Star Chess Blogger Greg posted a tweet with a version of the Immortal Chess Question:
"I keep wishing someone would write a book for club players on the process of learning openings." (follow @bumpaguv)
The question is remotely related to the Magic Pill question tweeted by Dan Heisman.Does it really help (in a time efficient way) the chess development of improving players to learn openings?
Well, maybe we need a clearer picture of the meaning of "learning openings".
GM Nigel Davies is hinting at a new approach to learning openings in a recent blog post. I hope to be able to learn a little about the "secret sauce" invented by Nigel. The backbone of the idea appears to be to "Guess-the-Move" instructive games.
Another interesting claim by Dan Heisman is that improving players should stick to basic principles when playing chess. I don't remember the exact numbers but Dan suggested that a 1700-player would be wrong in about 50% of the cases when deciding to go against basic principles.
Factoids: Playing fellow chess improvers will lead to games that is out of book theory in no time.
Improving players should stick to well established guiding principles.
Ergo: The typical chess lover will never be able to learn enough theory and only the sound application of basic opening principles will save our bacon and help us to a playable middlegame.
Is that to ask for too little? I guess the difference in evaluation between different candidate moves which all can be justified by basic opening principles is somewhere on the centipawn scale. The typical side effects of moves driven by the blunder gland is on the "snatch-one-of-my-pieces scale".
Suggested antidote for Openingphobia (version 12.37):
Replay mastergames using the opening of your choice and figure out how the basic opening principles of your chess hero is justifying all the moves in the opening phase (say until the rooks are connected).
If you decide to familiarize yourself with gambit play, then I assume that you just have to bite the bullet and accept the gambit move for the fun of it!