
        If you have to get an opening book, the Everyman series is real good. I have a blue one, I think it’s *basic opening principles* or some such. At any rate, it’s from the Everyman chess series.
        Alexander Alekhine is my chess hero.

        An eerie chess short story: The Empty Chair

        My newest chess story: Gamble: A Supernatural Chess Tale

        Comment


        • #5
          Just looked, it's this one:

          Alexander Alekhine is my chess hero.

          An eerie chess short story: The Empty Chair

          My newest chess story: Gamble: A Supernatural Chess Tale

          Comment


          • #6
            Seirawan, openings, etc.

            Originally posted by frausty View Post
            I'm a relative beginner and have gone through Seirawan's book on tactics several times. When I play, I sometimes get stuck on how to respond to different openings, and I'm at a disadvantage right from the beginning. So the next thing I want to do is study openings. Please recommend a book on openings for someone at my level.
            Coincidence, I just started the seirawan tactics. Got it used on Amazon fairly cheap. Join the club on getting stuck in openings. I spend too much time in opening and lose on time later on when maybe I have a possible win. Still, whatever opening I try to study, all these openings have dozens of lines. I'm just sticking now with long games when I get the chance to play and try to analyze my game soon after. Good luck anyway.

            Comment


            • #7
              The Middlegame, Book 1: (Euwe/Kramer)

              You will get the main ideas/plans of just about every major opening structure you will most likely encounter. Includes chapters on the Isolated Pawn, Minority Attack, Pawn Duos, etc.

              Active Library (updated 07/11/15)
              *I found I needed a change in study material as what I felt there was a difference in 'just studying chess' and 'studying chess for tournament play'.

              The King In Jeopardy
              Perfect Your Chess
              Sharpen your Tactics
              The Middlegame, Book I
              ICC Tactical Trainer bot


              "It's not the book. It's what you can understand and learn from it."

              Comment


              • #8
                One thing I would recommend is to not try to learn all the openings. That's a mistake many beginners make and you'll spend all your available study on that one phase of the game and still not know them all.

                A better approach, IMHO, is to pick one system to play as White, and as Black, one defense to e4 and one to d4. If you play that small repertoire all the time, you will learn the important ideas and tactical traps. Then you can spend the rest of your study time on other important aspects of the game - endgames, middlegames, tactics.

                Later on when you're a stronger player, if you want to learn some additional openings, you can do that and you'll understand them more easily because you'll have a better feel for strategy and tactics. Good luck!
                Tactics is what you do when there is something to do; strategy is what you do when there is nothing to do.

                Savielly Tartakower

                Comment


                • #9
                  For beginners I would recommend a classic chess text book by Richard Reti called "Masters of the Chessboard". This book explains the openings pretty good.
                  Chess Sets and More
                  http://www.chess-sets-and-more.com

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                  • #10
                    I believe that the fundamental "book" to first consult is your board and pieces, via the process of "self-games": play each side of the board (white/black) by turns, making the best move you can conceive of for each side successively.

                    A good opening to begin this process with is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuoco_Piano

                    Self-games will cause you to learn to consider in "real" games not just your moves, but the moves of your opponent. Having played numerous self-games, you'll start to grok the whys and wherefores of the various moves...what your opponent's likely response is, and why it might be made and what effective answers to it are.

                    The Giuoco Piano is a good opening to begin this process with, as it's so fundamentally logical and basic, yet interesting and effective. When you begin to grok what's going on with it, what the themes that develop are, you'll find yourself noticing similiar trends/movements of pieces/pawns in other openings.

                    At a certain point, you'll find yourself capable of dealing more effectively with whatever opening occurs. You'll understand why the opponent makes the moves that he does. You'll be thinking a few moves ahead, and less likely to succumb to the Traps 'n' Zaps some openings contain within their play. (stuff that takes several moves to manifest from the beginning of its seemingly-innocent sequence).

