I wonder, is there any book or article on what openings are good and appropriate for different levels, as it's done in the 4th volume of John Watson's Mastering the Chess Openings and in this link http://www.uschess.org/content/view/11634/675?

And what are your recommendations for this question?

3 Answers 3


There is something to be said for choosing mainlines from the get-go. I heard several strong players (for example Jan Gustafsson, Judith Polgar) say, that they wasted time by playing sidelines in their youth or that they had problems to master certain openings they had avoided for too long. (Gustafsson played 1…g6 and Polgar King's Gambit).

So if you are young and very ambitious it makes a lot of sense to go for openings you will never have to discard. If you look at the absolute top, even Carlsen's experiments with sidelines quite often completely backfire (Northsea Defense vs Adams, Pirc vs Naiditsch, Leningrad Dutch vs Wojtacek, weird gambit vs Saric, etc.).

But most of us never reach these heights and under Elo 2400 you can get away with all kinds of openings. So my choice is to play what I feel comfortable playing and from time to time mix in some completely new stuff so I don't get bored. I play some very shaky and borderline incorrect stuff, but I can't remember ever losing because my opponent just played "the refutation". There are always chances.


I wouldn't agree with the stuff in that link you just posted. I mean "I think Scandinavian sucks" and "still playing c3 in Sicilian" as if the Alapin variation isn't good ,are arguments that make no sense whatsoever. My coach used to say that until 2100-2200 FIDE rating you should play the openings you're comfortable with and are compatible with your playing style. Probably if you're under 1600 let's say, you should avoid some too crazy openings. But all in all if they fit your playing style and you know the variations and plans your skill level hardly effects your opening choice.


There is no Opening defined for any particular level as to which opening you should play or attempt in any level but there are certain openings which require a deep chess thinking & strategy like Kings Indian Defence cannot be understood by Intermediates and below level and I have seen that they fail to play this opening . Even many lines of Sicilian are not being played even about 2000 Elo level . They say that you should play e4 in the start of your career or else their is a big gap in your chess education .

The best suggestion is that you try an opening and look for some annotated games in that line and watch videos in YouTube to learn the key points and play training games in that variation . If your winning percentage is high then I believe you must try that line and include in your opening repertoire else discard .

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