Thoughts on the ‘Theory of Openings’
An insightful comment by Swiss Grandmaster Pelletier. Of course, even if it were 100% true, the study and research on the Openings would still continue feverishly.
I might suggest the reader to take a quick glance at an article I wrote a number of years back entitled: ‘Reflections on The Database Generation.’ In this article I traced back chess players’ obsession with the Openings to even before the time of Emanuel Lasker. As long as we play chess, opening study will be important.
Of course, Yannick’s comment is aimed at the ongoing Carlsen vs Caruana match for the World Championship, where neither side has been able to get out of the opening with as much as a sniff of an advantage.
I would like to add to Yannick’s comment by suggesting that this is as it should be in chess. Why should White have an advantage? Because of the first move? Even in tic-tac-toe the first move is useless!
In encounters between evenly matched players, every forceful attack is thwarted with equally determined defence. Force is balanced by an equal counter-force.
No, this World Championship match will be decided not by good moves, or even excellent moves, but by small and at times imperceptible mistakes. And the skill in exploiting theses mistake.
Up to now we have not seen a lot of mistakes, but we know that first Carlsen and then Caruana could have each won a game. But the level of defence has been so high that neither player could score the point.
This will not last forever. Fatigue, nerves and frustration will play a role in the final 6 games. Most probably the match will be decided by a single victory, and I think it safe to say that the Opening will have nothing to do with it.
As it should be…