How to memorize 25 MOVES of a chess opening!

Do you think long, memorized opening lines are only for Grandmasters? Think again. Work through this training with me, and you’ll surprise yourself with how well you can memorize a 25-move opening. Want an EXCLUSIVE “Master-Level Repertoire” video NOT available on Youtube publicly? Just go to and let me know, and it’s yours for free. If you’re serious about opening preparation, I want to help you.

51 Comments

  1. Thank you for this excellent video. It is just what I am looking for to improve my chess. Learning openings may take time, but I sure don't want to be playing chess games (especially rapid games) where I have to work out all these moves in over the board games.
    I encourage you to make more videos like this, especially for playing as black. Note – After setting what might be a world record for absence from chess, I have recently started playing again at a chess club in Guatemala, and this time, instead of just playing chess, I am committed to actually studying chess, including learning openings. Note – for many years I was a computer programmer, and I am now working on developing a computer program which should make it much easier for me to learn openings, and to train my chess eyes to see faster.

  2. Thanks Blake.. Your videos are cool👍

  3. That was fun, and quite different. Thanks!

  4. I so badly need this for the English opening.
    Oh wait, you have a vid on that.
    And here I go 🙂

  5. What if your opponent goes off the main line after five moves such that it no longer makes sense to continue with the line you worked hard to memorize?

  6. Thank you for this interesting chess idea. It is quite relevant to me, as a few days ago, I watched a chess streamer analyse a game he played in the Sicilian Morra Gambit and in chat I asked if he knew the game Esserman vs van Wely and he said he saw it two days ago and now knew it completely from memory! I was amazed and he explained he chunked it into sections to learn using a narrative of main principles to guide & help him remember the game and this is what you describe here. So, now I will attempt to look at some key games of interest to me and try to learn the openings this way and see if I can possibly do this for whole games too, as this lower rated chess streamer did with the Esserman vs van Wely game.

  7. What is an opening repitor? And how do I build one?

  8. Useful and great info to break out into theory.

  9. The first example is very long and I would probably make a mistake so I play an anti-Sicilian that I am familiar with to avoid this long complicated line that will result in an error for sure.

  10. You have inspired me to get John watsons play the French off the shelf and dig deeper

  11. My question is, how do I learn these broader ideas within my openings? After each game, I try to go back and expand my theoretical knowledge in that line by one more move using the computer. However, often it can be hard to grasp why the computer is going for a particular idea or setup, thus I forget it later on when I get that line again. How do we 'craft a narrative', as you said, without a master there to explain it to us?

  12. First and third I forgot the last idea in the sequence. Ironic as I use to play the white side of this panov line all the time, inspired by Bobby Fischer's game with it.

  13. Fine and dandy-but an opening is constituted in 10-12 moves. Then on to the middle game.

  14. Hi Blake. Thanks for sharing the video. Only the second opening is one I am often encounter. Keep them coming! John.

  15. when you finished with the Najdorf example, I had already forgotten which line was chosen in the beginning. I have looked at so many games, but I never remember anything. I tried this exercise several times but always failed because there always seemed to be so many viable options to me. Congrats to anyone who only needed to watch the video once to memorise the 25 moves. I did it after watching the video about four times. Don't know whether that is cheating.

    It is not a good idea for teachers to suggest that a task is easy. Those people who don't find it easy will feel like idiots and become very frustrated. I had to stop after exercise 1 but will return to the QGD later on.

  16. When you look at this line in the Lichess database there are hundreds of games that reached the final position. It's kind of amazing how often this all gets played.

  17. You said this is for beginners 😑
    How I become sure that first 2 moves of my opponent will be same as this … against my 2 moves?

  18. Remembered the Najdorf line without a second review; except that I played 9…Nbd7 before castling, thinking that it would be safer to delay castling until after Black's minor pieces were developed. I also noticed as I replayed the moves from memory that I began to consider other ideas as well; for instance, besides keeping the c-file open, …Nbd7 also added to the defense of the hole on b6, perhaps discouraging ideas such as Na4-Qf2, in order to occupy the b6 square. Also, with the QN on c6, White could think about playing an early Nd5, as Black would initially have to part with his QB in order to eliminate the knight. Etc., etc… 🙂 With the Panov Attack I missed the correct timing of …Rb8 the first time around ( I started thinking about delaying the recapture of the knight on c3 with 14.Qb7+ when although 14…Qd7?? stops 15.Qxa8 due to 15…Qd8 mate, it actually loses to the intermediate move 15.Bg5+! However, after 14…Kf6, it turns out Black is fine). I was, however, perfect the 2nd time around. I found these exercises to be very encouraging.

  19. I already have opening books dedicated on many, many lines.. The good thing about it is that, even if there is no explanation in words, it has the set of side lines that answers your question of "what if i do this or i do that" which mostly answers the common responses to that line.. That book has opening tables that i can understand but the only thing it boggles me is how to memorize them.. One reason is to have an ability to lead my opponent into traps, if not for a good opening start.. Please teach me how to memorize this lines easier and faster.. I'm willing to lend my time as long as i have a free one..

