An unexamined life is not worth living.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

10 Reasons to Build an Opening Repertoire

I’ve been alluding to the importance of building an opening repertoire by talking about various methods of doing it, but I have not actually explicitly discussed why it is important to build up an opening repertoire, and put it into a database. Of course, you’d expect to get better positions out of the opening! But as a bonus, here are 10 other direct reasons why having a well defined repertoire is going to benefit your play and study:

  1. You will save time on the clock during games, since you won’t have to think about which line to choose today
  2. Every game played with a repertoire (online blitz, over the board, etc) – takes you closer to understanding your type of middlegame. Also, instead of playing random positions, you are now working towards a glorious goal of polishing your openings
  3. You can ensure you study games of grandmasters that match your repertoire, rather than random ones
  4. If you repertoire is in a database, you can give it to computer engine to blunder check
  5. If you want to analyse a fun position – pick one from your repertoire, and you are working on an opening novelty!
  6. You can test how well you remember your openings with a tool like Chess Position Trainer
  7. If you have a chess study buddy, you can play practice games from certain starting positions, just like Botvinnik did with Ragozin!
  8. If you have a coach, he can help to review your repertoire, rather than labour on building it for you from scratch
  9. You have a better starting point when preparing for a game against a particular opponent
  10. You can now focus on improving other parts of the game, such as middlegame, tactics, endgame, etc. Improving your repertoire will take care of itself, it is an ongoing process, but you have a baseline to work against!

You may have your own reasons, but the last one is a clear winner for me. Ultimately chess is a game for us to enjoy, and sometimes having little bit of discipline up front makes it more pleasant and fun in the long run, going back to my older post on how to enjoy studying openings.

1 comment:

  1. Also, it's a good idea to see what type of endgames your opening leads to. For example, one of my pet sytems, the Colle, often leads to a queenside pawn majority. Supposedly, that can be an advantage, although I'm not sure that's the case, but then I can look positions with queenside pawn majorities.


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