I developed a chess variant. Being as it’s my own invention there’s no “book” on the opening moves. Being bored during a sixteen hour shift I was analyzing some of the possible opening moves and this led me to an issue of which chess moves are considered worth analysis. While my variant raised the issue to me personally, the issue is valid for regular chess.
Without getting into details, white has a possible opening move. Black can respond to this particular move with approximately thirteen different possible moves. One of these possible moves would lead to a checkmate for black which white could not avoid. So is there any point in analyzing the other possible moves? I see two ways of looking at it:
No, don’t bother. You should assume your opponent would make the best possible moves. Once you know he could make a move which would give him the win, you should assume he would make that move. Therefore you should never use that opening move.
Yes, explore the alternatives. Just because there is a possible winning move for black doesn’t mean he will automatically play it. Players make mistakes. Of the thirteen possible moves, one might be a definite win for black but the other twelve might be definite wins for white. So if the single winning response for your opponent isn’t obvious, the opening move might be a worthwhile risk.