In this day and age, it gets progressively harder to get better at chess if you do not 'book up'. When I mean 'book up', I mean learning not just your major opening lines but also knowing them well enough to know the nuances, strategies and plans that comes with the opening.
'Seasoned' opponents knows how to find every nook and cranny to exploit every new nuance in your opening in an attempt to gain an advantage if you do not know your openings back to front.
I'm still learning the King's Indian Defence, and admit that I've got a long way to go before I can truly say that it is part of my repertoire.
How do people learn new openings?
I cannot say for others, but I've always been interested in mainline opening knowledge.
So when and how did I start playing the KID then?
I can't pinpoint the exact moment which this took place (idea of learning another opening) but it's probably around like 2 months ago. At that time, the Nimzo-Indian/QID was part of my original repertoire but I felt that I needed to understand how to handle the dark squares of the royal game. In addition, I wanted to learn how to handle dynamic positions. I felt the KID 'seemed' like a good defense that gave plenty of scope for attacking ideas.
That was what got me started on the KID.
When I first started to learn this opening, I was very intimidated by the amount of theory of this opening.
I've only started examining the main Classical lines with e5, Nc6, Nd7 and thought it was very strange to lock up the center position. Fortunately or rather, unfortunately, the Bayonet Attack does not hold the same terror it did (which originally forced Kasparov to give up the KID) once Black players knew how to equalise.
I've yet to fully understand the nuances of this defence, really. I'm currently reading through Gallagher's Starting Out: The King's Indian by Everyman but the progress has been slow and painful. I keep losing to Steven despite numerous tries against it. Oh well.... that only shows I've not fully understood how to play it yet.
I still have not decided what to play against 1. e4 but of late, I've been looking at 1. e5 as a solid response and am looking to play the Ruy Lopez as Black if given the chance.
I'm not a good move memorizer so anything beyond like 6 or 7 moves and I start to lose my way and tend to go out of book.
So how do you acquire your opening knowledge/repertoire?