I’ve been reading Zuke ‘Em – The Colle-Zukertort Revolutionized, and I have to say I’m learning a great deal from the book.  Normally Patzers don’t benefit much from studying openings.  Usually a tremendous amount of work goes into memorizing obscure opening lines in order to gain some small advantage: a pawn or a slightly better position.  This doesn’t benefit patzers much, since most games are a series of blunders (big or small) on both sides.

The Colle, however, is an opening system.  It generally describes a sequence of moves (for white only, in this case) that can be played against many different responses by black.  This dramatically cuts down the amount of memorization that is needed, since the same moves by white can robustly respond to moves by black and generally set up white for a strong kingside attack.

Setting aside black’s moves for a moment, white moves d4, e3, Bd3, Nf3, Nbd2, b3, Bb2, 0-0, a3, Ne5.  Those ten moves set white up with two bishops aiming at the kingside corner where black’s king is likely hiding in terror.  Two knights are also ready to pounce into action, quickly galloping to the 5th rank where they can cause huge trouble and protect each other.  Additionally, this opening system often leads to the Greek gift bishop sacrifice, in which white sacrifices a bishop in order to bring the black king out into the open, where he is quickly torn to pieces.  It makes for some really fun chess with lots of tactical opportunities.

Anyway, check it out.  You probably won’t hear me recommending many opening books, but this one is well worth your while.

Do you have a favorite opening or opening system?  Have you found it worthwhile to study?  Has studying openings improved your game?