1

In little over a month I am planning on playing an unrated tournament. Since it is unrated I am assuming the skill level could possibly be from novice to strong. Due to the entry fee being very low I don't expect masters to be playing. My own play level, for discussion's sake, is amateur.

What openings would be recommended to study in preparation? I would like to build a repertoire for this event.

closed as too broad by Brian Towers, user1108, Glorfindel, Herb Wolfe, itub Feb 12 '18 at 16:09

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    What types of positions do you enjoy? At the amateur level, this is the most important question, really. You most likely won't get to play out the latest theory variations anyways - just try to get into your comfort zone and you should be fine on your own (corresponding to your skill). – Annatar Feb 12 '18 at 7:54
  • "Amateur" could mean many things. Roughly what rating are we talking about? – user1583209 Feb 12 '18 at 8:37
  • 2
    I've VTC'd as being too broad. My challenge back to the OP is: what is wrong with playing the openings you use now? My second challenge is: how much of a benefit could there be to cramming (new) openings prior to a tournament? – user1108 Feb 12 '18 at 11:21
  • 2
    @Schmoe No inofficial rating (e.g. online rating) either? If you are rated let's say somewhere around 1500 there is not much point investing lots of time into openings. Time would be better spend on tactics training or positional understanding. You can always play openings on general principles at this level. Building an "opening repertoire" within one month including learning all the ideas, avoiding traps, getting practical experience playing the resulting middlegame positions, etc, is unrealistic. And even with that repertoire chances are that your typical opponent deviates at move 5.... – user1583209 Feb 12 '18 at 21:37
  • 1
    @Schmoe: I understand that this question is about openings only. My point is that for players at your level there is not much point studying opening theory. Most likely most of your losses are due to missed tactics, and following a wrong plan in the middlegame, and not due to misplaying an opening. – user1583209 Feb 12 '18 at 23:14
1

I would personally stick to learning a few e4 and d4 variations and maybe the English Opening, though I didn't see it much at lower level play. I am also adding some fun, fairly solid variations if you wanted try the more obscure openings

Ruy Lopez 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5

A personal favorite of mine, especially the Rio Gambit Accepted line 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4, but in general it can create early control of the center and can lead to a strong position with an active bishop or forcing black to double pawns


Not my preference, but I used to see a lot of the Giuoco Piano

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5

and the Giuoco Pianissimo

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3

I wouldn't stress studying this one


Sicilian Defense 1. e4 c5

It's rare for me not to see this opening.

Sicilian Sveshnikov
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6.

It gives a menacing knight position to white, but allows you to prepare your pieces for development and gains a general grasp in the center

Sicilian Dragon 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6

Can create very aggressive and constricting pawn marches for white and a fianchettoed bishop and free queen for black. This is very aggressive and loads of fun to play


English Opening 1. c4

A very flexible and reliable opening if you are well studied into it.


King's Gambit 1. e4 e5 2. f4

A sacrificed pawn for quick development. What's not to like


A few others you could also look into are the Pirc Defense, Indian-Defenses, Queen's Gambit, Caro-Kann

  • 2
    I don't think it is practical to study all of these openings to any reasonable depth within one month. – user1583209 Feb 12 '18 at 21:33
  • Thank you TheAutomaton. Have you seen much of The French and The Philidor in your experience? I have seen it a fair amount in my online play. – Schmoe Feb 12 '18 at 22:48
  • I don't see many game with french, though stockfish likes to whip it out on me daily. The philidor I have seen, but it's not something that needs to be studied, I can say it is definitely a position where I win the majority as white without much prior knowledge – TheAutomaton Feb 13 '18 at 1:25

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.