                    There's a time and and place for books on openings, but I truthfully believe that the best way to begin learning the mechanics of what openings are is via self-games. And I believe that the Giuoco Piano is the sufficient opening to employ when beginning this process. When you start to grok it, you'll begin to naturally open up to learning other openings...they all share a similiar mechanics, tho' immediate goals in each may be slightly different. Still, any opening boils down to occupying and controlling space and impeding your opponent's development and spatial control while maintaining the safety of all of your chessmen.

                    Gain some self-experience playing the GP against yourself, begin grokking, and whatever opening book you choose to eventually acquire will make more sense to you when you begin studying it. You'll have some experience and realizations of your own to correlate with the teachings, and the author's words will speak to you more deeply because of that.
                    "They work at the pace of amnesia."--M. Bloch

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I recommend you try Mastering the Chess Opening series by Watson. He covered well the strategic themes of different kinds of openings.
                      " Deep calculation is not what distinguishes the champions. It does not matter how far ahead you see if you don't understand what you are looking at. When I contemplate my move, I first must consider all the elements in the position so that i can develop a strategy and develop intermediate objectives"

                      -- Garry Kasparov--

                      "Tactics must be guided by strategy"

                      --- Garry Kasparov--

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here is a book that chosses one opening you play as white, one you play as black against 1.e4, and one you play as black against 1.d4, 1.c4, 1.Nf3.

                        Opening Systems for Competitive Chess Players: John Hall: 9781880673874: Amazon.com: Books

                        It was written in 1992, so it isn't cutting edge. Amazon has them used, for like $7.00. This would give you an opening repoirtoire. He uses the Torre Attack as white with 1.d4 2.Nf3 3.Bg5. Against 1.e4 he goes into the Caro Can, which is certainly a highly respected defense. Against 1.d4 etc, he chooses Tartakowers Legacy. There are 5 reviews of the book on Amazon.

                        I believe there is nothing in the book about the Torre Attack vs. the Dutch Defense. I have never had to face the Dutch in any game, let alone tournament games. Oddly, I have had to face the Bird's Opening (basically white plays the Dutch with a move in hand) like 3 times. So, a little thought would need to go into facing the Dutch. If you play the Torre, you will never have to face any Queen's Gambit Accepted or Declined, or the Budapest Gambit, Gruenfeld, Benko Gambit, and some others. The Torre uses a solid pawn structure of pawns on a2, b2, c3, d4, e3, f2, g2, h2. It's the same pawn structure used in the London System (which is closely related), and the Colle (not the Colle/Zukertort with a pawn on b3 and the c pawn on c2).

                        Any time you play a Queen's pawn opening and develope the c1 Bishop to, say, f4 (London System), or g5 (Torre Attack), there are a few things one needs to be aware of. For instance, if black play either c5 or c6, then he can swing the Queen to b6 attacking the undefended b2 pawn. Sometimes white can gambit the b pawn and gain time chasing the Queen around, and have a half open b file. But, the Torre is a solid opening that a person could play for life.

                        The good thing about this book is that you get a complete system, whether playing black or white, that you can use forever, or, if your tatse changes, you can drop one or more of these lines from the book, and switch to something else. Or, if you really like the Torre, you can buy another, more recent book that goes into more depth (the same for the Caro Can and the Tartakower I'm sure).

                        In my opinion (take with a grain of salt), if a player opens with 1.e4 as white, you must be ready to run a veritable gauntlet of defenses, many of which are not an easy study. You had better have something decent against the Sicilain, the French, Petroff's, Scandinavian, Modern, Pirc, 1....b6, 1....Nc6, the Latvian Gambit, Alekhine's Defense, and, don't forget, you'd better have your 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 opening figured out.

                        It seems to me to be a better situation when you play 1.d4. Especially if you play something other than the Queen's Gambit. That's why I like the Torre, the London System, and the Trompowski (and the 1.d4 d5 2.Bg5 opening). I also have played the Veresov.

                        But, for someone that is overwhelmed with the mindboggling array of openings and defenses, this book makes your basic choices, and gets you up and playing them. Many opening "system" books, give you openings only as white such as Attacking With 1.e4 by Emms. I like this book a lot, but then you need to get defenses, becasue this book only does the white side.

