This detour might actually save me time!
After studying The Grandmaster’s Openings Laboratory , I chose not to follow Smirnov’s repertoire in his practical part. The way to study his repertoire is with a database and I think I am not good enough for that.
Instead, I chose to build my opening repertoire with books. I think it is easier to study openings with books because of the explanation of the openings. If you choose good books, the author did the work for you and you don’t have to figure out the plans. However, my repertoire is composed of openings that GM Smirnov considers good for non-master players.
Here is my opening repertoire and the books I will study:
- Smerdon’s Scandinavian : This is the recommended opening in Smirnov’s repertoire. The only difference is that the book contains a lot of wordy explanations.
- Queen’s Gambit Declined : I don’t feel like learning all the other (than the Benko) openings that start with 1. d4 Nf6. I think it will be faster to learn the QGD, moreover it is a classical opening.
- Beating the Flank Openings : This book only gives recommendations against the English and the Catalan.
- For all the other possible openings: I will try to get by, using the opening principles described in The Grandmaster’s Openings Laboratory.
- Ruy Lopez: Move by Move : In this book, the author explains every move of the Ruy Lopez and also gives two repertoires: one with d3 to begin with and the other with d4.
- Beating the Petroff : The lines described are the main lines. The author also teaches the typical ideas, manoeuvres and endings that arise from those lines.
- The Grand Prix Attack : I didn’t want to study the open sicilian with all its theory so I opted for the grand prix attack. This book contains a lot of games with great annotations.
- Beating the French : This is a book about the French advance. As you can see I love the “Beating” series by Batsford. That is because the first chapters always describe in great details the ideas of the openings.
- Beating the Caro-Kann : Here the advance variation of the Caro-Kann with 4.Nc3 is recommended and there are 21 games to illustrate the variations.
- Beating Unusual Chess Defences: 1 e4 : This book provides answers to the Scandinavian, the Modern, the Pirc, the Philidor, the Alekhine, the Nimzowitsch and the Owen defences.