What you learn from one opening can often be used in other openings!

Chess players often think about they can improve their understanding of the openings, and this only becomes more frequent as you rise through the ranks. What a lot of players overlook is that you can learn a lot about the middlegames arising from your opening by taking the most common pawn structures from that opening, and seeing examples from other openings where one of those structures also arises.

For instance, I recently wrote a post about the Meran Semi-Slav on my other blog (for SAC) where I talked about how the following structure is in White's favour:

The same pawn structure can arise in the Catalan, only where White has played g2-g3 (and sometimes b2-b3) and Black has often played ...b6 at some point to get his light-squared bishop out! However, the ideas are often the same. 
With this knowledge, we now know how to play these positions as White when Black plays ...c5, and also when he doesn't break with ...c5. I've seen a lot of club players walk into these positions as Black against the Catalan due to a lack of theoretical knowledge, and you can score a lot of points by being aware of the standard methods to obtain and convert your advantage. 

Of course, strong players will see what's coming and have something prepared for when you break with e4, such as the ...c6-c5 counterthrust! Let's check it out in our next game. 
Obviously the Catalan is way too complex to master from studying just two games, but you should have a much better idea of how to handle the typical pawn structure - and you can carry this knowledge with you to several openings, not just the Catalan! The next time you want to improve your openings, broaden your horizons and use good ideas from other openings to strengthen your understanding of the middlegames that crop up from your repertoire!

If you enjoyed and learned from my article, please share it and consider having some chess coaching to receive my insights into every phase of the game - and most importantly, how to become a stronger player as rapidly as possible!


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