Although I don’t do it nearly often enough, I do occasionally work with GM Josh Friedel.
One thing he said to me during a lesson when I asked about the difference between two lines of an opening variation is that he used to do a question and answer session with himself to ask why a move was played or what the difference is with that move and another.
So take this position:
Here it’s Black’s move and White has just played 9.b4. Black’s main reply is 9…a4. It took me a while to figure out why. It’s simple, really. Black is just preventing White from playing a4 and solidifying the pawn on b5.
I’m guessing that to many people reading this blog that kind of observation happens all the time and you don’t even have to think about it.
But for me, this is a big breakthrough.
Hopefully this is the first of many steps towards me truly understanding the openings I play or want to play.
Til Next Time,
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