The opening is considered by many to be a sacred part of chess. Over the course of chess history, an enormous amount of theory has been developed covering the vast branches of possibilities resulting from the starting position.
In the modern era of professional chess, grandmasters will memorize thousands of opening variations, supported by thorough computer analysis. While robust opening preparation is a necessity for any top player, it has led to adverse effects for the sport. Elite competitions are seeing a growing percentage of draws, as it’s becoming more difficult to crack a well-prepared opponent.