Later in his introduction, Taimanov discussed the general evolution of a player's approach to the opening, again within the context of traditional chess.
At the outset of a player's career the first moves of the opening generally bear an accidental character -- the taste of the amateur is omnivorous and special opening attachments have not yet been developed -- he plays any position with equal interest. But once a basic grasp of the game is acquired, its strategic rules and tactical possibilities, every chessplayer gradually conceives his own subjective criteria of factors in the war of chess and in accordance with his character and temperament develops his own style.
An inclination arises either towards peaceful play of the 'positional' type, or towards dashing combinational attacks, to strategical or tactical methods of creative self-expression, this individual approach leading to a preference towards positions of a closed, semi-closed or open character, according to taste. There is now a period of formation of individual ideology, style of play, in short, of a creative credo of a chessplayer, and he purposefully tries to dictate the choice of opening scheme and construction.
Moreover, the necessity arises to formulate a solid and not too broad repertoire, which will allow him to develop his own individual creative traits to the maximum — 'A chessplayer cannot and must not play all the openings known to theory,' advises Mikhail Botvinnik, for 3-4 opening systems are quite sufficient for White in one match and the same number for Black. But these systems must be well prepared.' This means that the chessplayer, having set himself serious goals, should pay some attention to research work. And this work is capacious, diverse and ... endless, for it fasts through one's entire creative life. Max Euwe once described it as 'Titanic'.
It is much too early in the development of chess960 to discuss any sort of a general evolution in approach to the openings. The phrase in the first paragraph -- 'accidental character' -- sums up the current theory of chess960, assuming it even makes sense to talk about theory. Even so, there is already the faint outline of the next step, where a players seeks opening positions 'in accordance with his temperament'. I touched on this in an earlier post titled Attention to the Chess960 Center, where there is a brief discussion of three approaches to chess960: the g4/b4 players, the f4/c4 players, and the e4/d4 players.
Another way of saying the same thing is to split chess960 players into two camps: those who steer the game into positions that resemble traditional chess and those who steer away. I'm firmly in the first camp, largely because I don't understand the second. A casual look at GM Nakamura's games (see the search box on the right to find examples) should be enough to convince that he is in the second camp. I can only assume that he is guided by some chess960 logic that escapes me completely.
Taimanov's third paragraph, on the development of an opening repertoire that suits one's style, is most likely beyond the capabilities of chess960 players. If it's a hard task for a single start position, it's an impossible task for 960 such positions. The term 'Titanic' is appropriate indeed.