After the publication of my previous article I received an interesting question. "Which system do I apply to keep all my opening-study surveyable?". I couldn't answer this question properly in a few lines so I prefer here to write a separate article. However I want to add hereby immediately that I don't claim my system is the best. The system which I will describe here, has been empirically developed and is nothing more than a logical evolution of my personal needs. So everybody has to decide for themselves if some useful elements can be copied. The article therefore needs to be interpreted in the same way as my articles to analyze with an engine, the game preparation and annotations.
In my college-time I learned that writing down a summary on paper, was for me an important tool to captivate the subject material. I also do that today when preparing my games. A preparation summarizes all the possible variations which my opponent could play (mainly based on the games available in the databases) with the addition of my selected answers (minimally a few moves per line but it can also be much more). Below you can find a scan of such recent summary, built as preparation on the Bulgarian grandmaster Marijan Petrov.
|Summary on paper|
As most of the in depth opening-analysis happens on my own games, I mainly save those analysis for the sake of convenience in my game-analysis. In the meantime I have stored already 690 games so this has become a goldmine for opening-materials. Especially the more recent games include quite some interesting opening-analysis of which I already published often pieces on this blog. Furthermore I also possess a separate database of enhanced opening-analysis. Sometimes it becomes too difficult to maintain the readability if I save the analysis in the game. In other cases I sometimes want to check a system which I haven't met earlier in a serious game. A screenshot of this database shows us how this special database grew over the years.
|Example from the analysis database|
Next to building personal databases it is naturally never redundant to consult other sources of information. To integrate opening-books or online opening-analysis with the personal archives looks to me as a very doubtful strategy. If you know where to find the materials then this should be in most cases sufficient. Eventually we do want to win time with archiving.