  20. How to memorize 25 moves… just remember it?? Not so helpful (at my level anyway).

  21. But will it work to memorize your moves if your opponent doesn't??

  22. Honestly, with all respect. I don’t care of your opening I just look for memorize openings. Not One even with 25 moves but One Hundred.

    I ABSOLUTELY don’t want to "understand" moves because I already can found a lot, lot, lot of video explaining all the openings possible. I perfectly understand them (as far as I can) but… I forgot them. I still don't find tools to just MEMORIZE the openings.

    It's not so complicated to program and I hope someone will take care of that soon.

    What ever thank you for your video.

  23. please i need to know how to memorise lines in an organized way for a specific openning and let's take the sicilian for an example

  24. Thank you very much sir for giving this exercise!😁
    I done the 25 moves of English Attack and Semi-Slav in the 1st and 2nd attempt respectively.🙂
    I am Unrated but I am want to keep improving in chess so that when I play my first rated tmt, I can get highest initial rating as much as I can!

  25. This is great. Wont lie , the first one took me a couple of hours to learn. Very helpful.

  26. I was only a 1600 player
    1000 here you scare me more then you take the fear away

  27. please do more vidoes like this…
    its so good to memorize lines but please include important side lines also…

  28. thank you Blake, your video is good,i have learned a lot from this video

  29. I'm using a physical chess board, I find it helps me to play the moves backwards when I get stuck then play though again rather than just reset the board

  30. weird and probably a dumb series of questions… since I'm a beginner but for openings, does it matter if their structure isn't the exact same (ie- does it only work if their beginning structure is the same as what we memorise or our beginning structure or both?) also what if they don't follow through?

  31. It is difficult. Unless we develop a love for chess board and chess pieces. Some one has to dream chess positions. I have seen players with rating 2100 playing blindfold and troubling untrained players.

  32. This video has helped me more than most, John Bartholomew also explains why he makes the moves that he does in his chess fundamentals videos and they are good but I have progressed a bit and this type of learning is more relevant. My problem is at my level (1300 or so) my opponents rarely stick with the book for 20 moves and when they put in an unforeseen move it all goes out the window.

  33. Thanks a lot for this instructive chess video. Surprisingly, I found it very easy to remember all of these variations and nailed all three examples almost perfectly on the first try!

  34. Thank you for this video. I´m a beginner and hopefully will improve my game with this learning system.

  35. I also like the English Attack against Najdorf, I remember playing vs bots when I was pretty new to chess and almost did not know any opening. I was playing a 1000-rated bot who countered me with the Najdorf and I played Be3 as you should develop your pieces. It worked out well for me so I did a little analysis and from that moment I play the ENglish opening if I counter the Najdorf.

  36. I don't understand the purpose of queen b7, you talked about defending the d5 pawn but i dont see how its attacked. Sure this opens the route for rook but other than that, can someone explain? (8.11)
    As well as when the blacks pawn is threatening whites pawns, and the king moves to g8 doesnt it allow black to simply take h7 and after the inevitable withdrawal, advance to queen and win the lot?? (6.19)

  37. Great learning video! Interesting might be after f4…Bxb3???

  38. It is never too late to thank you for this, so thank you so much! U may not read this but I'm very thankful!

  39. 600-800 player here, and yeah I should not be doing openings at all, but I just love it. I don't care if I stay at 600 forever if I can learn all the openings to 15 moves and be familiar with all positions. I love exploring the world of chess openings. It took me about 8 tries to get the first line right all the way to the end after starting over and watching the video between each try. 🙂

  40. This is a fantastic idea, so thank you for doing it! At last, someone explains moves and not just make them. Unfortunately, you suddenly stop explaining after the first few moves. You started off by explaining some of the moves and they make sense and really do help me remember the line, e.g. f3 – I get it! e5 attacking the knight – makes sense! Nb3 – yes, only one move that makes sense! Fantastic. I get it! Then you suddenly stop explaining. Why Be6? I know it's attacking the b3 Knight but why is that the best move? Is it because it would double up the pawns queenside? If so, why doesn't white then take the knight right away? Why is Be6 better than, say, Nc6 or Be7? I know you can't explain EVERY SINGLE aspect of a move because your video would be 5 hours long, but please explain at least the first, say, 10 moves. If I can't understand why a move is being made – which is what I thought was the purpose of the exercise? – how can I remember it? On a side note, I don't get why you would play 3.d4? Why would you want to exchange a Queen-rank pawn for a Bishop-rank pawn? What is the advantage?

  41. I’m surprised that after just a few views of the video I was able to reproduce both sides out to 20+ moves. Understanding the narrative makes a huge difference of course.

  42. I am having a problem with memorizing 400 lines, I would need them, as I am trying to reach 2000 OTB and there are some cases, when I can not find hard moves despite having them "memorizied".

  43. Thank you for amazing videos like this! I really like your channel.

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