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chris21 62 ( +1 | -1 )
The problem with chess books? I was looking through my book of openings recently and it has full lists of games through till the end on a lot of them. But, theyr'e all obviously by grandmasters and the like! So if your not getting a grandmasters response to your opening moves or moves through the game for that matter, then there's not much point taking the time to study all the main lines is there?

Could it be by studying such books we will all become grandmasters that can't beat anyone rated lower than 2000?

A bit of a exaggeration perhaps but I'm sure you all know what I'm trying to say. Anyone have any thoughts on this matter?
brobishkin 86 ( +1 | -1 )
Opening books... I think your missing the point in the openings these books offer... The moves offered in opening books (MCO, SCO, NCO, etc.) are variations that consist of the very best moves offered... Other moves other than the ones listed in these books are less superior even though some lines can be playable...

In studying the game of chess, books can never be a bad thing... Almost every Grand Master of today is book studied and I don't think that is going to change in the near future... Though internet info is of more abundance today... There is nothing better than a book on opening with a real board in front of you, with a cup of coffee in hand, and your notebook notes on the game expanding by the hour...

There is no problem with chess books and no better way to study the game...

caldazar 261 ( +1 | -1 )
It all depends on how you study. If your idea of studying is just to memorize all the main lines, "typical plans for White and Black," and such, then no, there's not much point in such study. Because this information isn't enough to play the opening well; you have to understand the underlying tactical and strategic principles behind the opening moves for opening study to be of value. Every move of every main line has some purpose, and if you can dig deeply and understand the "why" of every move, then you may have something worth studying because then not only will you understand why each move is good, but also why alternatives are inferior. Then, if your opponent goes out of book and plays one of the inferior moves, you can exploit it.

I think this is why most teachers recommend against studying openings for beginning and intermediate players. It's very easy to read an opening book, learn some lines and plans, and then believe you "know" the opening. But if you lack the understanding of the principles behind the moves, you haven't really learned anything and you're not going to play that opening well.

As an example, this past weekend, I played a tournament game against a player who adopted a Sicilian Najdorf setup against me (1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6). It soon became very clear to me that my opponent had no clear understanding of knight outposts, weak-color complexes, weak squares, backward pawns, or tactical motifs such as pins down the d-file as they pertained to this particular setup. My opponent continued by playing typical moves for the opening, not taking time out to understand what I was trying to achieve with my particular arrangement of pieces. He was so caught up with playing what he perceived as standard moves for the position that he, at one point, gave away his d-pawn trying to play ...Bg7 (a move seen in some Najdorf situations, but not in the particular setup I adopted). Then he exchanged off his light-squared bishop unfavorably, handing me the two bishops and several weak light squares. As I was about to exchange down to a winning endgame, he blundered the Exchange and resigned.

The Najdorf is a fine, combatitive opening, but if you're going to play it, you have to possess the requisite positional and tactical knowledge that the opening incorporates, and this holds true no matter what opening you choose to play. Otherwise, you might as well just scrap opening theory altogether and just play the best move you find at every point. Which is a perfectly respectable way to play the opening in the first place.
brobishkin 26 ( +1 | -1 )
Agreed Caldazar... I have stated that same thing in other threads about openings... I couldn't agree with you more... Very well stated I might add... You must always strive to understand the strengths and weaknesses of any opening you choose to play...

tonlesu 21 ( +1 | -1 )
"...and just play the best move you find at every point. Which is a perfectly respectable way to play the opening in the first place." Sounds like a perfectly respectable way to play chess period.
mlazar 5 ( +1 | -1 )
well said tonlesu until I get my opponents reply and found out it wasn't....