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chris21 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Books again:) I was doing pretty good, my rating was 1630, so I decided to buy a chess book on openings to improve my play further. But after studying openings such as the Ruy Lopez, Sicillian Dragon and others and trying them here at gameknot I'm ghetting creamed in nearly every game I play! Sometimes losing to players rated 400 lower than me:( Am I trying to take too much information in too soon and playing sloppy? Or am I over confident because I know the openings I've studied are famous and therefore think I can't lose?

I never thought my game would get worse by studying books, but, it has! :(
adrianallen 112 ( +1 | -1 )
The problem with know Openings is that your opponent may have studied them as well or have reference material to them. Some position are know to be good or bad.

Of course it is often more important to know how to play an opening in terms of what it is trying to achieve.

For example in the sicillian, white aims to hold the centre and make a pawn storm and king side attack. While Black tried to half open the C-File to produce a counter on the queenside. If white fails on the Kingside he is often slaughtered on the queen side.

If you know the aim of an opening and understand it well you stand a better chance, but if your tactics and strategy are poor you can lose from a good opening. Alternatively, superior tactics/strategy will over come a weaker opponent even if he has opened perfectly.

I found How to play the Sicilian Defence by David Levy and Kevin Oconnell usefull, it doesnt list all the lines, but explains the things behind particular moves and outlines basic strategies.

Maybe you have a game we could look at and discuss where you may have gone wrong.
adrianallen 14 ( +1 | -1 )
Of course Bear in mind my chess playing is fairly average and a stronger player like Cairo may be able to explain it far better then me.
chris21 49 ( +1 | -1 )
adrianallen Thanks adrian!

You could have a look at my current games with pj61 and schwarteritter to see where I've gone wrong. I'm obviously not looking for advice with future moves in the games as it wouldn't be fair to my opponents, but you could get some idea of what I'm talking about by looking at the moves already made. I have been studying the yugoslav attack vs the sicillian dragon recently, and you can see what a mess I made of the white side in my game with pj61.
adrianallen 16 ( +1 | -1 )
I have been trying To learn the Sicilian Closed Variation playing as white. If you can get to the middle game even as white or with a slight disadvantage as black you are doing okay.
atrifix 130 ( +1 | -1 )
chris My advice is to study tactics. Strategy is somewhat important, but good tactical vision will go a long way. Study problems, etc. Always look at forcing moves, especially checks and captures.

For example: in your game against pj61, your problems start because of 8. Bc4? and 9. Ncb5?? missing 9... Qb4+. 9. Ndb5 is a much better move because Black has no 9... Qb4+.

As for the 8th move, either 8. Nf5 or 8. Bb5+ wins outright: 8. Nf5 Qxb2 9. Nxg7+ Kf8 10. Bd4 Kxg7 (or 10... e5 11. a3 and Na4) 11. Nd5 Qa3 12. Nxe7 followed by Nd5, when White has a much better position. Or 8. Bb5+ Nfd7 (other moves allow Nf5) 9. Nd5 Qd8 (Qa5+ Bd2 Qd8 Bg5) 10. Bg5 Bf6 (other allow or Qd2-c3 and Nc7) 11. Bxf6 exf6 12. Qd2 0-0 13. Qf4 wins at least a pawn.

As for your game against shwarzerriter...if you studied the Ruy Lopez, you should probably know what that is. You played well until 9. Nc3?? and 10. 0-0??, but your opponent gave you a reprieve on the 9th move. The common c5-c4 trap is called the Noah's Ark Trap (for example 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. d4? b5 6. Bb3 exd4 7. Nxd4 Nxd4 8. Qxd4?? c5 9. Qd5 Be6 and c5-c4.)
Also the knight is not well placed on c3. In this case the c2-pawn should go to c3 and the knight should go to d2, to make room for the bishop to come back. So either 9. c3 or 9. a4 would have been acceptable, although the bishop would not be particularly well placed on a2 (after c5-c4). I probably would have played 9. c3 in this case.

My advice: study tactics, not openings, if you want to get better.
adrianallen 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Ive looked at the game You played the opening well at after his move 7 you have a clear advantage. But you made a mistake on move 8 and lost that advantage.

Perhaps 8. Bb5 was better.

Basically it wasn't your opening that was the problem, losing your pawn on the queenside wasn't so good.
adrianallen 4 ( +1 | -1 )
I was writing my post the same time as atrifix Good to see some of the advice was the same :)
chris21 21 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks for all your help:)

I played Nc-b5 because then Rb1 would have won the queen I think, but like you said I moved the wrong knight didn't I:(

Thanks for all your trouble everyone! It's appreciated:)
anonimo_modenese 28 ( +1 | -1 )
ART OF WAR Ehi chris, the first book u must study isn't a chess-book, but "THE ART OF WAR" of Sun Tzu. Chess is war, and if u want to improve in chess u must study before the rules of general war, only after the rules of a special war (chess). Trust me, and u will be a champion! ;-)

P.S.: sorry for my english, i hope u understand me.
tulkos 14 ( +1 | -1 )
The Art of War is a famous book, It is well worth your time. Sun Tzu was a genious, though today his ways of working would be thought horrendous. But they worked!
gta3master2987 63 ( +1 | -1 )
specification what I have found that works best is to master 4 or 5 good openings, which are fairly different... I also try to "do my homework"; that is to say, find out what kind of openings my opponents use... if you are playing on gameknot, and you are going to challenge someone, study their openings in their most recent 10 games or so... then pick out of your strong ones which one would be on average better than his/her opening(s); or if you are the type that usually joins already made games, join it, then use your (bare minimum) 3 days to study their openings... works for me! for proof, check my record!