Building on my last article about opening selection, there’s another factor to consider. Rather than creating an entirely new repertoire should someone play their old stuff? Or is it better to build a stronger repertoire on what you already know?
This is a thorny issue, and one for which there is no single answer. If a player has previously played dodgy gambits there’s a good case for them starting afresh. On the other hand a player with a deep understanding of some typical middle games might want to harness that and play either their old openings or ones which are closely related.
An example of this from my own practice was at the point where I found myself moving away from the Modern Defence with 1…g6 (this is definitely a young person’s opening!). I discovered that the Kan Sicilian actually led to middlegames which were quite similar to certain lines of the Modern, but without some of the other difficulties. And my record with the Kan became very good.
Here’s a game I played against the strong Greek GM, Vasilis Kotronias. Playing Black against such a dangerous opponent can be quite a tall order, but the Kan proved to be a reliable weapon: