In previous articles in this series I’ve discussed different opening choices and judging their suitability. Assuming one has made some prospective choices what is the next stage?
There’s certainly a temptation to rush out (or perhaps rush online) to buy a specialist opening book on the opening in question. But instead of this I’d recommend trying it out first, perhaps in some internet games.
This will provide a lot of new information. Do you like the positions you get? How do your opponents typically reply? Do they tend to know what they’re doing or is there a serious surprise value?
This initial testing period can be combined with looking at some master games and watching some Youtube videos, assuming they are available. See this process as being something akin to dating, there’s no need to get married until you’ve got a clear idea of what you’re letting yourself in for.
Here’s a video that introduces the Semi-Slav, which is certainly something worth looking at if you’re interested in this opening. If you like what you see and then enjoy playing it, it might be worth introducing it into your repertoire: