Starting tomorrow evening I will be running. The first four have already been scheduled for August 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th and recorded versions will be available for a few weeks should somebody miss one.
The first major topic is that of. I think it is important that players are engaged in building their own openings rather than just trying to memorize those suggested by other people as it fosters thinking, independent judgement and critical analytical work. There is a large body of research which shows that rote learning stunts creativity and that students do not learn how to think, analyze or solve problems; there are many sources that cover these issues such as . I have suggested that memorization tools can play a very minor part in learning the first few moves of chess openings, the problems arise when this approach becomes utterly dominant and there is no input from the player in what is being memorized.
Crafting your own opening repertoire is not that hard and almost any chess resource can be used as a starting point; most players keep their repertoires in their heads, some may want them recorded in a chess database. Several of my early repertoire choices, most notably the King’s Indian Attack and the Chigorin Defence, were initially gleaned from Leonard Barden’s The Guardian Chess Book when I was around 13 years of age. I improved the way I played them just through experience and looking at other players’ games and used the Chigorin in several games in my first international tournament victory in Ramsgate 1980. Although I would later stop playing the Chigorin, the King’s Indian Attack stayed with me for many years. I never had a database, trainable variations or even a specialist openings book on it, everything was in my head. But I was thought to be something of an expert on it when Chessbase approved my proposal to present a DVD on it.
After the following game my young opponent told me that he had studied my DVD, but there is no substitute for lengthy experience: