110 ( +1 | -1 ) Sometimes. But to measure his skill I only need to check his profile (average opponent rating, max rating won against, established rating or not).
It is difficult to see the weak spot or if he has a fault in his openings. This is because I assume that anybody else is just like me. Sometimes I play seriously in the opening, sometimes I just don't care.
If I think my opponent is very strong and I don't want to lose, I will do my best in the opening. But mostly I thought I could get away with careless moves in the opening.
One example is my game with hariseldon. He won a positional advantage from the opening stage. If he were as strong as he is, the slight positional advantage will surely transform into real advantage. If I knew he was good, I would have created a complex game (by pushing King's pawns or pawn sacrifice). I checked his games and I thought he's not that strong so I waited. He should be able to win a pawn sooner, but it took him so long so I thought I still had a chance. I waited too long till I found out that he was strong and I didn't have anymore chance to create a complexity.
113 ( +1 | -1 ) When the occasion merits itIn my match representing Gameknot against the IECC I was originally drawn to play Jiri Brusek. I collected as many of his games as I could find on the Internet, studied them, found out which positions he was comfortable in and which he found difficult to master. I then planned my opening stategy accordingly.
Unfortunately for me at the last minute my opponent was switched and I had to play the Italian master, Giancarlo Marcutulli instead. Interestingly, Jiri's new opponent decided to adopt my chosen opening, perhaps he had done the identical research that I had !!
I found I had little time to study Giancarlo before my match started, less than 24 hours, so I went with my customary White opening (Ruy Lopez) but my choice with Black was determined after a cursory look at his games, choosing a very solid line of the Petroff as being the best means of getting something from that game.
I think that if the game is very important to you then you should research your opponent very carefully to give yourself the greatest possible chance of securing a victory.
42 ( +1 | -1 ) yeahjust like war! if you can get to know your opponent better and perhaps discover some weaknesses or even potential weaknesses, you'll probably improve your game. i think it's nice to have your own opening to play all the time, but if you can find a weak point in your opponent's game (away from your favorite opening, let's say), it's just logical to take advantage of that weak point.
60 ( +1 | -1 ) I do sometimesI do check my opponent's ratings, sometimes. Usually, if they're over 200-300 higher than I am. I have a rather short list of ones I would eventually like to play against, and I keep a running tally of their games...yes, it's time consuming, but it has worked for me in the past. Find out which openings they like, then work on those. Another thing to check is if they seem to be having a losing streak: I've lain in wait for some to have a stroke of poor fortune (patience! patience!), and then challenged them. In this case, believe it or not, I do usually win. :)