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Kebu Chess Blog

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Studying openings with KEBU Opening Memorizer

by Dereque

KEBU Opening Memorizer is quickly becoming the preferred method of doing the otherwise tedious work of memorizing your opening variations. I’ve created this article to take you step-by-step through the process of creating files to memorize and then using the software to seal the variations into your memory.

KEBU Opening Memorizer is a fantastic training software program for efficiently memorizing your openings. The first step to using the program is to create a PGN file with the opening variations you wish to memorize. Developing the file is relatively easy and can be done with a number of software programs. If you don’t own any software to create PGN files ChessBase Lite is a great place to start. It can be downloaded for free. There are countless other software programs that will assist you in creating PGN files. For the purposes of example I’ve used ChessBase 11.

Let us say that I wish to develop a repertoire against the move 1.e4. Through some research I’ve learned that the “French Defense” (beginning with 1…e6) is a relatively easy opening to learn and play, and I like the ideas – it seems to suit my style. I’ve read a book on the opening, but I want to remember the key variations so that I won’t be “caught out” in the opening.

Since White has a few different ways to respond to the French Defense, I’ll probably need to focus on one important response at a time as I learn the opening. White’s most popular reply is 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 so I’ll start there – my first file will deal exclusively with how I plan to react against 3.Nc3.

Now using any of my materials: databases, chess engines, books, opening manuals – I develop a file which contains the most important ideas for my opponent and how I plan to respond to them. Here’s a screenshot:

(Don’t worry – I’ve attached a link where you can download this sample file right away!)

For each important option I found for White (using the database) I attached some line I’d like to learn for Black. Importantly, there’s no situation where I gave multiple ideas for Black  - the file just has all of the ideas I want to learn to play against, and then one single method of how to reply as Black.

Now I save the game as a PGN file (be careful not to save it in ChessBase format!).

Notice that I’m saving it as a PGN file! Click here to download the PGN file and take a look for yourself what I created.

Notice that I kept the file very simple. I think this is an important secret which I’ve written more about throughout this blog. You don’t need to make your files very complicated, you just want to be very confident about a smaller number of lines which, as a rule, don’t go too deep. Try it – and you’ll find that you’ll win a lot more games knowing a lot of basic lines as opposed to a few overly complicated lines.

Now there’s just one more step: getting these lines sealed in your memory! And here’s where KEBU Opening Memorizer comes in.

If you haven’t already done so please take a look at the following short video which in fact is a great introduction to how to memorize your files.

Best of luck with the openings software! We hope you find it to be truly enjoyable – but most importantly – we want you to win more games of chess!

Before you go, here are some great general articles that you might also want to take a look at on opening study and chess improvement:

Studying your openings

Should you commit opening lines to memory (part I)

Memorizing opening variations (part II)

How to select your chess openings




1 March 2010
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