Tactical Motifs Names

by Kariotis (Athens)
In order for someone to become a chess master does he need to know all the names of chess openings and traps as a terminology or is the keypoint to implement and memorize these methods of playing…?

Hi! Kariotis,

No, it is not necessary to know all openings by names or all variations. It is simply impossible to know it all.

First you have to decide what kind of player you are, a positional player who prefers to play a quiet positional game like GM Tigran Petrosjan or a more tactical player who likes sharp lines like Chess Champion Bobby Fischer.

If you prefer quiet positions then begin first move 1. d4, 1. c4 or 1. Nf3 as White.
If you prefer sharp tactical positions then start first move 1. e4 as White.
If you know your style learn the mainstream opening lines, they are the best.

Stay away from dubious opening systems like the Colle System, Dutch Attack, Grobs Attack, Scandinavian Defence etc. which are not played at top level chess events by grandmasters. Just look what they play and study the openings.

If you are a 1.e4 player then learn the Spanish (Ruy Lopez), Scotch, French, Caro Kann, Sicilian Defence etc.

If you are a 1.d4 player then study the Nimzo Indian, Queens Indian, Bogo Indian, Kings Indian, Greenfield Defence, Queens Gambit etc.

If I would be you I would go for positional chess and play 1.d4 only and study all systems related to that. This cuts your study time in half.

When you get older you most likely will prefer quiet games which will evolve after 1.d4 because you will not like sharp lines right from the start anymore that might give you a heart attack. (joking)

I would play 1.d4 right away and save study time.
1. d4 is preferable anyway because Black is scoring well with the Sicilian Defence if you play first move 1.e4.

To know all the terminology doesn’t help much. Just find good moves, this helps. Important is to understand the deep meaning behind each move. So you need to study commented games.

To have a good memory does help, but there are other points to consider. Strong nerves, patience, and the ability to concentrate over many hours.

You also need to control your emotions and stay calm when you come into a dangerous position in which you might have to find the only move to save your game.

I hope this helps.

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