I am struggling to build a good opening repertoire. I have tried a few chessable courses. None of them have worked. My opponents counter my opening pretty easily. What is the best way to build a good opening repertoire? My openings for black are the Modern and the Dutch and my opening for white is the London System?

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    1) what is your rating? 2) do you have some example games? In general the answer is going to be: after the game, look what went wrong, and improve that. Then repeat. Also the effect of opening knowledge is always going to be tiny, after a few moves both players are on their own and the rest of chess ability matters from then on. May 14, 2020 at 8:10
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    One question: did you choose these openings that you play because you like playing the resulting positions, or did you choose them for some other reason? For instance, some people mistakenly choose to play the London system because it's not very sharp although they dislike the resulting positions.
    – Scounged
    May 14, 2020 at 15:05
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    Dutch and Modern are risky and harder to play for black (as opposed to say QGD), black can easily get into a bad position, and thus are not generally recommended for beginners (if you are). What other opening have you tried? And why did they not work. out for you?
    – Akavall
    May 15, 2020 at 1:47
  • Scounged I picked these openings because I read it in an article. Do you think that's the reason why struggle in the opening? I am good in the Modern defence and the London System but I am not sure about the Dutch defence. In fact, I have never won a game with black when my opponent played 1.d4. Do you have any suggestions? May 15, 2020 at 16:13
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    @Lone_Ranger, I think KID is has very good attacking prospects, so I think it is worth a try. My issue with Dutch was that weakening of g8-a2 diagonal and king's position in general gave white more tactical opportunities as well as allowed for possibilities of many gambits, KID, as far as I know doesn't have these issues.
    – Akavall
    May 16, 2020 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


Expanding on RemcoGerlich's comment...

Beginners often overestimate the importance of opening theory. If your rating is below around 2000 or even somewhat above) it is perfectly possible to get by with a very rudimentary knowledge of opnenings. It is unlikely that you lose many games because of the opening. All of your mentioned openings tend to go for closed positions and are not full of tactics or traps that you can fall into. It is much more likely that you lose for other reasons than lack of opening repertoire.

Much more important is being good at tactics and having a good positional understanding, knowing the typical plans in certain pawn structures. The first part tactics is easy to train by repetition solving puzzles. The second aspect (positional understanding( is harder and requires time. I recommend to read through annotated games or (nowadays) watch commented games of which you find plenty on chess24, chess.com, youtube, etc.

Once you have a decent understanding of plans and positional play, learning openings will make much more sense because you will understand why a certain move is made and also what to do if your opponent makes a non-standard move that is not in your repertoire.

Most definitely you don't want to learn openings by heart without understanding the ideas behind them.

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