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  1. #1
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    Openings Vs Endgames: Which is more important to learn?

    Hi guys.

    Thought I'd post this question as opinions differ greatly on this subject. When you answer explain why you made your choice so we can have an intelligent discussion (is that possible? :p ).

    I'll leave my answer out of it for now. Let's have some good arguements for both choices and remember, it's just for fun. Nobody is wrong or right.


  2. #2
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    My answer is that it is more important to learn the principles of both before you start memorising variations in either.

    Does that answer the question?
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    I'd answer endgames because they give you a stronger grounding in the principles of chess. Anyone can just memorise openings but their game will fall apart once the bookbash ends.
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  4. #4
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I think you need a basic level of both for starters, it would be a big mistake to concentrate on one to the complete neglect of the other. You need enough basic knowledge of whatever opening you play to be able to get into the middlegame, not necessarily with an advantage or even equality, but certainly without getting smashed or walking into traps.

    Beyond that I would say that investment in endgame skill is more important. Except in very sharp systems (which are generally easily avoided) the difference between perfect book knowledge and vague understanding isn't enormous in terms of the kind of game you can get. Whereas in the endgame, the difference between knowing exactly what you're doing and just having a vague idea is typically half a point.
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  5. #5
    CC FIDE Master
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    Endgames better

    I believe that studying endgames is more important the studying Openings.
    The Endgame is more like the "heart of Chess" and the Opening is studying Viriations and traps. If you study the endgame and not the opening and play someone that studies the Opening and not the endgame you might come out of the Opening a pawn or more down but then you are getting closer to your comfort zone and away from thiers.
    If you play someone under 2000 more of the time you can go through the Opening fine because they prob wont know every line for the Opening that you are playing

    But i think Endgames are alot more important because you get to know the pieces better in the endgame then in the Opening.


  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    I've certainly won more games this year by outplaying higher-rated players in the 1300-1600 rating points range (or at least managing to stay with them) in the endgame. I probably play 200-250 points stronger in the endgame than the opening/middlegame, so I try to use that to my advantage.

    My advice, such as it is, would be this:
    1. study tactics until all the basic themes (pins, skewers, deflections, etc etc) and most of the checkmate patterns are ingrained; then
    2. learn a couple of basic openings (e.g. one line against most of the major black defences, one defence against e4, one against d4) and play them until you know them well. incidentally, I believe that one of the keys to learning an opening is first to understand the basic idea behind that opening (e.g. the Sicilian swaps a flank pawn for a centre pawn, etc)
    3. learn the basic endgame strategies, especially K+P, K+R+P, then start learning about good-vs-bad pieces and how to capitalise

    There are probably plenty of other things to learn too ... like pawn structures and so on ... but I think #1-#3 above would yield the quickest results. I have focused on #1 and #2 this year (2005) and have managed to get my rating up from 1100-odd to 1400-odd. My goal for next year is to reach 1600, and I think item #3 will be the tool that enables me to reach that goal. Several times this year I have reached roughly equal endgames against much higher-rated players (e.g. 1700+ and 2100+) and have not been able to hold the endgame together.

    I'd be interested to know what others think.
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  7. #7
    CC resident nutcase Trent Parker's Avatar
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    IMO Opening strategies should be learn't first. There is no point in studying endgames if you lose in the opening.....

    Generally certain openings have their own endgame motifs that can be studied. A good opening book should show the reader the middlegame motifs to look out for. Some players (such as Jesse Noel Sales) play the middlegame thinking about the endgame.... and choose openings accordingly.
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  8. #8
    CC International Master Kaitlin's Avatar
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    Me too - I think Openings are far more important. Control is important. Not losing guys is important. A Plan is important. They all get you to a Endgame.
    .. this Caketin is full of little spiders and watermelon seeds.....

    ..Chess is all about fear and psychology

    ..Chess is like an exam..... you havent studied for

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    ..... but that you might have wasted that playing way too much chess

  9. #9
    CC Candidate Master
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    If Control is a players Modus Operandi, then perhaps a dose of KAOS will affect their "plans".......

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