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  1. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    27 Feb '11 21:09
    I have been reading through Eric Schiller's "Standard Chess Openings," in which he gives usually an early or "stem" game for each opening. The games are amply annotated but it is not an encyclopedia. For the past two weeks I have been going through the "Closed Games," viz 1.d4 d5, always taking the Black point of view. When Schiller gets to the Colle system (pawns on e3, d4 and c3) he gives a devastating presentation of White's ability to smash Black and suggests that it is virtually impossible to play against. He announces that the only hope is to switch to a Kings Indian formation as Black. However, I fail to see how that can include 1...d5 - unless I am even more daft than I already feel. Can you advise me then, what to do as Black, having played 1..d5, when I see that dreaded system arise on the other side of the board? Resign?
  2. 27 Feb '11 21:14
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I have been reading through Eric Schiller's "Standard Chess Openings," in which he gives usually an early or "stem" game for each opening. The games are amply annotated but it is not an encyclopedia. For the past two weeks I have been going through the "Closed Games," viz 1.d4 d5, always taking the Black point of view. When Schiller gets to the Colle syste ...[text shortened]... ayed 1..d5, when I see that dreaded system arise on the other side of the board? Resign?
    1. Repeat after me: "Schiller talks bollocks"

    2. Read this:
    http://www.playtheimmortalgame.com/board/showthread.php?subject=Why_you_should_play_the_Colle%21&threadid=137850

    3. Don't play 1. ... d5. Dull stuff, play Nf6 and go for a King's Indian. Or, if you have balls of steel and a suicidal streak, play g6.
  3. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    27 Feb '11 22:12
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    1. Repeat after me: "Schiller talks bollocks"

    2. Read this:
    http://www.playtheimmortalgame.com/board/showthread.php?subject=Why_you_should_play_the_Colle%21&threadid=137850

    3. Don't play 1. ... d5. Dull stuff, play Nf6 and go for a King's Indian. Or, if you have balls of steel and a suicidal streak, play g6.
    I play the games out of Schiller's book using Fritz and there are a lot of blinding mistakes in his annotations. But the object is to get a feel for games and I find his selection entertaining. Besides - I own the book so I don't see the point of buying another wthout reading it first.

    I really enjoy that discussion - thanks for the link. I am not sure it answers my problem but it reassures me. I'll just have to work at it a bit more. However I am quite impressed by the game in which Black simply treats this as a reversed Slav and plays a classical QP formation. Also enjoyed the game 2advent - Shelrock57 RHP 2010 which Black wins in 8 moves. One to have in mind?

    1...d5 may be dull and in many openings it seems suicidal as well but I am learning a lot from this exercise. I think there are several systems (like the Tarrasch say) which give attractive games for Black and I intend to try them. More importantly, tranpositions often drive me into these openings against my will so it is time I got a better feel for them - especially when I am white! For instance, I play the English Opening a lot OTB because it is less risky and that invites d4/d5 positions quite often. Do I go there or not? I need to know when it is a good idea and what to do.

    1...g6 is something I played incessantly in my distant past and to be honest, it becomes a trap because it does not seem to open other avenues so I just stpped learning. There is a real buzz to dealing with the classical openings.

    Other suggestions still welcome!
  4. 27 Feb '11 23:57
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I play the games out of Schiller's book using Fritz and there are a lot of blinding mistakes in his annotations. But the object is to get a feel for games and I find his selection entertaining. Besides - I own the book so I don't see the point of buying another wthout reading it first.

    I really enjoy that discussion - thanks for the link. I am not sure ...[text shortened]... e is a real buzz to dealing with the classical openings.

    Other suggestions still welcome!
    I think the problem with Mr. Schiller's book is not the dodgy annotations (at least they come out of a human's head) but that he gives only one game. You'd be better with MCO and a reasonable database. On the other hand, I wouldn't trust Fritz as far as I could throw the little silicon beast in any kind of closed position. You are going to get lots of them in queen's pawn openings and Fritz don't like 'em. I am told Rybka does better.

    As far as evading the terrible power (I've told you a million times not to exaggerate...) of the Colle, seems like you already have an idea gleaned from that thread I pointed you at. I think the main point to take away from that thread is to think for yourself. The Colle is not as good as some like to try to convince us, if it was Anand and co would be playing it instead of endless Catalans, Slavs and Semi-Slavs. The Colle is also not as bad as it is often painted, otherwise no one would ever play it. A reasonable opening but not atrocious or a forced win for white. Provided you play something sensible that you feel comfortable with you should be able to reach a favourable position. After all, it's hardly the sharpest tool in the box so you shouldn't have to memorise too much theory.

