Sports & Games

Openings - Part 3

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 11:08 min

He brought abandoned openings back from the dead and built a database of almost 20,000 different analyses—but Garry believes there are still more ideas to surface.

Garry Kasparov
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I always believed that the best move in each position, it's the one that brings you the best result. And the most valuable piece at the chess board is one that brings you the most benefits at the given moment, at a certain moment of the game. But as for the openings, I studied many openings. My database included nearly 20,000 different analysis. I think I spend most of my time analyzing some openings and Sicilian definitely will be number one. It's hard to make a different choice since some of my most memorable games, as game with Karpov game 24 in 1985. Or game 16 in 1985. They were Sicilians. Some of these openings are no longer viable. For instance, my gambit in game 16, the one that had such devastating effect in Sicilian. It has been refuted. Nb5, d6, c4, Nf6, Nc3, a6, Na3, and I played d5 here. And then Nb4. It doesn't work. But the game 16 is still there. How can I ignore the fact that was one of the most beautiful games I won against Karpov? And I also know that some of my games that I played with black, for instance against Keres attack-- Keres attack here, the games I won, that would not stand the scrutiny of modern players. Because they believe that this is g4, g5 can work, even if you started with h3. So after a6, if you start with h3, and then just as they lose time, by just push g4 and g5. But I have my again, my own-- call it prejudices. I know that history doesn't stand still. It always move forwards. As chess openings, there's more and more we're learning. So for instance, Najdorf-- recently, I saw top players not just playing h3, which, by the way, Bobby Fischer played, trying to play g4, but they even play a3 or h4. It takes for me some time to understand the rationale. But it shows that they always come up with new ideas. There's always room. Even here, in Najdorf. 20 years ago, if anybody told me that you can invent a new move, I would say no, impossible. Because we play everything. a4, h3, g3, f3, f4, Be3 Bd3, Bd2, Bc4, Qf3, of course, Bg5. But a3 or h4? And trust me, there is a rationale. Which means that if you start looking at the opening positions, you always find something. And that's why there's a danger just to look straight forward to the final position. Now this is all 10, 15, 20 moves that have been made already. We don't want to know why these moves have been chosen by our predecessors. We just want to look at the position that is in the limelight. If you have appetite for opening studies, just look at the early stage. There's always room. Especially at the club level. It will be more difficult, of course, to make real improvement at 25, 26, 2700. Though the moves that I mentioned, a3 and h4 are play by very strong players. a3 by Karjakin, for instance. The h4 also by 2700+ players. And my recommendation would be that you make an assessment, a general assessment of your expectation...

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At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.


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I have just gotten into chess at the age of 13 and this masterclass took me from 900 ELO rating to 1500 ELO rating extremely quickly. This class was amazing and it not only taught me but inspired me, which I think is more important because the only way to learn is to be inspired to try new things. I will for sure look at this masterclass multiple times.

I am a non rated player by learning with garry kasprov I deafeted a rated player [1109] and draw with a rated player[1106] this class is much helpful.

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I woke my interest in chess again, Now I will teach my son chess.


marc G.

the beauty of CHESS is simple . DONT OVER THINK . play what you know . if you lose, you learn . I have BEEN PLAYING SINCE I was 12. not any better, not any worse. STUDY the MASTERS , their incite to the game will lead you to YOUR game.


I have not improved my chess for 600 games. My last 200 just slightly. Now I feel like in my last ten games, my playing style has completely changed. I am relying more on tactics and it is more fun.

A fellow student

I really appreciate your pleasant, conversational style, Garry! Please add a link to buy the Openings book you recommended here.

Vickie R.

Interesting statement. "Brought abandoned openings back from the dead..." Sounds like me and my second book which I abandoned several times. Will never do that again only my drawer got jammed (I still don't know how it happened) and that's where my 200 pages of Road Rage at the Doctor's Office was stored. For the life of me I could NOT open this drawer and so I just kind of forgot about my book and left it there all alone just waiting for someone to come along and "BORROW" it. BIG MISTAKE. Since I'm not so computer savvy, nor did I know how to back up my work on the computer( even tho I was paying a computer expert $45 an hour to teach me how), I got screwed in the end. Foudn at least 10 books, movies and TV cartoon shows with my very same writing and stories being stolen from me. Yet I'm flattered that they like my work enough to "BORROW" it and make maybe millions of my (parts of my work), I'd like to now start earning some money (royalties) from all my hard work. Saw one famous actor in a movie who I know was portraying my DAD--even used the same private quote that only he would say and was in my book, the movie and the movie made millions!!!! So this time around I am no longer writing on a personal computer and have resorted to using my old IBM selectric trusty typewriter so no once can steal my work or hack it. I am also buying a safe and sticking it to the floor in my room so I can monitor it at all times. I also have cut off most of my relatives who I know were involved in stealing 100s of my personal Hollywood journals, which in fact, could have cost me and others their safety. I wrote about US Presidents I've met, politicians (Republicans and Democrats), actors, actresses, etc.....and it was all made PUBLIC much to my chagrin. NOt sure I like all this new technology either. I'm really a luddite (like the AMISH) and would rather forget driving my car (even though it has a great V 8 engine) and just walking or riding a bike from now on. PS IF anyone knows any moderatly priced places I could live in NYC or Florida (one bedroom or two bedroom condo) please advise! I need my privacy and PEACE in order to writer. Too much CHAOS around here.

Cristina L.

gary is so advanced that spoon-feeding tactics or openings or anything else is extrinsic to how he fundamentally thinks and therefore instructs until heis"in" a game or situation. He doesn't want to inhibit anyone' s creativity and strives to promote self analytical discovery at every turn! No recipes or cookie~cutter advice here just one of the greatest minds to touch the game!

A fellow student

Honestly I expected to dive in way deeper and learn more from this course. Each lesson leaves me wondering if I actually learned anything I can use.

A fellow student

Nothing about controlling the center ?? Nothing about development strategy and tactics ? Nothing about protecting the king ??

Vickie R.

If I could just get some Ritalin which really helps me focus and makes me smarter, I'd be a much better chess player. Sorry but it's true. I used to be an excellent player as a kid, but hardly recall anything about the game now and I had a photographer memory? Oh well, will have to try again from the beginning. Have a great night!

Michael M.

I once read a recommendation for beginning and intermediate players to learn just one single opening (he recommended queen's gambit, but I don't see why it couldn't be some other opening) and learn the ever-living heck out of it -- backwards and forwards, in your sleep, etc. The idea was to be able to anticipate and respond to absolutely anything reasonable that the opponent plays, and why bother with learning others when you're in control of selecting the opening. I always liked that philosophy, but I'm an amateur. Of course, it only works when playing white (or if you're lucky enough to have white opponent use your favored opening)!

Michael O.

Gary says look for new ideas, but feel comfortable. I am afraid as a weak player I am still looking for that.