How To Learn & Study Chess Openings: during the opening stage, we develop our pieces and give the game its unique flair. The theory usually implies the positions that have been researched by computers, grandmasters, etc. They are already recorded and put in a database.
A novelty is the first move out of theory which is not always a good thing. If you’re hanging, let’s say, a queen, it’s bad. If you make a new move or apply a fresh idea, it could be good. In case it’s really worth it, people may start to flock in that direction.
Learning the theory of chess openings
For many beginners, the opening phase is time to safely advance your pieces. And let everybody get a turn. It’s a great way to learn chess. You diligently follow the rules and gain experience.
But at some point, you realize one thing. Chess is a competitive game, for some, it’s even war. In the process, you’re making decisions depending on what your opponent is doing. Therefore, memorizing the steps doesn’t help, if the game doesn’t go according to the theory. A player needs to adapt and be able to use weapons. It’s important to know ways to challenge the things played by the opponent.
But what exactly should you do? How do you use database studies? Let’s find the answers further.
How to analyze games using chess databases
The author of the video uses a program called Chessbase. It’s quite an expensive tool for a master level. However, one of the most popular databases is Chess.com. You can also use Lichess. It provides analysis for free.
There are many other kinds of chess software out there. So the choice mostly depends on your level of play and financial situation.
As you start the game, statistics for each move appear. You can see how many times it was played overall. Besides, there’s the percentage of games that resulted in a victory, draw, or defeat. This way you can see the efficiency of each move right away.
However, if a move isn’t successful statistically, it doesn’t mean you should never play it. Probably, it’ll work in your particular game.
The understanding of such things comes with practice
Let’s take an example of your own game:
You played it with your opponent and lost. Now you want to know what blunders led you to this defeat. All you need is to put all the moves in that game into a database.
- By incorporating engine analysis you can see where exactly you went wrong. The computer shows potentially successful options and the number of scores for each move.
- So you analyze your play step by step. It’s necessary to constantly ask yourself if a given move is good or bad. And then you go to compare it with what the program says.
- If you won, the game can also serve as good material for analysis. In this case, you break down the details of what your opponent did wrong.
At the end of the video, the author shares some interesting ideas. These useful recommendations can be applied to your chess routine and help grow your skill.
If you’re a novice, don’t play simple developing stuff. Aim to practice certain things that are the second and third most theoretical. Also, incorporate gambits into your openings. They are tricky and may take people aback as they aren’t ready for them.
As for intermediate players, add a layer to the opening that you start with. Intend to outrun the theory. What does it mean? For example, you’re doing a sequence and it doesn’t work. Go to your own database and find what it is that’s causing you to struggle. Probably, you need to learn a certain line. That’s how you become a master at chess.
FAQ about studying chess openings
The most commonly used program belongs to Chess.com. It has a huge amount of data from players of various levels. In addition, it doesn’t require any payment and allows free access.
However, there’s a premium option, that includes more features. This database is a convenient choice for beginners and amateurs, who aren’t ready to pay.
It’s a handy tool to study chess and, in particular, openings. The source is open and contains around 1.5 million games. You can download the program to your computer and use it to analyze your play.
An accurate and fast analysis is completely free of charge. It even works offline. However, in order to play against real people, you need an Internet connection.
Grandmasters normally use ChessBase powered by a top engine. This platform is considered a gold standard in the “chess industry”. It’s almost a necessary tool at a master level.
Higher-ranked players tend to use it a lot. But the downside of the program is its sky-high price.
Nowadays, it’s not possible for any human to beat an engine in chess. A computer is able to calculate thousands of potential moves within a second. Stockfish, one of the strongest programs out there, has a rating of 3500.
Meanwhile, the highest rating a real player ever reached equals 2882 (by Magnus Carlsen).