Beginner advice: Do NOT study openings (game included 2100vs2100)

Tommy memorization? That sounds like the biggest bs. It was the greatest time for novelties both in play and ideas. How could that have worked? Anyhow back to topic, waitzking said that he won against ims?i believe, because he focussed on tactics and his opponents mostly on openings. I also have looked at games from 2000 to 2200 players when i did tactics i looked at their games. Not only can you work it out over the board, but its so simple you wont find advanced theory on it. Some even have an absolut simplistic development, and just go knight jump and attack.

Im not sure about rating but i think i have seen 2 2000+ rated players play the traxler. You really need not study openings.

I meant for Lasker in particular. The man was an encyclopedia of theoretical knowledge, and much of that he derived on his own through sheer calculation. If you look at his games in his prime, you will notice that almost nobody could get an advantage out of the opening against him and some of the ideas were rather modern.

The point I was trying to make is that you really only need to worry about more than principled play when you are facing an opponent who has deep theoretical knowledge (yet plays it down immensely in his writings) or you are studying a novelty. If you can't find theory around something, create the theory.

As for 2000-2200 rated players playing principled defensive structures and then attacking with the knight, such positions can lead to rather rich and sharp play. I've written quite a bit on the Polerio Defense (stemming from the Italian, Two Knights), mostly the bishop check line, and there is quite a bit of poison for the unprepared.

Tommy but i ment the opponents he played, they had all real new ideas. Plus he himself said that was not his style. But most importantly games were really long you could work it out at the board.

Also most theory only works if you go into lines. Basic principles often avoid most traps and even if you would lose a game due to opening. That happens with opening study as well. But yeah maybe i was quick no theory for simple opening.

And yes the 2 knights is also not simplistic , if its the c6 pawn sacdefense

Okay, I think we were arguing different points. Principled play will often find those lines over the board to an extent, but once the position opens up, the calculation required becomes more difficult. And yes, you're right about his opponents challenging him with new ideas. If it were not for Capablanca, negotiations and the war, Akiba Rubenstein may have been able to take the title.

Either way, it seems we agree on the premise that it is best to hone one's practical and intuitive proclivities before delving into theory. My old coach told me to stay away from it for a while, but then realized that through play and intuition, I had already figured much of it out. Not quite the deep database or engine prep lines of top players, but not much surprised me anymore and if I was going to take a loss, it was a miscalculation later on or an unsound sacrifice. If you play enough and get to the level where opening prep is appropriate, you'll probably realize that most of it was known intuitively already.


I don't really agree that principled play doesn't help you against people who are true theorists. For one, you will never find a true theorist under 2300. And second: The only time I can think of where you can throw out principles is when you find a line where you did everything right and still lost. But then those kinds of positions are what, in the 1-5%?

Also I believe Magnus doesn't study that much. I believe he's like a super principled player. So that last comment actually fits with him.

In magnus doku they said if you do things you liked as a kid you get the same enjoyment. Wouldnt it be a joke if those that started as kid were simply better cause they loved chess more.