Question by Sonof Dimwit: How to learn about opening theory in chess?
I’m trying to learn some good openings. I looked at the MCO, but it just has the moves and even the charts are hard to follow. I’d like a book that explains the moves and why they are better or worse than others.
Answer by non_cre8tive.name
The best book for what you’re looking for in my opinion would be “The Complete book of Chess Strategy” by IM Jeremy Silman. He is a world-class teacher, writer and player. He’s also coached the United States delegation to the World Junior Championship and taken his team all over the world.
The book starts out with basic opening strategy, castling, development, fianchetto and then delves into the various opening systems. He touches on 45 different opening systems in all. Each with the moves and the ideas behind them. He focuses more on the theory behind each opening than just memorizing long variations. They are in alphabetical order so if you have a specific opening in mind it’s easy to find or you can simply go through each one briefly and see what piques your interest. It covers all the major openings that you would ever encounter.
The book also goes into middlegame and endgame strategy as well. To be a complete player, you must understand that you want to keep the endgame in mind from the very first move. It is all connected and not three completely seperate entities. So my advice is to study the entire book and not just the section on opening strategies. Once you see the game as a whole, it is much easier to form a good plan right from the beginning.
Added Note: As I’ve mentioned in previous answers, narrow down your choice of openings to only a couple for each color and stick with them until you really feel comfortable and know all the subtle nuances. It is not realistic, nor wise to spend your time trying to learn all the various openings.
Hope that helps!
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