I’m going to spoil it for you right up front.
The big secret to greater success in chess is that it requires work. It takes effort.
So you have to ask yourself, do you enjoy the work?
That’s a serious question. Answer it honestly if you can before reading on.
I love opening preparation. Love it. Each choice I make in my White opening plans makes it easier when I sit down to the White pieces. I look forward to more time on the clock as I play out my repertoire without much thought. As I study, I look forward to getting further into the middlegame with a playable position, reaching positions I am familiar with, maybe even reaching a good position.
And if I’m honest? I also look forward to that point in the game where I am still in my opening book – and my opponent is not. That is a fun place to be. I’ve studied this line but my opponent has to think. One of two things is likely to happen. Either my opponent will play an inferior move – or he will exhaust some time on his clock finding the best moves, which I already know.
But opening preparation is work.
It’s the reason I wrote the Bookup program (now Chess Openings Wizard) 37 years ago. I wanted to make the work even easier.