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For a while, anytime I got the chance to play the Scotch, I would as long as my opponent (being black) played the moves. If they did not follow the move order, I would just continue with something else, but I noticed, the more I play an opening, the better I get at it (This is obvious).

Another way to view this question is, besides 1 or 2 move openings such as the English, Caro-Kann, Sicilian, Pirc, etc which obviously have been defined as being reached after 1 or 2 moves, how can I force my opponent and this may not be possible, it may just be by chance, to play moves up to the point where my opening is defined?

Certain openings I have found this actually works pretty well such as the Ruy Lopez because it has such a natural move order 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5., but in other openings, it is not so easy.

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1 Answer 1

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This is where you have to understand the opening, not just play memorized lines. If your opponent strays too far from the most popular lines, he's probably made an error. It's up to you to understand the opening enough to punish him for it.

So you can't force him to play the line but you can make him wish he did.

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In other words, you are referring to Opening Principles, correct? –  xaisoft Dec 18 '12 at 15:20
    
I suppose, but for a specific opening. Opening principles could be generic - develop pieces, castle early, don't move the same piece twice, etc. In this case, if an opponent doesn't follow the tried-and-true script, there is likely a way to gain an advantage and this may vary depending on the specific opening. –  Tony Ennis Dec 18 '12 at 15:28
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And that leads us to the eternal battle with openings... it is just impossible to learn them all, but the way i see it, as @xaisoft points out, Opening Principles will give you a solid game, that is far more important IMHO. –  Helio Dec 18 '12 at 21:33
    
@helio, you seem to be saying that we don't need to know openings as long as we know general principles. That may work at the "C" level but works less and less as we improve. GMs spend a lot of time learning specific variations of openings. Are you suggesting their time is wasted? –  Tony Ennis Dec 19 '12 at 2:22
    
Not at all @TonyEnnis, as a matter of fact I agree with you and yes, I know that most GM's will thoroughly analyze openings some 40 moves deep or even more, so the way your answer is put together perfectly applies for someone in the higher ranks, but for any other filthy mortals (like myself) that don't have a thorough opening knowledge, playing on the safe side based on solid Opening Principles and avoiding (or trying to avoid) blunders, will give you a playable middlegame, which for a "C" level player may be enough to turn the table and win. Yet again if the player in question is a GM... –  Helio Dec 19 '12 at 21:17

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