In the first course I made at my Tiger Chess site I presented a modular approach to building an opening repertoire. I have explored this idea before, for example in my Chessbase DVD, Build a 1.d4 Repertoire, which showed how you can start with a queen’s pawn opening such as the London System and then gradually replace the lines with more sophisticated ones. But now I’ve taken it way further.
Essentially you can play set-ups with White pawns on d4 and e3 (based around the Koltanowski Colle) and as Black have pawns on d5 and e6 (the French and Queen’s Gambit Declined). This sounds like a simple approach, and it’s certainly easy to get started with it. But if someone brings sufficient middle game understanding to this simple initial set-up, it’s quite enough to become a Grandmaster. If you don’t believe me then ask Magnus Carlsen.
This is the whole issue with openings, only a few players bring sufficient middle game understanding to the table to play them well. It’s this understanding that should be the main focus of a developing player, and a simple repertoire which leads to some nice pawn structures and plans is the best way to complement this development.
Here anyway is my Youtube video on the course explaining a bit more: