- I need to do a better job at development
- I need to do a better job at controlling the center/respecting a strong pawn center
After this game, we decided to play another game in a few days with me as Black again so I could get practice in the Grünfeld. I spent the next few days booking up and I learned something important; I don't like it! I went over several games in Aagaard's Starting Out: The Grünfeld and each game I felt like I didn't like Black's position. However, I felt like that could be due to unfamiliarity and decided to go with the Grünfeld for our return game. Of course, I spent that time going over the Classical and Modern Exchange variations and he avoided that entirely this time...
- Play real chess every move! Include all possible CCT until quiescence
- Give critical positions the time they deserve
I still don't like the Grünfeld, so it's shelved for now. I think I need to stay away from hypermodern openings in general. For now, I'm sticking with the classical Queen's Gambit Declined. I'm reading Sadler's "Queen's Gambit Declined" book and I find it to be excellent for a beginner. The format of the book is something like a cross Between Fine's "Ideas Behind the Chess Openings" and Chernev's "Logical Chess Move by Move". Each chapter covers a variation of the QGD with several annotated games in the format of a hypothetical student asking questions about the moves with Sadler giving the explanations for the moves. Multiple annotated games are included each chapter to cover the main choices White or Black has at various points. Between this and Fine's book as a supplement, I feel like I'm getting a good grounding on the ideas and strategies of a particular opening and what I should be looking for. I've seen the book recommended many times, generally along the lines of "the theory is outdated but the base knowledge is excellent". I definitely feel that is true. Does anyone know of any other books that follow a similar format that are good for a beginner other than Sadler's other books on the Slav and Semi-Slav?