I play in a club that meets every Thursday. Each week we play one round of a tournament. What makes this interesting is that it means that even at the club level there is quite a bit of potential preparation that can be done.
Which takes me to an interesting topic...
I have been wanting to take up the English as White. This coming week I will play White against someone roughly my own strength who himself plays the English as White. So natuarally my first thought was to play 1. e4 against him. Why do battle on his turf where he will likely be stronger?
But then I thought about it. When two GM's meet they generally know what openings the other will play. And while they do quite a bit of prep to be ready for one another the times when one of them will deviate entirely so as to avoid meeting their opponent on their own turf seem to be the exception rather than the norm.
So why should I be any different? After all, if I am going to achieve my goal of becoming a master I'm going to need to get over that fear.
I doubt that I'll get crushed right out of the opening, so I feel like I should just trust in my ability to calculate and my feel for the initiative and play 1. c4 with confidence. Who cares if it's on his turf? And who cares if he knows it's coming. Sometimes you just have to lower your lance, raise your shield, and charge.
So this week will be spent on two books in particular...the first is Steve Giddin's The English: Move by Move and the second is Mihail Marin's The English Opening - Volume One.