                        You can, of course, watch youtube videos about all the different openings, but, when I'm going to play in a tournamnet, I bring an analysis set and board, and my books on the openings and defenses I am playing.

                        The book I refer to on Amazon, and, say, a good book on tactics, an end game book, and one on pawn play and structures, and you could go a long way.

                        What a person needs is to be able to get into the middle game with at least an even position, few weaknesses, and a playable position.


                        Probably everyone on this forum will dissagree with one or more of the author's choices in the book I suggested. And noone, if they could choose their favorites, would choose these same systems. But, this is my suggestion, and I have a copy of this book. And no, mine's not for sale. I plan to take it with me to my next tournament in a few weeks.

                        Whatever you decide, best of luck to you, and HAVE FUN!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by birdmove View Post
                          Probably everyone on this forum will dissagree with one or more of the author's choices in the book I suggested. And noone, if they could choose their favorites, would choose these same systems.

                          Whatever you decide, best of luck to you, and HAVE FUN!!!
                          True. Everyone has their own individual way of approaching the opening. For me, I go backwards - I see what kind of endgame structure and common remaining pieces are left and try to know the main ideas for that particular ending. Then I move on to study the middlegame for proper piece placement, maneuvers, key squares and tactical shots. After I feel have gotten a good grasp of the middle and endgame ideas, I then move on to the opening. I stay mainline as it does not normally lose to early tactical shots.

                          Active Library (updated 07/11/15)
                          *I found I needed a change in study material as what I felt there was a difference in 'just studying chess' and 'studying chess for tournament play'.

                          The King In Jeopardy
                          Perfect Your Chess
                          Sharpen your Tactics
                          The Middlegame, Book I
                          ICC Tactical Trainer bot


                          "It's not the book. It's what you can understand and learn from it."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another suggestion might be two books. First, Eingorn's A Rock-Solid Chess Opening Repertoire for Black, and Attacking With 1.e4 by John Emms. The Emms book is from 2001, but his main line is 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4, the Bishops Opening. He then makes suggestions for most other defences against 1.e4. The Bishops Opening is a solid system. Eingorn's plan is 1....e6 no matter what white opens with. So, you'd be playing the French against 1.e4, and after 1.d4 e6, some white players may switch and decide to plat 2.d5 which puts black back into the French. Or 1.d4 e6 2.c4 then Bb4+ and into something more related to the Bogo-Indian and Nimzo-Indian.

                            One could do worse than the French Defence. My experience as a class C and B player is that, the advance French is the most common.

                            The Emms book gives you, along with the Bishop's Opening, the Closed Sicilain, King's Indian Attack against the French, 2.c4 against the Caro Can, the 150 attack for the Pirc and Modern, lines against the Scandinavian depending on what variation, Exc hange Variation vs. the Alekhine, and some odds and ends against more rare defenses.

                            As I mentioned above, if one wants to play 1.e4, then there is a lot to prepare for. I think the book I mention in my first post above would be a more practical way to get going with less study time on openings.
                            Last edited by birdmove; 03-07-2015, 07:07 AM.

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                            • #15
                              GM Bator Sambuev said "Never trust any opening book."

                              Beginners should try to follow the history of chess and at least in the beginning play the open games. As black 1.e4 e5 and 1.d4 d5 should be your first defenses. Later you can branch out and add other openings to your repertoire gradually. With all the databases and free material out there it is not too hard to create your own opening book using databases of grandmaster and master games using chessbase or SCID/chessdb as your database software.

                              Against 1.e4 I have played the Sicilian (5 different variations Najdorf, Kan, Sveshnikov, Dragon, Accelerated Dragon), the Scandinavian, the French and the open games (1.e4 e5) and even the modern or sniper as I try to remain a moving target for those who prepare for me.

                              Study annotated GM games. Chesspublishing.com is one excellent source. Chessbase.com is another excellent place to go for well annotated games. TWIC is great for recent unannotated games though I must confess that I don't go there as often as I used to.

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