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What practices do you recommend for handling openings and variations?

After learning how to move the pieces, after understanding how the game is divided into stages, and after finding that openings can provide a wide range of theoretical exercises, I come to ask myself some questions.

This question is part of a series of questions asked by players who have begun their study of chess, and have previously learned chess terms, and now seek knowledge of how great players think and how they make decisions on each move.

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What practices do you recommend for handling openings and variations?

  1. First and foremost, play your repertoire. Once you've chosen which openings you are going to play then play them in every game. The more practice you get with your chosen openings in important games the faster you will learn.
  2. Learn the ideas behind your chosen openings. What is white trying to do in this opening? What is black trying to do? If you are white then you are primarily trying to implement white's ideas but secondarily, and still very important, you are also trying to stop black from implementing their ideas.
  3. Find YouTube channels that cover your openings and interesting games with your openings. Search out interesting videos on your openings and use them to become familiar with the ideas both tactical and positional in your chosen openings. Some good channels to explore are Saint Louis Chess Club, Hanging Pawns, GingerGM
  4. The most powerful learning you can do is learning from your mistakes. Where you can, for games with longer time controls, record the moves and go over the games. In some tournaments there is an analysis room where you can go with your opponent after the game to share your thoughts. This is a first good practice if you can. Second, when you lose or go astray in the opening, check out the theory when you get home. Did you miss an important move or idea? Or did your opponent play a new move or idea? Try and analyse, taking your time and writing your ideas down. Finally, check the game with the computer and see what it says you got wrong. It is important that this is the last stage not the first. You will learn much more if you use your brain first and not the silicon brain.

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