Chess Opening Systems: Part of the Chess Openings Guide
The purpose of an Opening System is to turn seemingly random Opening moves into a more methodical and coordinated sequence, to efficiently develop both Pawns and Pieces, without violating the key principle of Time.
My intention for the Chess Opening Systems guide is to present a selection of versatile Openings that can be quickly learnt and are effective 'out of the box'.
Opening Systems v. Traditional Openings
Contained in that paragraph are a selection of words that help describe the purpose of using Opening Systems:
Instead of moving a Pawn here, or a Piece there, in what seems to be a random order, which is probably how most beginners view the Opening phase; with an Opening System, both Pawns & Pieces are developed as part of a group; positioned in such a way that they interrelate, or interact with one another to form a collective entity, with one part (Pawn / Piece) developed in coordination with another.
Such coordination distributes your army in such a way that it creates your network of communication, enabling the assemblage of Pawns / Pieces to work together, whether for offensive or defensive objectives.
Traditional Openings v. Opening Systems
Traditional Openings, having had centuries to mature and develop, can appear to be made on a whim (even though this is far from the case, in the hands of an experienced chess player - especially at Grandmaster level).
In the early stages, as chess was evolving, moves started out from all possible (i.e. legal) Pawn or Knight options and then, through a natural, gradual process of trial, error, then improvement, certain opening sequences were identified as being superior choices.
These traditional Openings, whether proving to be strong or weak, good or bad, have been studied and documented in bewildering levels of detail; they've been sifted through, sorted and catalogued, ready to be learnt by the budding new chess player.Traditional Openings include lines, variations and sub-variations that develop, for example, from symmetrical opening moves of the center Pawns:
The evolution of such well-known, traditional Openings, has probably developed like the evolution of actual fighting:
First, fists were probably used, aiming punches to an opponent's head and torso ...
Then arms were used to block attacks to the upperbody ...
Then kicks used to improve the attacker's reach, as well as adding power to the hits ...
Eventually, once all limbs had been tried, fighters had to evolve to use them in combinations, to thwart an ever-evolving knowledge of hand-to-hand combat.
But, there is the problem with traditional methods: while highly effective once learnt (as Steven Seagal will now demonstrate), it takes committed, long-term study and practice to become competent in a fighting situation.
Definitely, the earlier one can acquire these skills, the better they'll be able to deal with situations if things get a bit fighty ... however, what if you've left it till later in life to learn how to handle yourself in a fight?
That's where a modern fighting system reigns supreme: they're quick to learn and still highly effective in practical combat situations.
Should I bother with Traditional Openings?
Ken Wilsdon raised an interesting point when commenting on a Checkmate Opening victory for Black, from the Grunfeld Defence: "Most lines are VERY theoretical, and some variations have been mapped out to 20 moves or more. You can't just play it on basic theory, or you will get crushed."
In other words, if you come up against a player who has had his/her head lodged in the appropriate books, of a specific Opening repertoire, they may be able to instantly lead you down any number of blind alleyways, which may lead to some unpleasant Pitfalls or Traps.
Or, if they've studied with the mindset of Grandmaster and the eighth World Chess Champion, Mikhail Tal, they may be prepared enough that they can take you "into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one."
The best way to combat the vast majority of your opponents is to begin by learning a selection of versatile opening systems and "take your opponent out of the book". See, if you're not bound by a specific opening repertoire, learned 'off by heart' to the nth ply, your moves become fluid.
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