How I Study Chess Openings

This is a glimpse into the way I study chess openings and some ideas I’d recommend to newer players, based on my experience climbing the rating ladder online and OTB over the last two years. This topic has been highly requested – I hope you can get some ideas from my process!

Here’s the study I created in the video:

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CHAPTERS:

00:00 – Intro
00:18 – Memorization vs. general ideas
01:36 – Where to start
02:49 – Create a study
04:08 – Add a sample game
04:32 – Add the main line
05:29 – Use computer and databases
08:05 – Use a physical board
08:27 – Add sub-variations
09:07 – Keep it simple
09:47 – Review and expand rep
10:50 – Thanks for watching

Original outro music by Nela Ruiz

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Please note: I do not offer coaching or training games online.

38 Comments

  1. Me personaly I have gotten to like 1800, without spending a cent

  2. what do you study? You are concise and story flow is to professional

  3. I like your channel Kamryn but find too many new ideas presented too quickly. Please do a 'how to use Lichess for studying openings' going real slow:) thanks!

  4. When I first started chess I thought it would be more about creativity and strategic movement of your pieces on the Chess board. As time went on I've come to see it's more about memorization. Computers killed Chess:(

  5. I am using an offline tool to study chess opening. Scid Chess as my GUI, Caissabase as my database with an approximately 5 million master games that I update weekly using TWIC files and Stockfish as analyzer. One of the features of these tools is that it can build opening report that can be exported in PDF or PGN format.

  6. damn I love your Videos! I‘ve started chess 2 years ago and now I‘m in the chess club in school and my trainer advised me to join a team and play in tournaments because he thinks K have potential but I‘m still stuck at 1100 but I‘m sure I‘ll get good enough to beat everyone

  7. Chessable has great free opening courses to learn & train openings

  8. All the examples were fantastic and marvelous. My favorite was the last, Kamryn.

  9. This is the first time I would genuinely consider myself a fan of a YouTube channel. Your content is amazing not just for what you say, but also how it is presented. I hope you will continue to grow🤍

  10. Great info in the vid and the comments. Thanks!

  11. I feel like once you are a intermediate, there are several pretty nice free chessable courses allowing you to learn the openings pretty well. now making own studies works really well but yeah

  12. how can you see your rating ladder btw? like the graph where you see it going up, down and that

  13. Hey there, I've been really loving your videos! One thing I've noticed on all of your uploads is that it looks like your camera footage is playing back at a lower fps, making the footage appear a little choppy. I don't know if it's an issue with your camera, your editing software, or how you export the video, but it might be worth looking into. It doesn't take away from the content, just thought you'd want to know!

    Thanks again for the video, I find your perspective really helpful.

  14. I do disagree with that courses are not good, obviously thwre is alot of content for free on YouTube, but courses will go in depth and have alot of analysis, as well as goijg through ideas

  15. One more thing that I would like to add is to see master games in the lines you study. It will help to connect the opening to the middlegame, and to understand the long term plans. This is something my coach recommended and made a whole lot of difference in my preparation.

  16. The practice I came across that most matches my style: after choosing a new opening make the moves and say the piece you're using and where you're moving to. Example. pawn to E4. Do so for each side and do it over and over for the opening with each piece until you've got it. For me it takes more than three times through. One other bit of advice, look for videos in which the commentator goes through some of the more common branches. That's how I found a very exciting attack oriented Petroff opening.

  17. Hey Kamryn
    Could you do a video on what YOUR opening Repetoire is, and how you came to it?

    I think you are a London player (?), but I'm not sure, and it would be interesting to know why you chose the French and what you do against C4 or more unusual openings.

    Ty for the content very inspiring!

  18. Thanks for the great video. Can you please show what online tools and resources you used and how? Like how you showed here how you use studies and the lichess databases.

  19. I think players should be unafraid to experiment – if you want to learn to play an opening, try it today. It can be fun to not know what you're doing, and sometimes you might be surprised. Gotta remember it's a board game meant for fun.

  20. Solid advice. I would include seeking out `model games` in your opening repertoire as it will reinforce how games progress and help with planning/candidate moves/likely structures and tactics arising from them

  21. I do a similar thing. Play 100 blitz games and go back and refine what lines you think will suit you the best. Then I also create my own course in chessable. With every line from the start of the line. Keep removing your progress on chessable until you have it nearly perfect, as you drill them.

  22. I use the database first because human tested plans work out a lot better than computer moves, because the point of the computer move may be at a depth that we can't calculate to. I will use the computer to check natural moves that aren't played to see why they are not played.

  23. I'd agree tjat having a chapter for each variation can make it easier to learn the first few moves and general ideas.

    However, once I became more familiar with my repertoire, I opted to change things up.

    Now I have a white repertoire study and a black repertoire study.

    Each chapter is a different opening and I use comments to separate variations.

    Also, I tend to favor looking at the most popular lines and top scoring responses rather than master games or computer moves.

    One last tip for viewers is to always favor shorter lines.

    A five-move variation that gets you +3 is better than a line with 10+ moves that gets you +4 but only if you dont forget something halfway through.

    Great video as always!

  24. Aren’t books were written to discuss all of that with a clear explanation and deep analysis so you don’t need to build it from the ground all the way up? at least a good book can provide guidance to accompany such a great tool. Or you may say that this great tool might be the practical wing that complements the theoretical wing “books”.
    What do you think and why?

    Can a YT series that discusses a certain opening substitute a book?

    Also can you please discuss how you may take the most out of your after-game analysis specifically for opening studies and also in general?

    This video was incredibly helpful, I suggest you make a complete series explaining, in depth, how to utilize all these tech tools and resources available for us to make the most efficient progress, like this feature on lichess for example.

    Your vids are always a pleasure to watch, I like the music used at the end.
    Great job, more please👏🏻

  25. i have a course on the vienna game and the vienna gambit and i have memorized alot of lines in it. and when people play random moves i win like most of the time because the move is most of the time terrible.

  26. Hmmm… 8…Be7, where you leave your book, but he is still in his book (at move 8)? Is this really what you want out of your opening!?! After 1 e4 d5 2 exd Qxd 3 Nc3 Qd6 my opponent is in a line he probably will not see ONCE IN A YEAR! And I am still in book for 10 ply in any direction. I play 100+ games per year out of this position. Who do you reckon has a better ken of the ideas, themes, traps? Nothing pisses off the Bookish like pruning the opening tree in a way that invalidates all their work! "Chess you do not learn, chess you understand" – Viktor Korchnoi

  27. Wow, i had never realised how much of an impact tactile learning can have. I drilled so many different lines in my head using this method, and i'm sure it will effect my board vision in OTB games also. It's such a pleasant feeling being at your board repeating lines and listening to music. Coming from a 2000 it is never too late to learn new things! Thanks for the video.

  28. Thank you so much for this video! Your channel is so helpful for someone whose trying to improve!

  29. Thx for sharing your approach and methods. Seeing how others approach the same problem is food for thought (old beginner here).

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