by Karim (Libya)
Hi,
I am new to the chess world.
I have a question about the openings.

Can somebody, even before playing the game, choose the opening he will be using (either as White or as Black)?

Because in the opening tutorials, for example, the Danish Gambit, we see things like that:

1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2

So this this means, if somebody wants to play with this opening (Danish Gambit) as White, then Black (his opponent) has to “help” him, because if, from the beginning, White plays 1.e4 and Black plays 1…c5 or 1…Nc6 (or whatever, except 1…e5). This is not anymore the Danish Gambit!

So what is the point of giving names to different openings and trying to learn them?

Why don’t we just play the beginning of the game (called openings) just like the middle of the game.

Why I asked this question? Because every time I say I need to learn this opening , so I play against the computer, but every game is different from the other, I can not apply the opening I wanted to learn.

Hope I made the question clear.

Regards
Karim
This is a very good question, Karim!

I know what you mean. I had the same problem when I started. I prepared variations that almost never happened on the board. Many years ago I prepared a variation in the Scandinavian Defense for Black. I had to wait over 10 years until an opponent played the move leading right into this prepared line of play.

I nearly had forgotten this variation and had to think for ten minutes about it, but then I remembered the next moves and I won the game with a crushing attack.

The answer is, you have to prepare many variations for specific openings.

Let’s say you play 1.e4 and your opponent answers 1…c5 (Sicilian Defence). You don’t want to learn all variations of the Sicilian as there are too many. You should narrow it down and play a line that you determine yourself.
For example: If your opponent plays the Sicilian then you don’t play the ususal 3.d4, but you play 3.Bb5 instead (Rossolimo Variation). This imposes your will upon the opponent as you have decided what is being played and not he.