Like I was saying on Tommy’s Blog, I have been planning on getting rid of some of my White repertoire books. Just looked at the Alekhine Exchange variation in my CA database. Wow, opening theory has moved on. Black has improved in order to avoid all of White’s cheap tricks. The beat goes on, as they say.
Another reason for letting some books go is that I forget it all anyway, and then keep going back to the same books to remember some theory which is no longer current cutting edge, anyhow, if that was the motivation for having them, AKA “tricks”. Chess is about a lot more than tricks. The best tricks to know are probably either endgame ones or tactics, not openings as much. The only nice thing about openings is feeling confident and comfortable with them, other than that they usually don’t determine the game unless you outbook, which seems to be more rare than the normal course of events.
But the other big reason I don’t want to play the “remember your openings” game, particularly as White, is that these books really draw away attention from books/concepts that haven’t been studied yet, but deserve the attention.
Here’s my question: Tal – Hort, Montreal 1979 (Tournament of the Stars, famous tournament). This game is quoted by Nunn as well as I believe MCO 13.
What has this game to do with the opening? The endgame is utterly fantastic/magical, but the opening?
In another line of the book on the Pirc (1980, first edition) by Nunn, I play past some line quoted as ” = ” and the next thing I know great complications arise out of nowhere and it strikes me that it is suddenly more like a game situation than a casual openings perusal. In fact, I would say the #1 thing to openings is maneuvering, whether by pieces or pawns, but it’s usually centered around the mobility of the pieces, because the combos almost always arise sooner or later during a game. But first, maneuvering is what can throw off the equilibrium of a game in order to lead to chances.