    I think we have gone in opposite directions. I started playing classical stuff and loved the fact there was just so much stuff to do with it all. That was in the 1970s when opening theory was only a fraction of today's heap of theory. My copy of MCO purchased in 1972 or thereabouts is less than half the size of the current tome. Now I find that getting out of book as fast as possible is a good thing as my memory is not what it was. Yes, I can consult databases and books in CC but I still need to remember where the information I need is, and also what the hell I am supposed to be doing in a given position. I chose minimal theory with simpleminded ideas because half the time I am writing my own theory. If the classical stuff gives you a buzz then go for it, if nothing else we should be doing this because we enjoy it!
  5. Standard member hedonist
    peacedog's keeper
    28 Feb '11 00:33
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I have been reading through Eric Schiller's "Standard Chess Openings," in which he gives usually an early or "stem" game for each opening. The games are amply annotated but it is not an encyclopedia. For the past two weeks I have been going through the "Closed Games," viz 1.d4 d5, always taking the Black point of view. When Schiller gets to the Colle syste ...[text shortened]... ayed 1..d5, when I see that dreaded system arise on the other side of the board? Resign?
    White has only one aim in the colle, the e4 break. So maybe putting pressure on that square as soon as possible is a good idea. d5, Nf6 and Bf5 will do that. Invite white to trade bishops on f5 which is tempting for him as it doubles blacks pawns, but gives you even more control of e4. Then pop the knight on e4 then I'd say black has the better game.
  6. 28 Feb '11 00:38
    Schiller's books are junk - pure and simple.
  7. Standard member hedonist
    peacedog's keeper
    28 Feb '11 00:50
    Originally posted by kbear1k
    Schiller's books are junk - pure and simple.
    Considering their size, they are a bit lightweight. I quite enjoyed the one on weird openings(forget the name), though the stupid names he gives openings is a bit anoying. The fact that I gave my copys away says it all about the overall quality of the books.
  8. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    28 Feb '11 01:42
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    I think the problem with Mr. Schiller's book is not the dodgy annotations (at least they come out of a human's head) but that he gives only one game. You'd be better with MCO and a reasonable database. On the other hand, I wouldn't trust Fritz as far as I could throw the little silicon beast in any kind of closed position. You are going to get lots of the ...[text shortened]... u a buzz then go for it, if nothing else we should be doing this because we enjoy it!
    Thanks for these and other responses. I've relaxed already.

    I understand the complaints about Fritz but I'm not paying for lots of other stuff. What matters to me is that I am not competent without help when analyzing games - not least my own games (I always do a post mortem)! Fritz enables me to have an opponent when testing what-if questions. I often choose moves not because Fritz recommends them, but because I wonder what - if. And Fritz does spot blunders and one move mates more often than me or Schiller (he missed one in his own correspondence game - the last move of his Albin Countergambit).

    I have an openings data base - waste of money because infinite options is just an endless maze to me. I'm using Schiller because I want to spend a while wandering around as many openings as I can in a shortish time frame. I had this problem with other books - many hours quiet study only to be told the author is unreliable or worse. I think I like having someone with an opinion (any opinion will do) to act as my driving instructor. The little side remarks often pop into my head while playing (yes - sometimes disastrously but not always).
  9. 28 Feb '11 03:55
    Originally posted by finnegan
    1...d5 may be dull and in many openings it seems suicidal as well . . .
    I think 1 . . . d5 is an excellent move. Very powerful and the best way for black to stake a claim in the center.

    And with 1 . . . d5, black might get lucky with white playing the weak/drawish Colle, London, etc., or something even more obscure.

    Or with 1 . . . d5 against the Queens Gambit, black has the Slav and semi-Slav, for example.

    Lastly, while no one can deny that KID is strong, I think the hyper-modern stuff in general is overrated. Plus, depends on personal preference and style. (Undeniably, 1 . . . g6 is weak).

    In all, to be sure, 1 . . . d5 is not only acceptable, but a dam* good move for black, and also a lot of complexity and interesting play (provided white doesn't do the Colle).
  10. 28 Feb '11 04:13 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I have been reading through Eric Schiller's "Standard Chess Openings," in which he gives usually an early or "stem" game for each opening. The games are amply annotated but it is not an encyclopedia. For the past two weeks I have been going through the "Closed Games," viz 1.d4 d5, always taking the Black point of view. When Schiller gets to the Colle syste ayed 1..d5, when I see that dreaded system arise on the other side of the board? Resign?
    In my feeble opinion, it seems that Shiller is about selling books and his website, and always seems to go to the extreme unreasonably in support of an opening or defense.

    Moreover, it appears every opening or defense has supporters claiming it is the greatest thing since slice bread. And the supporters wonder why the opening or defense hasn't caught on.

    The general consenus for the Colle I think is given by Firmian of the MCO, which rightly gives the Colle only one paragraph and one column: "The Colle System . . . is a simple system to develop the kingside before initiating central play. Black has no particular problems."

    Firmian does give a second column to 5.b3 and is a little more positive I guess in the Colle-Zukertort vein, stating that "with 1.b3 . . . White can require Black to play accurate defense." Personally, I like b3 better than c3, and seems to give a different and better game than the traditional Colle, but what do I know.

    I guess at the club level, learn whatever opening you want, and try to use advantage of your preparation and their surprise . . .
  11. 28 Feb '11 10:07
    Originally posted by moon1969
    (Undeniably, 1 . . . g6 is weak).
    Now go say that to some of the GMs who play it on a regular basis. You could start with Tiger Hillarp Persson and Nigel Davies. Then you could search out the ghost of Petrosian who apparently played 1. ... g6 if he needed to win as black. You could finish up with Duncan Suttles who liked the Modern so much he started playing it as white! Don't worry, I'll hold your coat.

    To be honest, if there is a first move for white that one should not reply 1. ... g6 to, it is 1. d4. I have tried many ways to make g6 a reasonable reply to d4. Transpose to a Leningrad Dutch, except if I wanted a Dutch I'd have played 1. ... f5 in the first place. Play 2. ... c5, something that Charlie Storey recently "discovered" and renamed the Sniper. I was playing that before he was born, young whippersnapper. Well, when he was 10 maybe. About the best I have found is to play 2. ... Nf6 and head for a KID although that doesn't stop me playing other stuff. like I said, if we aren't doing this for fun why are we doing it?
  12. 28 Feb '11 10:20
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I understand the complaints about Fritz but I'm not paying for lots of other stuff.
    You don't need to pay for quality silicon assistance. Stockfish is free, open source and better than Fritz. Being a UCI engine it will run happily in the Fritz interface. Another one is Houdini, also better than Fritz, although there is some grumbling that Houdini may be a Rybka clone although some have suggested Rybka is a Houdini clone. Can't say I see much similarity between the two to be honest. Both Stockfish and Houdini are UCI engines so will run in the Fritz interface. You could even run two or three engines together to get different opinions if you feel like it.
  13. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    28 Feb '11 14:43
    Originally posted by hedonist
    White has only one aim in the colle, the e4 break. So maybe putting pressure on that square as soon as possible is a good idea. d5, Nf6 and Bf5 will do that. Invite white to trade bishops on f5 which is tempting for him as it doubles blacks pawns, but gives you even more control of e4. Then pop the knight on e4 then I'd say black has the better game.
    While I think this is the primary aim, it's not the only aim. White also has dxc5 followed by b4 and often a4 with queenside play a al the Semi-Slav with colors reversed, while still preserving kingside attacking chances.

    The Colle is best known as a kingside attacking scheme, but sometimes that theme is overemphasized, leaving a false, one-dimensional impression of an effective opening to a game.
  14. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    28 Feb '11 14:53
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    Now go say that to some of the GMs who play it on a regular basis. You could start with Tiger Hillarp Persson and Nigel Davies. Then you could search out the ghost of Petrosian who apparently played 1. ... g6 if he needed to win as black. You could finish up with Duncan Suttles who liked the Modern so much he started playing it as white! Don't worry, I'll ...[text shortened]... me playing other stuff. like I said, if we aren't doing this for fun why are we doing it?
    I thought the "1. ... g6 is weak" comment to be a little funny, too, but there is certainly room for a variety of opinions in chess!

    In my database, 1. ... g6 scores better than 1. ... e5, 1. ... c6, or 1. ... e6 against 1. e4, and against 1. d4 it scores better that 1. ... Nf6, 1. ... d5, 1. ... e6, or 1. ... c6.

    Of course, a percentage point or two either way doesn't make any practical difference, but I suspect that 1. ... g6 scores a little higher simply because it is preferred by stronger players, and the stronger player tends to win anyway.

    I think the big trick is that when black plays 1. ... g6, he is prepared to play a variety of systems, and it is generally easier for black to guide the course of play than it is for white, although both players have a wide variety of options.
  15. 28 Feb '11 15:43
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I thought the "1. ... g6 is weak" comment to be a little funny, too, but there is certainly room for a variety of opinions in chess!

    In my database, 1. ... g6 scores better than 1. ... e5, 1. ... c6, or 1. ... e6 against 1. e4, and against 1. d4 it scores better that 1. ... Nf6, 1. ... d5, 1. ... e6, or 1. ... c6.

    Of course, a percentage point or ...[text shortened]... he course of play than it is for white, although both players have a wide variety of options.
    Oh yes, that is another reason to love chess. Everyone can have an opinion and (almost) everyone can be correct to a large degree. Weak for one is strong for another and vice versa. It's all a question of what you like really.

    My database of CC master games suggests 1. ... g6 is 6.5 percentage points worse than 1. ... c5 and 4.5 worse than 1. ... e5. Surprisingly it does better than d6. Against 1. d4 the difference is about 7 percentage points compared to Nf6 and d5. However, I don't suffer these apparently huge disadvantages playing 1. ... g6. I suspect a lot of the losses arise from players trying something different but not really understanding what is actually a very subtle defensive system. It is also likely that most who try 1. ... g6 in my database are blindly following their engines down the wrong path. I have discovered that engines generally don't understand g6 and will immediately give white a fairly substantial advantage and then sulk for the rest of the game.